Bariatric surgeries are surgical procedures that can bring about weight loss by restricting the amount of food that the stomach can hold. Some of the common procedures include gastric bypass, also known as the Roux-en-Y, gastric bypass (RYGB), sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric band and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS). Though there are risks involved, weight loss surgeries are becoming increasingly popular, as most of them are minimally invasive surgery procedures.
However, with the prevalence of obesity in the U.S. (36.5 percent of adults), apart from the increased rate of occurrence of physical health-related problems like diabetes, hypertension, cardiopulmonary failure, the preference of bariatric surgeries over healthier options for losing weight such as diet control and exercising has given rise to other risks like alcohol addiction.
Apart from the common risks associated with any surgery due to anaesthesia or infection, there are other risks including malnutrition due to reduced stomach size, problems with absorption of nutrients in the digestive track, osteoporosis and weakened skeletal structure, long-term intolerance towards food among others.
A recent study has highlighted the association of gastric bypass surgeries with increased alcohol use among the patients. The researchers from the University of Pittsburgh stated that one in five people who undergo weight loss surgeries are most likely to develop alcohol use disorder (AUD). The study covered 10 hospitals where 2,348 participants who underwent RYGB and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) completed the baseline and follow-up assessments. The findings indicated an increase in cases of AUD among those who underwent RYGB within a period of five years. Those who underwent LAGB form of treatment experienced increased alcohol consumption but not AUD.
Due to the common occurrence of obesity in the country, such surgeries have become unavoidable. It is estimated that the number of bariatric surgeries had increased from 158,000 in 2011 to 196,000 in 2015. With more and more people opting for the easier route to go slim, there is a need for preventive measures to reduce the impact of these risks. Physicians should assess patients’ medical history to spot any traces of substance abuse or mental health issues. Candidates with active alcohol use should be given appropriate treatment and long-term monitoring should be part of the pre- and post-surgery treatment procedure. On the other hand, knowledge about the benefits and the risks involved during and after surgical procedures among treatment seekers might help them avoid indulgence in harmful substances like alcohol.
Alcohol addiction is more than just a social evil. It is a disorder that requires treatment. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems like pancreatic cancer, liver diseases, and death. It is imperative that treatment is sought at the earliest for full recovery through medication and therapy. Early intervention ensures a long-term recovery with much less during detox.
The Arizona Alcohol Addiction Helpline can help individuals recover from alcohol addiction and take control of their lives by providing the right information about the symptoms as well as treatment options suiting a person’s needs. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-671-1510 to get connected to the best facilities in alcohol addiction treatment in Arizona which provide therapeutic programs in a safe and secure environment. You can also chat with one of our trained specialists to know more about the finest alcohol addiction treatment centers in Arizona.