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Weight loss surgery may cause alcohol addiction

11.09.2017 - Addiction, Bio-R, Eating disorders, Mental health

More and more people are opting for bariatric, or weight loss, surgery. However, new research finds that one of the most common forms of weight loss surgery may raise the risk of alcohol dependence.

Bariatric surgery is an increasingly popular option for those looking to lose weight. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) report that the number of weight loss surgeries in the U.S. has increased from 158,000 in 2011 to almost 200,000 in 2015. 

New Researchers led by Wendy C. King, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in Pennsylvania, set out to examine the long-term evolution of patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. King and colleagues found a link between having the procedure and alcohol problems. Specifically, the team focused on Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) - a type of weight loss surgery that changes the structure of the small intestine and makes the stomach smaller, reducing it to the size of an egg. 

The study revealed that 20.8 percent of RYGB patients went on to develop alcohol use disorder symptoms within 5 years of having the procedure. By contrast, only 11.3 percent of the laparoscopic gastric banding patients developed similar problems.

Antoinette Sarasin-Gianduzzo, Director of Biomolecular Restoration, Nutrition and Lifestyle at The Kusnacht Practice commented: “It is not entirely surprising that this research has found a link between bariatric surgery and alcohol addiction. Overeating can often be the consequence of physiological issues. If these are not addressed, and the person is no longer able to physically eat to feed the reward circuits in our brains, a new substance will be sought to satisfy the cravings.

The true reason why we feel low mood or in need of comfort food, is often linked with complex biochemical imbalances and deficiencies in the body and brain. Humans are a complex biochemistry and to function and feel happy and perfectly well, we need a consistent supply of so called micronutrients which includes essential vitamins, minerals, but also minor elements, amino and fatty acids.

We have successfully pioneered the use of Biomolecular Restoration (Bio-R) at The Kusnacht Practice as a highly effective tool to detect and correct complex biochemical imbalances, stress factors and deficiencies in the body and brain.” 

The full findings of this research were published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

 For more information on Bio-R, please click here or read this interview with Antoinette Sarasin-Gianduzzo.