A glass of wine with dinner. A nightcap after a long day. A beer with the boys. By themselves, relatively harmless. Overuse of alcohol, however, can lead to a host of issues. The dangers have been well documented, but the problems can be exacerbated after weight loss surgery.
Just like with weight-loss surgery, no two situations are similar. Some people are more susceptible to alcohol use disorders while others have no issues with alcohol consumption. In either case, weight loss surgery will drastically change how your body deals with alcohol.
Alcohol After Surgery
Even if you had a healthy relationship with alcohol before surgery, the changes to your body after surgery will affect how the body will metabolize alcohol. By eating less and losing weight, you will become more sensitive to alcohol. Blood alcohol levels will peak faster and take longer to return to normal.
Aside from that, alcohol has little to no nutritional value. High in calories and low in nutrients, alcohol will stifle weight loss and may even contribute to weight gain. In some cases, alcohol consumption will put patients at higher risk of low blood sugar. Side effects include slurred speech, dizziness, poor vision, and more.
There are also legal aspects to consider. Patients may have been able to have several drinks without feeling a thing. The loss of weight and with less food to absorb the alcohol, a single drink will even push patients over the legal limit for driving. Along with the effects of low blood sugar, this can lead to a dangerous situation.
Addictions come in many different shapes, sizes, and forms. Many of our patients use food to combat depression, find comfort, or fill voids left behind by loss. With bariatric surgery patients, constant eating is no longer an option (without dire consequences).
In many cases, addicts trade one addiction for another. Addictions come in many different forms, including food, gambling, shopping, drugs, and alcohol. If food is no longer an option to self soothe, many consider alcohol as a substitute. Developing alcoholism can be an issue in this respect.
Are You A Candidate For Bariatric Surgery?
Alcohol abuse is a rare outcome after undergoing bariatric surgery. However, alcohol dependence can affect the success of sleeve gastrectomy, duodenal switch, or gastric bypass surgery. Before WeightWise performs any bariatric surgery, patients must agree to a consultation with one of our surgeons.
During this consultation, our surgeons will determine whether or not a patient is a good candidate for weight loss surgery or not. This includes discussing family history, any injuries that might hamper the recovery, personality traits, or addictions to alcohol or drugs that could jeopardize the surgery or post-surgery requirements for successful weight loss.
Depending on these conversations, we may not be able to recommend bariatric surgery. When a patient is accepted into the program, WeightWise provides all of the support patients need. This includes dietitians, exercise physiologists, and patients advocates. Along with surgery, diet and physical activity are proven to be the best way to lose excess weight and keep it off.
The proper diet after weight-loss surgery is just as important as the surgery itself. WeightWise dietitians will work with you to develop a specified diet for the following days, weeks, months, and years. Although every patient and procedure is different, there are some similarities when it comes to what you can or can’t eat.
For example: Every gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, or gastric bypass patient is limited to liquids and supplements for the first two weeks after surgery. This allows the body to adapt to less food intake and the surgery overall. Your dietitian will go over what foods are allowed, how much food is allowed, and when food should be consumed.
Weight-loss surgery combined with an altered diet and physical activity has been proven to be the best way to lose excess weight and keep it off. Every WeightWise patient will work with an exercise physiologist to build a detailed workout plan to follow after surgery.
Focusing on flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness, you’ll begin to incorporate exercise into your healthier lifestyle. Many of our patients have accomplished incredible feats after surgery, including half-marathons. Even if it’s just a walk around the block, the goal is to eventually be active for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Is it time for you to make a change to your lifestyle? Does being obese mean you can’t do all of the things you loved to do? Watch our free online seminar to find out why our program has been so successful. We’ll be here when you’re ready to schedule your consultation with one of our surgeons.