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.
Kara Fitzgerald, ND, received her doctor of naturopathic medicine degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first Counsel on Naturopathic Medicine-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, PhD. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Fitzgerald is the lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine and is a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)’s Textbook for Functional Medicine. With the Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Fitzgerald is actively engaged in clinical research on the DNA methylome using a diet and lifestyle intervention developed in her practice. The first publication from the study focuses on reversal of biological aging and was published 04-12-2021 in the journal Aging. She has published a consumer book titled Younger You as well as a companion cookbook, Better Broths and Healing Tonics and has an application-based Younger You Program, based on the study.
Dr. Fitzgerald is on the faculty at IFM, is an IFM Certified Practitioner and lectures globally on functional medicine. She runs a Functional Nutrition Residency program, and maintains a podcast series, New Frontiers in Functional Medicine and an active blog on her website, www.drkarafitzgerald.com. Her clinical practice is in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
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