Another possible side effect of gastric bypass surgery and other extreme weight loss measures may include an increased risk of alcohol abuse, according to new research.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers from the University of Pittsburgh identified a possible link between alcohol use disorder (AUD) and bariatric surgery; a category encompassing a number of stomach-altering operations designed to cause drastic weight loss.
The research was designed to follow up on anecdotal claims that have surrounded gastric bypass, which involves surgically altering the stomach to be a fraction of its original size.
Researchers conducted a prospective cohort study of 2,458 people who underwent gastric bypass surgery or had a lap-band implanted at 10 U.S. hospitals. They found that there was a sudden 10% increase in alcohol abuse among people who received bariatric surgery two years after the operations. The strongest association was with gastric bypass surgery and seen among men and younger participants.
Gastric bypass surgery alters the size and shape of the stomach and intestines in order to address issues of extreme obesity and to promote rapid weight loss. The procedure has gained in popularity in recent years as a solution for extremely overweight individuals.
According to a different study published last September, complications from gastric bypass and other forms of bariatric surgery are frequently seen, including malnutrition, vision problems, vitamin deficiencies and other health problems. All of the procedures, including the lap-band and duodenal surgery as well as gastric bypass, require nutritional supplements and a major alteration of the recpient’s diet for the rest of their life.
Some doctors have also expressed concern that gastric bypass surgery may trigger a genetic disorder in some patients that leads to genetic mutations, causing uncontrolled weight loss and possibly death.
About 220,000 people in the U.S. underwent bariatric surgery in 2009. Gastric bypass is the most popular, and duodenal is only performed in about 1% of those operations and is reserved for the most extreme cases of obesity.
Tags: Gastric Bypass