Can I Drink Beer after Bariatric Surgery?
At Oasis of Hope Bariatrics, we have helped thousands of patients achieve healthier lifestyles through bariatric surgery. We hear a wide range of questions at our Tijuana, Mexico practice. One of the most common is: Can I drink beer after bariatric surgery? There is a lot of information, and even some misinformation, out there about alcohol and weight loss surgery. In this blog post, our team explores this topic in a little more detail so patients can be well-informed.
Alcohol and Weight Loss Surgery
So, can you drink beer after bariatric surgery? In short, the answer is yes. However, patients should take care to reintroduce alcohol gradually, responsibly, and with some modifications. We will explore why below.
Bariatric Surgery and Your Metabolism
Weight loss surgery has a direct impact on your metabolism. As a result, blood alcohol levels rise more quickly compared to those who have not undergone bariatric surgery. Furthermore, most individuals consume smaller food portions when drinking alcohol, which only expedites absorption into the bloodstream. In many cases, it only takes one alcoholic beverage to reach intoxication.
Weight Loss Surgery and Low Blood Sugar
Those who have undergone bariatric surgery are more likely to have reduced glycogen in the body. When you consume alcohol, this further depletes glycogen, which can lead to low blood sugar. It is important to keep a lookout for telling symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as slurred speech, confusion, loss of coordination, and poor vision. Should you notice any of these warning signs, take a glucose tablet or drink diluted juice, then eat a snack with protein and complex carbohydrates. This will help raise and sustain your blood sugar.
Will I Become an Alcoholic after Bariatric Surgery?
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, only a small percentage of bariatric patients develop problems with alcohol consumption following the procedure. Most individuals who abuse alcohol after surgery already had issues with it before surgery.
However, keep in mind that addiction transfer can still occur. This means that individuals with a history of addiction have a higher risk for developing new addictions. Therefore, patients who used to turn to food for comfort may turn to alcohol instead.
Reintroducing Alcohol into Your System
In the right circumstances, it is entirely possible to reintroduce alcohol without compromising the benefits of bariatric surgery. Here are a few tips from our Tijuana team:
- Do not drink alcohol for at least six months following weight loss surgery.
- Know that even small amounts of alcohol can lead to low blood sugar and intoxication.
- When you reintroduce alcohol to your system, avoid sugary drink mixers and carbonated beverages.
- Drink alcohol with food to help slow absorption into the system.
- Never drink and drive.
- Be mindful of the caloric content of alcoholic beverages.
- If you have questions or concerns about the way that alcohol affects your system after bariatric surgery, reach out to your surgeon.
Contact Us for More Information
If you are considering bariatric surgery, knowing what to expect after the procedure can help you have realistic expectations. If you have further questions about the way alcohol affects the body after bariatric surgery, reach out to one of our knowledgeable team members. Contact us online anytime or call our Tijuana office at (619) 690-8417.