Caffeine Interferes with Absorbing Nutrients After Bariatric Surgery

It is the position of the American Medical Association that “moderate tea or coffee drinkers need have no concern for their health relative to their consumption provided lifestyle habits (diet, alcohol consumption) are moderate as well.” Moderate caffeine consumption is considered to be about 300mg, which could be equal to about three, eight oz. cups of coffee, depending who is making the coffee. How much caffeine are you getting in your drinks? The Caffeine Awareness website can help you determine the amount of caffeine in your drinks.

Gastric bypass surgery alters the anatomy of your digestive system. After gastric bypass surgery, you process and absorb things differently than an average person. Patients with Lapband surgery should also be wary and use caffeine in moderation. There is little research on caffeine and bariatric surgery. But as you read on, you may wish to rethink that cup of mojo. Remember, our recommendation is no more than eight oz. coffee/tea per day.

After gastric bypass, you don’t absorb all of your nutrients. Caffeine may further decrease calcium absorption, which in turn may lead to osteoporosis and increased risk for fractures. Therefore calcium should not be taken with caffeine. Caffeine may also decrease iron absorption. Plan your caffeine and food intake carefully. (And remember; don’t take calcium supplement with dairy. You can only absorb a certain amount of calcium at once.)

Caffeine may cause:
• nausea/vomiting
• GI distress
• Dyspepsia
• increase in gastric acid secretion, leading to gastroesophageal reflux and diarrhea

Caffeine is not recommended with peptic ulcer, GERD, or irritable bowel. It may cause ulcers in some people. Caffeine belongs to a family of drugs that are heart and muscle stimulants, cerebral vasoconstrictors and diuretics. Caffeine may cause anorexia in high doses and may increase hunger in some people.

Dehydration is commonly seen after gastric bypass surgeries. Obese patients require greater amounts of fluid to maintain normal fluid balance. Caffeine causes increased urine output, which can increase the risk for dehydration, particularly during rapid weight loss. Caffeine should only be added when adequate hydration is achieved and there are no symptoms of nausea. Fluid needs vary depending on your weight and exercise expenditure. Fluid goal is approximately 64 oz. per day.

So, if you have surgery to improve your health, why would you risk getting ulcers, osteoporosis or other complications?

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