Can weight loss surgery cause alcohol problems?

Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pa. - Gastric bypass surgery to lose weight could increase your risk of developing problems with alcohol.
 
A new Pitt study found that one in five patients showed symptoms of 'alcohol use disorder' within five years.
 
"We knew there was an increase in the number of people experiencing problems with alcohol within the first two years of surgery, but we didn't expect the number of affected patients to continue to grow throughout seven years of follow-up," said lead author Wendy C. King, Ph.D,  associate professor of  epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
 
King said that she and her team discovered that 20.8 percent of participants developed symptoms of alcohol use disorder within five years of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). In contrast, only 11.3 percent of patients who underwent gastric banding reported problem alcohol use.
 
The surgery significantly reduces the size of the stomach and changes connections with the small intestine.
 
 

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