Women who have gastric bypass surgery to lose weight should keep a close eye on their alcohol consumption, according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Researchers found that changes in how alcohol is metabolized after surgery can speed its delivery into the bloodstream, resulting in earlier and higher peaks in blood-alcohol levels. The researchers said that although this study was conducted in women, they suspect the same changes may affect men.
THE MOST COMMON WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY IN THE WORLD IS GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY. WHEN SOMEONES HEALTH IS THREATENED BY OBESITY, THE SURGERY CAN HELP THAT PERSON LOSE A LOT OF WEIGHT. BUT ITS ALSO ASSOCIATED WITH A RISK FOR ALCOHOL PROBLEMS, AND RESEARCHERS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN ST. LOUIS HAVE FOUND THAT AFTER THE SURGERY, SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER LEVELS OF ALCOHOL GET INTO THE BLOODSTREAM, EVEN WHEN PEOPLE DONT DRINK VERY MUCH. JIM DRYDEN HAS MORE
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY NUTRITION AND OBESITY RESEARCHER YANINA PEPINO SAYS GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY HAS HELPED A LOT OF PEOPLE LOSE A LOT OF WEIGHT. THATS THE GOOD NEWS. THE BAD NEWS IS THAT IF PEOPLE DRINK AFTER THE SURGERY, THEIR BODIES WILL METABOLIZE ALCOHOL DIFFERENTLY.
(act) :20 o/c of alcohol
This surgery not only helps you lose weight, but by changing
the way that the gastro-intestinal system, it is affecting
not only nutrient absorption but also the absorption of alcohol.
By affecting alcohol absorption in this important way, its
changing how much alcohol your brain will see after you just
have a small or moderate amount of alcohol.
PEPINO AND HER COLLEAGUES LOOKED AT THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL IN 17 WOMEN, COMPARING 8 WOMEN WHO HAD UNDERGONE GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY TO 9 OBESE WOMEN WHO HADNT YET HAD THE PROCEDURE. ALL DRANK THE EQUIVALENT OF ABOUT 2 ALCOHOLIC DRINKS, AND PEPINOS TEAM MEASURED THEIR BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS. THE WOMEN WHO HAD THE OPERATION GOT DRUNKER, HAD HIGHER BLOOD ALCOHOL CONTENT AND REMAINED AFFECTED BY THE ALCOHOL MUCH LONGER. SHE SAYS THE DIFFERENCES WERE RELATED TO MORE THAN ONLY POST-SURGICAL WEIGHT LOSS.
(act) :26 o/c of alcohol
Theyre almost getting the same amount of alcohol similar to
about two standard drinks of alcohol however, we see a doubling
of how much alcohol they have in their blood. And this is because
by removing this part of the stomach, alcohol will almost immediately
go to the liver. You are metabolizing alcohol much less efficiently.
Youll be much more sensitive, and more drunk, after having the
gastric bypass, even when you drink a very small amount of alcohol.
SHE SAYS AFTER GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY, ITS ALMOST LIKE TAKING ALCOHOL INTRAVENOUSLY RATHER THAN DRINKING IT.
(act) :18 o/c higher concentration
It resembles very much if you were giving them alcohol intravenously
because their stomach is significantly reduced, and the first part
of the intestine is completely bypassed alcohol doesnt go through
there you would see its almost like youre getting alcohol in
your veins. And so alcohol will immediately be seen by the brain in
a much higher concentration.
FOR THE GASTRIC BYPASS PATIENTS IN THE STUDY, PEPINO SAYS INSTEAD OF TWO DRINKS, IT WAS AS IF THEY HAD CONSUMED FOUR. AND SHE SAYS THAT CAN PUT SOME PEOPLE AT RISK FOR ALCOHOL USE DISORDERS BECAUSE THE FASTER THE ALCOHOL GETS TO THE BRAIN, AND THE MORE ALCOHOL THAT GETS THERE, THE HIGHER THE LIKELIHOOD OF ALCOHOL PROBLEMS.
(act) :26 o/c standard drinks
When youre drinking alcohol after gastric bypass surgery, youre
having a higher peak, and much faster. So this is increasing the risks
of an alcohol use disorder. After the gastric bypass, we found that
they reach these peak alcohol levels in just a few minutes five
minutes after they drink just a little bit more than one-and-a-
half standard drinks. People may be engaging in this binge drinking
by drinking a very small, or moderate, amount of alcohol, less than
two standard drinks.
PEPINO SAYS ALTHOUGH THIS STUDY WAS DONE IN WOMEN, ITS LIKELY MEN ALSO METABOLIZE ALCOHOL DIFFERENTLY AFTER GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY. SHE REPORTED HER FINDINGS IN THE JOURNAL JAMA SURGERY. IM JIM DRYDEN