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Alcohol Abuse - Bypass Study



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Interesting read. ABC News video link at bottom of page.

LA Times

By Thomas H. Maugh II

June 18, 2012, 12:11 p.m.

A major new study confirms previous sporadic reports that weight-loss surgery increases the risk of alcohol abuse, researchers reported Monday. In the second year after having a gastric bypass, technically known as Roux-en-Y surgery, patients were 30% more likely to have problems controlling their alcohol use, a team reported online in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. and at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Previous reports have suggested that alcohol abuse could be a problem following bariatric surgery, but the studies have been small and generally involved collecting data at some point after the procedure. In the new study, a team led by epidemiologist Wendy C. King of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine began studying 2,458 adults before they underwent bariatric surgery at one of 10 hospitals. Of those, 1,945 could be monitored for one to two years after the procedure.

The team found that 7.6% of the patients suffered from alcohol-abuse disorders (abuse and dependence) in the year before the surgery. At the end of one year after the procedure, the percentage was about the same, 7.3%. But by the end of the second year, the prevalence of such disorders had climbed to 9.6%, a 30% increase. Virtually all of the increase occurred in patients who had undergone gastric bypass, with no increase among the roughly 30% of patients who had a banding procedure.

Some research suggests that the increase in problems arises because the metabolism of alcohol changes after gastric bypass. "Given a standardized quantity of alcohol, patients reach a higher peak alcohol level [in the bloodstream] after surgery compared with case-controls or their pre-operative levels," the team wrote. In other words, bypass patients get drunk faster and with smaller amounts of alcohol.

The excessive drinking may be a greater problem for bariatric surgery patients because alcohol abuse can affect Vitamin and mineral status and liver function, which are already potential problems for the surgery patients, King said. She urges clinicians to perform a better job of screening patients for abuse before surgery and to offer counseling to help them combat the problem.

ABC VIDEO LINK: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/gastric-bypass-fuel-alcoholism-16600168

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I can't view videos at work (boo!!) but I truly believe we can all be very susceptible to other addictions post op.

Once "food" is taken away and if issues aren't worked through we can find something else to numb our senses. Such as shopping, sex, being online too much, attention seeking, soft foods (high in sugar - easily digestible), working out (I may fall into this category myself and have been working hard to slow it down), and much much more.

Things I look out for is/are: How much time am I spending doing (insert vice here)?, is it interfering with friendships/relationships?, am I not having enough time left over to do necessities such as house cleaning/bills/work?, could it be another way to harm my health both mentally or physically? All of these things should be considered when deciding if it's just too much.

Thanks for sharing! This is an incredibly important subject for Post Op mental and physical health.

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Agree with Lil Diva and thsnks fir 12 steps remimder. I used to go to OA. A few times I went to this one big AA meeting where a number of people had years and years of abstinence. There was a table loaded with sugary white flour Snacks and the cigarette smoke was over whelming. The recovery from alcohol was powerful in that room but got the impression that some folks had substitute addictions. In fact some OA members with multiple addictions said it was hard to go to AA because there was always sugared food there. Btw, the best book I ever read on addiction is entitled Addiction and Grace by Gerald May. It is probably not currently in print but would be available used. Very compatible with 12 step philosophy.

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