New study reveals bariatric surgeries may double peak blood alcohol levels

Based on a latest study two of the most popular forms of bariatric surgery- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy may substantially change patient’s sensitivity to absorption of alcohol.

The study was conducted by team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which included participation of 55 women.

The findings concluded that some women’s sensitivity to alcohol notably increased after bariatric surgery. The amount they consumed before feeling the effects became less by half in comparison to their pre-surgery drinking habits. Consuming an alcoholic beverage was equivalent to two standard drinks. Furthermore, women with gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy surgery experienced blood-alcohol concentration peaks sooner than twice as high- 50% above the .08% blood alcohol content.

The conclusions of the study agreed with those of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy which show a twofold increase in the level of peak blood alcohol levels.

“About a third of women in the study felt almost no sedative effects, even when they reached peak blood alcohol concentrations that were comparable to those of women in the general population consuming four standard drinks,” commented Yanina Pepino, a professor of food science and human nutrition. “People who have not had bariatric surgery and are less sensitive to the sedative or impairing effects of alcohol, and those who are more sensitive to its stimulant effects, are generally at greater risks for developing alcohol problems, even decades later.”

Researchers believe studying post-bariatric surgery patients with Alcohol Sensitivity can further help to identify people with increased risk of alcohol problems after the surgery, thus helping clinicians to provide effective prevention programs for such patients.