If you’re considering getting weight loss surgery but like your nights out, you might want to think again. Bariatric surgery is a broad group of surgeries that can have an effect on your weight, and most, if not all, of them (including Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) carry the real risk of lowering your alcohol tolerance. This means that a weight loss surgery will make you far more vulnerable to alcohol compared to a normal person.
Your alcohol tolerance is lowered because you have reduced the size of your stomach, and it therefore isn’t there to process the alcohol as effectively as someone with their ‘full stomach’. In a way, this might be seen as a good thing. Alcohol is expensive, so cutting down should help you save a bit of money here and there. You should also lose weight further as there are a lot of calories in alcohol and consuming less should help you reduce your weight further. To take the analysis to the extreme, people are more likely to order takeaways when they have been drinking and so you might even cut down on these too – further weight loss!
Drink driving becomes a problem for bariatric surgery patients too. One study shows that for bariatric patients, one glass of wine consumed quickly would leave them comfortably under the drink drive limit; afterwards it puts them just over the limit. It also took the patients longer (88 minutes compared with 49 minutes) for the alcohol to leave their system.
Weight loss surgery is only recommended for those that have tried all other methods available to reduce their weight, and where weight is becoming a serious health problem with no apparent solution. The fact that the surgery lowers your alcohol tolerance may make you reconsider the surgery option and help motivate you to follow the fitness and dietary approaches first.