Can you drink alcohol after bariatric surgery?
Cheryl (aka My Bariatric Life) and I know about addiction. Cheryl is open about her many years of struggle with food addiction before her gastric bypass surgery. As for me, I am a retired Addictions Counselor having worked primarily with alcoholism. I am sure that many of you are like Cheryl in that you identify with food addiction, binge eating, or emotional overeating. But are you aware that many will replace their comfort eating habit with alcohol after bariatric surgery? It’s true. Alcohol abuse after bariatric surgery, including beer and wine, is a risk that you need to educate yourself on.
Let me repeat that: Beer and wine are alcohol and you can abuse them.
Also be aware that drinking alcohol after bariatric surgery may reduce maximal weight loss success, reports Bariatric Times magazine.
The question is, why are more and more of us are turning to legal addictive substances to help cope with the stresses and strains in our lives? Everyday we read about another celebrity checking into a clinic to help them overcome an addiction that they’ve been feeding for years. But it’s not just celebrities who are turning to substances to ease their pain.
In the US alone, more than 80,000 die each year from the effects of alcohol.
There is some research to suggest that alcoholism is an inherited trait, passed down from parents to their offspring and so on. What does seem apparent is that children whose parents abuse alcohol are largely more likely to struggle with addiction in general when they’re older.
Some commentators blame our propensity for getting drunk on the decrease in the cost of alcohol as another reason so many more people are drinking at home. There are many arguments for increasing the cost of alcohol to act as a barrier to people buying in bulk quantities.
Despite the tragedy that is alcoholism and the pain and misery it brings to the lives of many families and individuals, there is hope.
As we begin to understand this drug better we have evolved better treatments and more effective ways of dealing with the root cause of “drinking” and how to find a path through treatment that works well for individuals wherever they are on the journey.
For some addicts, this can look like inpatient rehab or daily visits to a treatment center. I’ve led both types of programs and their effectiveness really depends upon the individual. I have found others might attempt to go down a thoroughly natural path to wellness focusing on mindfulness and meditation or prayer backed up with holistic treatments such as acupuncture.
However you choose to battle alcohol after bariatric surgery, the first step to fighting addiction will always be facing up to your problem and admitting there is one. It is hard to admit that you have a drinking problem because the reality is that you may not be aware of it. For the friends and families of addicts this can be a frustratingly long process. Despite all the warning signs and symptoms it can take an addict a long time to get to the point where they admit help is needed. In the meantime your friends and family probably will have read all the leaflets, searched all the self-help sites and joined support networks.
Do I drink too much?
Some signs to watch out for include extreme mood swings and irritability, looking for excuses to have a drink in any situation, drinking outside social settings and blaming others or minimizing their behavior.
It can be tough confronting a loved one over their drinking and frightening watching them spiral as their addiction gets out of control. However, ignoring the issues will only lead to the problem becoming worse.
Taking the first step
Once the issue has been brought out into the open, then it’s time to take the first steps towards a treatment program. Talk to your doctor, being open and honest about what’s been going on. Take a trusted family member or friend with you if necessary. The road back from addiction is long and hard but with so many people suffering the effects, not to mention their friends and families suffering along with them, getting help is the most positive thing you can do for yourself.
In good health,