According to a new study, anyone who undergoes bariatric surgery is at risk for a potential alcohol problem.
The study, which was published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Disease, revealed that those who underwent bariatric surgery showed signs of alcohol abuse within five years of having the surgery.
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The study was conducted by a group of researchers from the Pittsburgh Schools of Health and Sciences. They looked at more than 2,000 men and women who had either gastric bypass surgery or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. They found that those who had the former procedure were at twice the risk of developing an alcohol-use disorder.
“The study points out that just losing weight, through surgery alone, may fall short of addressing the reasons for the weight gain in the first place,” explains Concord, CA, plastic surgeon Eric Mariotti, MD. “In many people, food can be one representation of an addictive personality. Limiting the amount of food that one can fit into their stomach may force that addictive personality towards another avenue of release.”
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Researchers from the study are suggesting educating, screening and evaluating for alcohol-use disorders for patients before and after the surgery.
It’s important to note that while the majority of people did not develop an alcohol problem, it’s still a side effect that should be taken into consideration and discussed beforehand.
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