Silhouette of a person thinking about gastric bypass and alcoholism

What Is the Link Between Gastric Bypass Surgery and Alcoholism?

Gastric bypass surgery is a weight loss procedure in which the stomach is made smaller, reducing the quantity of food a person can consume. This results in rapid weight loss, making it a highly desirable surgery. But there are risks associated with gastric bypass, including alcohol dependency and addiction. What do gastric bypass and alcoholism have to do with one another? Learn how the surgery can increase your risk of alcohol addiction and what you can do about it.

At My 5 Palms, we understand how life-changing gastric bypass can be in helping people overcome years of struggle with obesity. Being dependent on alcohol afterward can be devastating, but we are here to help you. With the support of our addiction therapy programs, you can end your unhealthy relationship with alcohol while keeping off the pounds you fought so hard to lose. Call us at 1.844.675.1022 to learn more about how we help clients address alcohol addiction after gastric bypass.

The Connection Between Gastric Bypass and Alcoholism

Gastric bypass surgery is becoming more popular for people dealing with the challenges of obesity. But after you go through the procedure and successfully lose the weight, you may be at risk of alcohol addiction. But what does one have to do with the other? Here are a few reasons why you may be more susceptible to developing alcohol addiction after gastric bypass:

  • Studies have shown a change in alcohol metabolism after gastric bypass surgery, which could lead to an increased risk of alcohol addiction, also called alcohol use disorder (AUD). 
  • Gastric bypass clients have been found to have an increased sensitivity to alcohol. This can make them more vulnerable to becoming addicted, even when consuming smaller amounts of alcohol.
  • People with food addiction who undergo gastric bypass may transfer their addiction from food to alcohol. This is because the issues surrounding their addiction were not addressed, and surgery is not a substitute for therapy.

Understanding the above links between gastric bypass and alcoholism is the first step in reducing your risk of developing AUD. 

How Can You Lower AUD Risk After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Now that you are aware of how gastric bypass surgery can make you more susceptible to misusing alcohol, you can take steps to reduce your risk:

  • Suppose you struggle with alcohol dependence and have not yet undergone the procedure. In that case, you should talk to your doctor about enrolling in addiction treatment before gastric bypass.
  • Schedule an appointment with a therapist specializing in weight management, overeating, and food addiction. They can help you work through these issues so you do not start self-medicating with alcohol instead of food.
  • Consider avoiding alcohol after your surgery, even if it is just temporarily.
  • If you do choose to drink, consume alcohol less frequently or in smaller servings than you would have before your surgery. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as this sends the alcohol into your bloodstream more quickly.

Minimizing alcohol intake after gastric bypass can lower the chances of alcohol addiction. Additionally, it can help you maintain your weight loss as alcohol contains empty calories. 

Recover from Alcohol Addiction After Gastric Bypass at My 5 Palms

At My 5 Palms, we understand how difficult it can be to avoid self-medication with alcohol after gastric bypass if there are unresolved issues with food addiction. We emphasize a whole-person approach to ensure your best outcome for a healthy, sober lifestyle. Our addiction therapy programs can help you get to the root of food addiction while you work to overcome alcohol dependence. Contact My 5 Palms today at 1.844.675.1022 to learn more.

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