Can You Have Caffeine after Gastric Bypass Surgery?

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People hear a lot of different things about caffeine after gastric bypass surgery.  Can you drink coffee after having a gastric bypass?  What will happen if you do?

There are many reasons some people choose to avoid caffeine, whether or not they’ve had gastric bypass surgery:

  • Caffeine can cause feelings of anxiousness or restlessness.
  • Caffeine causes trouble sleeping, especially if consumed less than eight hours before bedtime.
  • Caffeine gives some people diarrhea, especially in large amounts.  It also exacerbates symptoms in many people with irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Caffeine may increase blood pressure and/or heart rate in people with high blood pressure or heart conditions.

In addition to those reasons for avoiding caffeine, gastric bypass patients are often advised to avoid it for additional reasons:

  • Many people, including some medical professionals, believe caffeine is a diuretic and that it increases the risk of dehydration.  However, recent studies indicate that is not the case, unless one is unaccustomed to drinking caffeinated beverages and consumes a very large amount at one time.
  • Caffeine might irritate a healing pouch in the first few weeks after surgery.
  • Caffeine might irritate a developing ulcer and make it worse, although it won’t cause an ulcer in a healthy pouch.
  • Caffeine interferes with the absorption of certain minerals, including iron and calcium, though the effect is slight.  For best results, don’t take your iron or calcium supplements with a caffeinated drink, especially if you know your iron level is already low.

The bottom line:

For most gastric bypass folks, drinking caffeinated beverages in moderation should not pose a problem after the first few weeks, when your insides have healed.  If you have high blood pressure, an anxiety disorder, trouble sleeping, an ulcer (or stomach pain that might be caused by an ulcer), irritable bowel syndrome, or certain other medical problems, it might be better to avoid caffeine, at least for the time being.  Talk to your doctor about it.

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This post was written by , posted on November 12, 2012 Monday at 11:52 pm

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