Can I Have Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery can help people who have struggled with obesity lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Weight loss success after bariatric surgery requires patients to make changes to their diets. At Tijuana Bariatrics, our team gives patients the tools and support they need to reach their weight loss goals.
After bariatric surgery, every calorie counts. Patients will need to consume foods rich in nutrients. As a result, alcohol should be avoided during recovery. Learn more about bariatric surgery and alcohol in this blog post from our Tijuana, Mexico, weight loss team.
Can I Drink Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery?
It’s important that patients avoid alcohol immediately after bariatric surgery and throughout recovery, but alcohol may eventually be consumed in moderation.
The length of time patients must wait after having bariatric surgery is best decided between the patient and their doctor. However, patients are generally cleared to have an occasional alcoholic beverage about six months to a year after surgery.
Why Avoid Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery?
Even after recovery, patients must be very careful about what they eat and drink after bariatric surgery. Because there is significantly limited space in the stomach after bariatric surgery, everything that is consumed needs to be as healthy and nutritious as possible.
Alcohol is high in calories but devoid of important nutrients. Consuming too much alcohol after bariatric surgery can lead to malnutrition among other problems such as:
- Addiction transfer: When food intake is reduced with bariatric surgery, some patients with a food addiction may transfer their addiction to something else, like alcohol.
- Low blood sugar: Alcohol consumption can increase the risk of low blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia, in some patients.
- Weight gain: Alcohol is often high in calories, but very low in nutrients. Consuming alcohol after bariatric surgery can lead to weight gain or cause weight loss to slow.
- Intoxication Can Happen Fast: After bariatric surgery, some people find that they feel the effects of alcohol faster and with less alcohol. One reason may be a result of eating less food while drinking, as well as changes to the metabolism sometimes seen in patients after bariatric surgery.
Reintroducing Alcohol After Bariatric Surgery
Although the healthiest option for our Tijuana patients is to abstain from alcohol, many patients can eventually enjoy alcohol after bariatric surgery as long as they drink responsibly and in moderation. Here are some things to remember when reintroducing alcohol into your diet after bariatric surgery:
- Avoid drinks made with sugary mixers, as these add a lot of calories to a cocktail
- Avoid mixing alcohol with carbonated beverages, as carbonation can cause reflux and pain
- Drink with meals to help slow the absorption of alcohol
- Be mindful that a small amount of alcohol can cause intoxication after bariatric surgery
- Never drink and drive, even after a small amount of alcohol
Contact Tijuana Bariatrics
For answers to your questions about bariatric surgery, or to find out if you’re a candidate, we welcome you to send us a message to schedule a consultation at our Tijuana bariatric surgery center.