Drinking Alcohol After Gastric Bypass

By Gaston Tessada on November 09, 2019

Getting drinks at a barThanks to gastric bypass surgery, people struggling with obesity can achieve a healthier weight. This helps address a number of health problems, from heart disease and diabetes to joint pain later in life. It also affects your digestion and diet, which also affects your ability to drink.

Many patients who come to our Tijuana, Mexico bariatric surgery center ask Dr. Francisco Gonzalez if they can still have beer, wine, and spirits after their weight loss procedure. The team at Oasis of Hope has some answers and insight into alcohol after gastric bypass.

Can I Have Alcohol After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

You can have alcoholic beverages after a gastric bypass. However, there are a number of changes to your diet, digestive tract, and wellness to consider before you start having a drink.

It’s important that patients follow all instructions for post-operative care provided by their bariatric surgeons. This helps prevent complications and improves overall wellness in the long run.

Avoid Alcohol for the First Few Months of Recovery

After undergoing gastric bypass surgery at our Tijuana practice, it’s important that patients avoid consuming alcohol for about six months. This will allow patients to recover from surgery fully without risking their health or wellness during his crucial time.

The Downside of Having Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery

Even after the first six months, it’s important that patients consider the numerous downsides to having alcohol after having a gastric bypass. This includes:

  • Reduced Alcohol Tolerance - Most patients will notice that they get intoxicated faster after gastric bypass than they did before the surgery. This is the result of reduced food consumption and the changes to the digestive tract.
  • Changes to Alcohol Metabolism - After having a drink, it can take longer for your body to process the alcohol than it used to prior to surgery. No only will you get drunk faster, the sensation could last longer.
  • Low Blood Sugar - Gastric bypass surgery patients already risk low blood sugar due to weight loss and limited carbohydrate consumption. Alcohol consumption can make these issues much worse.
  • Consumption of Empty Calories - An alcoholic beverage is nothing but empty calories. Ideally, people who’ve undergone bariatric surgery should consume nutritious food rather than empty calories.

Do’s and Don’ts of Alcohol After Gastric Bypass

When you do go back to having alcoholic beverages again, it’s important that you avoid carbonated beverages and sugary mixers. This prevents discomfort and excessive calorie consumption. Limit your intake and try to only drink when you have a full stomach. This will prevent you from becoming intoxicated too fast.

The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse After Weight Loss Surgery

In addition to the above problems, there is also an increased risk of alcohol abuse among people who’ve undergone gastric bypass surgery. Part of this may be due to changed psychological and emotional relationships to food. It may also be due to the stress caused by rapid weight loss and lifestyle changes following surgery.

If you notice increased alcohol consumption following bariatric surgery, or that you’re self-medicating as a coping mechanism, be sure to speak with a loved one. In addition, do not hesitate to seek professional help for these issues from a therapist or counselor.

Bottom Line: It’s Best to Limit Alcohol Consumption

Ultimately, the best option for bariatric surgery patients is to limit all alcohol consumption. If possible, try to avoid alcohol completely. If you do have an alcoholic beverage, know your limits and carefully restrict yourself to what you can handle.

Learn More About Life After GastricBypass

For more information about life after weight loss surgery and what to expect, it’s important to contact a skilled bariatric surgeon. The team at Oasis of Hope has answers for all of your questions. To schedule a consultation with us in Tijuana, call (619) 940-1724.

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Oasis of Hope Bariatrics | Playas de Tijuana Office

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