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7 hours ago, MourningTheLossOfBeer said:

I had a heart to heart with my surgeon during my last (2 month) checkup. About alcohol and soda. He said in reference to alcohol to "live your life" it won't hurt your stomach any more than someone who hasn't had surgery, but encouraged me to drink in moderation, which I do. He even went so far as to say a few glasses of wine or beer is fine. Which led me to ask about soda/beer, he said that it wouldn't stretch my stomach, but could give a false feeling of fullness and lead to me not getting in all my Protein and nutrients. But as long as I'm hitting my nutrition marks then I should be fine. I've had soda a few times with no issue and despite the username, I've only had 1 beer in a social setting, I don't really want go down that path yet until I get closer to my goals, I can justify a 0 calorie soda but not a 100+ calorie beer.

According to my bariatric team - alcohol is a short answer for rater no, than yes, and if at all, then in very restricted amounts. The highlights to beeing careful with alchol are a few

  • Alcohol takes effect more quickly and the effect is more intense than pre-surgery Most of the alcohol is absorbed in the small intestine and since post-surgery it takes less time for alcohol to reach the small intestine, its absorption into the bloodstream is also facilitated. Upon consuming the same amount of alcohol as before weight-loss surgery, intoxication occurs at smaller quantities and the effect lasts longer.

  • Gastric bypass surgery patients are at an elevated risk for alcoholismStudies indicate that gastric bypass surgery tend to make patients more sensitive to alcohol and thus, gastric bypass patients have an increased risk for developing alcoholism. Alcohol abuse can also occur in women and those who were previously indifferent to alcohol. The most dangerous timeframe in this regard is 2-3 years post-surgery.

  • Transfer of addiction. Emotional eating and food addiction lead to obesity. Weight loss surgery alters or even completely eliminates the effects of food that reduce stress, depression and anxiety and this may push the patient to seek “help” elsewhere. Food may be replaced by alcohol, narcotic substances (including strong painkillers), gambling, shopping, etc.

  • Excess calories. Alcohol contains a lot of calories and no nutrients; hence, drinking alcohol works against weight loss goals. For example, a glass of wine contains twice as much calories as a glass of lemonade. Alcohol is one of the underlying causes of weight gain following bariatric surgery.

However, if you still decide to consume alcohol:

Avoid any alcohol during the period of rapid weight loss (6 months post-surgery) because it may cause toxic reactions and damage the liver.

Consume alcohol with food and avoid drinking it on an empty stomach.

Make sure to take all your Vitamins since alcohol may decrease the absorption of certain vitamins.

Seek help when you find that you drink alcohol on a regular basis for the purpose of reducing emotional stress since there is an elevated risk for developing alcohol dependence following bariatric surgery.

You should never drive after consuming alcohol, even if the quantity was small! Following your surgery, blood alcohol concentration increases much faster and after smaller amount than before the surgery; moreover, alcohol stays in your blood longer. This may lead losing your driving license or causing a traffic accident after you have consumed an amount of alcohol you would have considered to be “harmless” prior to your surgery.

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