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Radical Gastric Bypass Surgery Heightens the Effects of Alcohol

According to a study conducted it has been noted that the radical gastric bypass surgery heightens the effect of alcohol.In a frantic bid to loose weight they end up with drink problem and more weight.

Obesity is one of the leading, if not the leading, public health crisis in the industrialized world. More than 60 percent of adult Americans are overweight, 23.9 percent are obese and 3 percent are extremely obese. Being overweight can lead to a slew of life-threatening problems, including diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

Losing weight is an uphill battle especially for the morbidly obese. Diet and exercise often fail. Drugs are not very effective. And in the end, many people suffer for years only to be left with one last and very expensive resort: surgery.

According to the new study, bariatric surgery -- especially gastric bypass, which reduces the size of the stomach and adds a bypass around part of the small intestine -- is the most effective treatment for morbid obesity. It is also one of the most common obesity operation performed in the United States with about 177,600 people undergoing the procedure last year. Federal guidelines say a person should be at least 100 pounds overweight and should have tried traditional weight-loss means before choosing surgery.

Bariatric surgery isn't a cure-all. There are still significant diet and lifestyle changes that need to be enforced. Bypass surgery cuts the amount of alcohol metabolized by the stomach and patients who have gastric bypass are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol.

Dr. John Morton, director of bariatric surgery at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics conducted a study involving 19 people who had had gastric bypass surgery at least one year prior.

All participants then underwent an Dr. John Morton every five minutes until the levels reached zero.

The gastric bypass patients had a peak alcohol level of 0.08 percent, vs. 0 .05 percent for the controls. In some states, 0.08 is considered intoxicated, Morton said.

The gastric patients also needed an average of 108 minutes to get back to zero, while the controls needed an average of 72 minutes. Also, the gastric bypass patients reported the same symptoms, even though their breath alcohol levels were higher.

As people loose weight they also become socially active and drinking alcohol becomes a part of the social activity.

This is also something patients have to be aware of," Morton said. "The bottom line is alcohol use after gastric bypass should be used with caution, and certainly patients shouldn't have even a single drink and drive."


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