Science

How Alcoholism Is Linked To Extreme Weight-Loss

Recent research out of the University of Pittsburgh Medical centre sheds new light on the correlation between gastric bypass surgery and the increased risk of developing an alcohol addiction.

Previously, it had been suggested that increased alcohol consumption was compensatory for the inability to consume food as one had previously, at levels seeming of addiction. Simply swapping one addiction for another.

But Dr Mitchell Roslin, a bariatric surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, explains that this is not so. Gastric bypass surgery provokes significant weight loss by drastically decreasing the size of ones stomach and shortening the length of the intestine.

“A gastric bypass patient has a small pouch [for a stomach] so alcohol goes straight into the intestine and is absorbed rapidly,” Dr Roslin told the Daily Mail. “When it is absorbed rapidly, there is a high peak and rapid fall, and the higher absorption rate makes alcohol more addictive.”

In a study of 2000 gastric bypass patients, 7 per cent of patients reported symptoms of alcohol misuse prior to surgery. That number had gone up to 10.7 per cent — a not insignificant increase — when the same patients completed the same survey 2 years later.

Both obesity and alcoholism are hazards to ones health. And a family history of alcoholism surely only increases the risk of developing a post-surgery addiction — not to mention the pre-existing mental health conditions, lifestyle triggers, and other various risk factors for addiction.

Is a trimmer figure worth the risk of alcoholism? Is the pain and disruption of alcoholism a cost worth paying for a better body? Avoiding both seems the obvious, better choice. [DailyMail - Image via thaumatrope/Shutterstock]


Have you subscribed to Gizmodo Australia's email newsletter? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.