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Effects of Alcohol After Weight Loss Surgery

healthy eatingBariatric surgery impacts what you can eat and drink by altering the capacity of your stomach to help you feel fuller on less food. This change in your stomach can also impact how your body processes alcohol, making it important for you to understand the effects of alcohol after weight loss surgery.

Alcohol in all forms (including wine, beer, and spirits) is a type of sugar. Consuming alcohol after your gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or LAP-BAND can slow down your weight loss progress by increasing your caloric intake.

Alcohol use can also contribute to dumping syndrome – the uncomfortable condition that some patients experience when they eat foods that are high in fat or refined sugars. This is because alcohol triggers the release of insulin, which causes fluid to flood the stomach, leading to short-term symptoms like nausea, sweating, cramps, and diarrhea.

Bariatric Surgery Impacts Alcohol Absorption

Since the surface area of the stomach is reduced through bariatric surgery, when alcohol is consumed it’s absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. This rapid absorption means that bariatric patients will feel intoxicated much faster, and after drinking smaller quantities of alcohol than before their procedure.

In fact, researchers have discovered that people who have gastric bypass surgery absorb approximately four times the amount of alcohol from a single drink than they did previously. If you’ve had gastric bypass, that means one glass of wine now has the same intoxicating effects on you as four glasses used to!

Refrain From Alcohol Consumption Right After Bariatric Surgery

While having weight loss surgery doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage, experts do advise that bariatric patients refrain from drinking alcohol for at least six months after their procedure. This gives your stomach time to heal, and helps you adapt to your new diet without adding any ‘liquid calories’ from alcohol.

If you do choose to drink alcohol after bariatric surgery, be sure to start with just a few sips, and do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do any other activities that might be impacted by alcohol impairment for at least 24 hours after you’ve had an alcoholic beverage.

To learn more about the effects of alcohol after weight loss surgery, and for more tips on planning your post-surgical lifestyle, contact us here at Olde Del Mar Surgical.

: (858) 457-4917