Alcohol and drinking post bypass

One of the things that you have to completely give up (for the first year at least anyway) when having bariatric surgery is alcohol. When making the decision to have my gastric bypass it wasn’t something that worried me as I can quite easily take or leave alcohol. For some people though this would be a big sacrifice.

I waited almost (I will admit I didn’t quite make it) to the year after surgery point to try alcohol again for the first time. I had reached my goal weight and it was New Year’s Eve so I figured why not. I was really interested in seeing what would happen and how it would affect my body now that it was physiologically much different to the last time I had drunk alcohol.

I did feel quite drunk from only a couple of drinks that first time I had some drinks after as it now goes to my head so quickly. Literally half a glass of wine and I’m feeling the full effects of it. The flip side of this is that I can start to feel sober quite quickly again too. Because I am limited by my stomach capacity I can’t drink too much in terms of volume and this is a good regulator in making sure I don’t drink too much at once.

For the first time in my life I’m a cheap drunk. I find wine affects me more as it’s a higher percentage of alcohol but drinks such as cider at a lower percentage don’t affect me as much. The most I have drunk in one sitting is a whole bottle of bubbly and I was really, really drunk. I was stumbling around and was starting to find it hard to read my phone.

I haven’t missed not being able to drink as and when I liked but now that I’m past the year point it is nice to be able to have a drink every now and then to celebrate or when I just feel like it. I find lots of alcohol is carbonated and I don’t particularly enjoy drinking carbonated drinks now because they make me burp like crazy since I have such a small tummy now. This is really good for me in terms of not turning it into a habit.

Alcoholism, especially in females, is a high risk after bariatric surgery and I can see how easily it could happen. I am really mindful of the quantity and frequency of my alcohol intake and if I start to feel like I ‘need’ it then I know I really need to step back and have a break for a while. Addiction transfer can happen when you transfer your addiction from one thing, food, to another such as alcohol.

I’m still now the usual designated sober driver because as I said I can take or leave alcohol and it doesn’t bother me not to have it. There is NO safe drink driving limit after bariatric surgery as your body handles and metabolizes alcohol differently after surgery and it’s just way too risky to even consider.

How do or did you feel about giving alcohol up for a year? Did you find it hard or like me can you take it or leave it? Let me know in the comments below.

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There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Melissa C at 3:29 pm

    Have now read through every one of your blog entries and these have all cemented in my mind that I’m making the right decision to go down the bypass route. Gonna be a long road ahead but your blog has inspired me and definitely given me some hard words (about the hard work) and helped just reading with knowing there is going to be so much mental adjustment. Thank you SO much for your blog, I haven’t found anything else like it out there! <3

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 3:58 pm

      WOW thank you! You have just made my day. That’s everything I was trying to achieve by starting my blog. Feel free to email me from the contact page and let me know how you’re going throughout the process 😀

  2. Andrea at 10:53 pm

    Am coming up on 3 years post gastric bypass – i didnt have alcohol for over a year – but i was never a drinker anyways, can definitely take it or leave it. The first few times i was a really cheap drunk – but i found i sobered up just as quickly as i got drunk. I dont really push it too much as i find the sugar in the alcohol just makes me want to go to sleep anyways – so i don’t have the capacity to drink to ‘drunkeness’ before the tiredness wins! I guess this is a good thing though 🙂

  3. Carolyn at 3:10 pm

    What you mentioned about swapping one addiction for another made me ponder…this is what happened to me…went from alcohol to food when I was in my early 20th….am now 48 years… I do not drink much at all because I feel the pull some time so best to not have it in the house. Have also asked family and friends not to bring it around.
    What makes me think is….will I replace food with something else?

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