Gastric Bypass Patients Take Longer to Process Alcohol,
WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Gastric bypass patients
take longer to process alcohol, which could put some at risk for
overdrinking, researchers report.
Gastric bypass surgery -- an operation in which the surgeon
staples a large section of the stomach, leaving only a tiny pouch
-- is used to help severely obese people lose weight.
This study of 19 people who had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB)
found that they had a much higher breath alcohol content after
consuming alcohol and took much longer to become sober after
drinking, compared to before their surgery.
Before the operation, the patients' peak breath alcohol content
percentage just after drinking five ounces of red wine was 0.024
percent. The level was 0.059 three months after surgery and 0.088
six months after surgery, which is higher than the legal driving
limit of .08 percent.
Prior to surgery, it took 49 minutes for the patients to reach a
zero breath alcohol content after drinking five ounces of red wine.
The return to zero BAC took 61 minutes three months after surgery
and 88 minutes six months after surgery.
The study was published in the February issue of the
Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Despite the benefits of the procedure, "we want to raise the
potential concern for RYGB patients who continue to drink after
their operation because they may tend to overuse alcohol, which
can, in turn, lead to weight regain, nutritional deficiencies,
and/or alcohol dependence," senior author Dr. John M. Morton, an
associate professor of surgery at Stanford University, said in a
journal news release.
Gastric bypass patients "need to understand that their body will
respond to alcohol differently after their operation and they need
to exercise caution if they choose to drink alcohol," Morton said.
"Our recommendation to all of our RYGB patients is never drink and
drive, and [if they are drinking], to limit consumption of alcohol
to one standard drink (one 12-oz beer, 5-oz wine, or 2-oz liquor)
for every two hours. The key to safeguarding bariatric surgery
benefits is to provide appropriate patient education."
The U.S. government recommends that drinking in all adults be
limited to one standard alcoholic drink a day for women and up to
two drinks a day for men.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases
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