Nearly 1 in 25 individuals who undergo bariatric bypass or sleeve surgery engage in unhealthy alcohol use up to eight years after surgery, according to a study of military veterans.
This retrospective analysis of over 2,600 US veterans with no prior history of unhealthy alcohol use before bariatric surgery found those who underwent sleeve surgery had a 3.5% higher risk, and those who underwent gastric bypass had 4.8% higher risk, of unhealthy use of alcohol. Why is this? One reason for this is that addictive behaviors aren’t concurrently addressed. Increased alcohol use can represent changing one addictive behavior -eating- for another- alcohol. As healthcare providers, it’s important to be mindful of this potential and provide additional support for addiction as needed.
There are also several commonly seen nutrient deficits (listed below) in those who are post-sleeve or bypass surgery.
Common Nutrient Deficits Related to Bariatric Surgery
- Iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium
- Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K
- Water-soluble vitamins B1, B9, B12, vitamin C