Gastric sleeve surgery is a weight loss procedure that is performed on people who are unable to lose weight through conventional methods such as dieting or exercise. It is not an easy path to take but a rewarding one. Lifestyle changes are necessary to get the best outcomes from gastric sleeve surgery. The changes include limiting food consumption and alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is a very common topic that is brought up for discussion when charting post-surgery diet plans. It is important that bariatric patients understand how gastric sleeves and alcohol interact. In this blog, we take a closer look at the effects of consuming alcohol after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery.
What to Expect When Combining A Gastric Sleeve and Alcohol
Patients need to understand what they can and cannot consume after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. After the initial healing period is over, you will be given a diet chart that gives you an idea of what your diet can contain. This is because the body processes foods and beverages in a different manner after the surgery. Below are the factors that you need to consider when you consume alcohol after the gastric sleeve surgery.
After gastric sleeve surgery, your metabolism is altered to a great extent. This causes the blood levels to peak higher and take longer to return to normal levels. Additionally, after the surgery, patients that consume less food while drinking alcohol experience expedited consumption of alcohol by the body. Even a single drink can elevate the blood alcohol level to the legal intoxication point.
Low Blood Sugar
Extensive weight loss and low carbohydrate intake after the gastric sleeve surgery result in lower levels of glycogen in the body. Consumption of alcohol can lead to further depletion of glycogen causing blood sugar levels to drop and putting you at higher risk of developing low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. If you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia frequently even without alcohol consumption, it is recommended to consult your doctor immediately.
Precautions to Take When Drinking Alcohol After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Follow these guidelines when taking alcohol after surgery to avoid compromising your commitment to a healthy lifestyle:
- It is recommended that you avoid consuming alcohol at all during the first year of surgery.
- Avoid carbonated and sugary mixes with alcohol after weight loss surgery.
- Always remember, that even a small amount of alcohol can be intoxicating after surgery.
- Always drink along with meals to slow the absorption of alcohol.
- If you find yourself drinking alcohol regularly to cope with emotional stress, seek professional help.
Gastric Sleeve and Risk of Alcohol Use Disorder
Some patients may develop an alcohol abuse disorder after gastric sleeve surgery. Research suggests that obesity is caused by some kind of addiction to food, and after any bariatric surgery, this addiction may shift to other substances such as alcohol. When we compare the percentage of patients who develop such disorders, however, it is very low. Most affected patients have struggled with alcohol use before the surgery.
Drinking alcohol after a gastric sleeve surgery is a personal choice and can be safe when done in moderation. It is recommended to follow the doctor’s advice regarding issues related to gastric sleeve surgery. If you are considering gastric sleeve surgery in Fort Worth, Texas, the DFW Bariatrics and General Surgery in Dallas is the place to go. Our team of weight loss surgeons and healthcare staff has a proven record of performing successful weight loss procedures. To book an appointment, call 469-620-0222 or email [email protected].