Bariatric surgery is a lifesaver for many patients who have it because it allows them to lose weight and keep it off after having tried all other methods. A new study was published recently that showed that not all the side effects of gastric bypass surgery are good. One side effect that patients who have the surgery may suffer from is a substance abuse problem.

Gastric bypass patients risk having an alcohol problem

Yahoo News reported that the latest Weight Loss Surgery study was published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

The latest findings in this new study discovered that one in five patients who have gastric bypass surgery will develop a problem with alcohol. Researchers also discovered that patients who had the gastric bypass procedure were twice as likely to develop a problem with alcohol as those who had the laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedure. While the gastric bypass procedure makes the patient's stomach smaller, the laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedure creates a small pouch to contain food eaten by patients.

Details of the gastric bypass surgery

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, studied 2,348 patients who underwent the gastric bypass surgery.

CBS News reported that the study was conducted over a period of seven years. Researchers said that they noticed that some patients experienced problems within the first two years of having surgery. What researchers didn't expect to happen though was that the number of patients who were experiencing problems with alcohol actually went up the longer it had been after the surgery.

How to combat risk of developing an alcohol problem

Researchers recommended that doctors take a full history of patients and to ask if the patient has had Bariatric surgery. It is important that doctors ask patients who have had the procedure whether they have experienced problems with alcohol and also how much they drink. In a study done by animal researchers, the researchers believed that having the gastric bypass surgery may also affect how the brain processes reward sensitivity and that patients who are sensitive to alcohol would more likely be affected.

Scientists recommend screening, education, and evaluation to discover which patients are the most vulnerable.

Researchers said that the findings were important because alcohol affects patients' ability to maintain weight loss and Alcohol Abuse can lead to vitamin deficiencies. Developing a personalized weight loss plan is key to success when trying to lose weight. The latest weight loss procedure, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, may offer a safer and more effective alternative for patients because it is nonsurgical.