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ShoeLovr 01-22-2013 06:13 PM

Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
My husband had gastric bypass surgery (RNY), approximately three years ago. He lost right around 100 lbs and has kept it off, so no issue there. He's had crazy issues with blood sugar - according to the endocrinologist he has too much insulin circulating so it can cause these crazy crashes where his blood sugar dips very low. If he eats regularly and maintains his protein he is fine.

Until Jan 1 of this year, he had become what I would definitely call a functioning alcoholic. Although not functional at all while he was drinking. He would get completely blottoed at minimum 3-4 times a week. Oddly enough, never really a hangover or anything. But he would slur, stumble around and just generally look like a skid row drunk. He finally realized he had a problem and quit on Jan 1. We'll see if it lasts...but that's not the reason for my message.

I just read an article this week about the real emotional issues that cause weight gain to begin with (although let me say I do not believe everyone eats out of emotional issues - but I do think it's true in his case). Then when food can no longer be used to medicate as it did before, the person moves to something else, oftentimes alcohol, as in my husband's case.

Even generally speaking, I think his personality has changed. He is much more irritable and can be irrational sometimes too. Has anyone experienced this with loved ones or even in yourself? He's a different man.I would be thrilled to hear any other opinions here. There are days I feel like I'm going crazy or imagining things, especially if I listen to him.

Thanks for any input!

karensk 01-27-2013 09:52 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
I knew we were in for trouble after my husband's laparoscopic Roux-en-Y bypass. You see, he had been a binge eater, and then he decided *bam* to have the surgery, never tried any other diet, nothing. He was determined that being obese was the root of all his problems, and that being thin would solve everything.

Needless to say, his personality did change and he got so nasty and self-absorbed after the surgery, and also started drinking in a problematic fashion (had never really done this prior). He also went crazy spending, wanting all new clothes, even while our bills went unpaid.

I had enough of his behaviors and have filed for divorce. We were married 18 yrs. My feeling about many of the folks having this surgery is this: If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. Not saying the surgery is a walk in the park by any means, but those who manage to lose a great deal on their own will be powerfully transformed in a good way, both physically and mentally. Many who have the surgery are like my husband, literally seeking the 'easy way out' and the results can be disastrous.

Google "addiction transfer" after gastric bypass and you will get tons more info.

writeleft 01-27-2013 10:22 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
You two are not alone. Without proper counseling or emotional support before and after surgery, there are many pitfalls to the surgery itself becoming a catalyst for the onset of such issues, as you both describe.

I have a friend who is facing the early stages of other negative effects of bypass surgery her husband is having, and I really feel for all of you. I wish each of you the best while trying to cope with this huge elephant in the room. Please protect yourself from the out lash this can have on a family and relationships. I would suggest counseling if it not to late, as the potential for positive outcomes are determined on the adjustment period being clearly understood and rules in place to avoid this transfer of addictions.

Wishing well to all...

ShoeLovr 01-28-2013 02:26 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
Karen and Janet, thank you for your replies. I can see I'm not alone in this. I'm actually in counseling right now to see if there is some way I can learn to cope with all of this. I now believe that people that are thinking of undergoing any type of weight loss surgery should be thoroughly screened by a psychiatrist. It's become such a popular surgery,

My husband does not see the underlying issue with all of this. It's just a really difficult situation overall. I'll bet there are so many marriages that end over this.

So sad.

Thanks again for responding.

jacksinn1966 08-13-2013 10:46 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
I have to ask this. Your husband went from being a nice guy to a monster after the bypass? I had one in 2010 and found that the only change is that Im more out going. I have read that other men have has this change in them. I have many friends that had this done and none of them have had this personality change. Im sorry that your getting divorced and hope that he can change his ways. I just dont see how this is related to the bypass. I would like to do some research on the internet about this. I went from having constant migraines to not having ANY since my surgery and they cant explain that. Someone said its the easy way out. I can tell you its not true its a whole life changing experience and it very difficult in a lot of ways that you wouldnt understand unless you had one.

WonderElf 08-23-2013 04:00 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
I find it very interesting that all the posters are referring to men when they talk about negative behavioral change. Both sexes emotional eat, but many times women can find alternate activities or have the social forum (look at all the posters right here)to work through issues. Women are far more likely to seek help on their own, most men seek help only when pushed (no, I have no stats on that, only personal experience). I agree with "addiction transference", it is a real issue. Also be aware that a lot of anger can come from drastic weight loss.

I am a gastric sleeve patient and my mother is a bypass patient. We both had major anger issues arise AFTER the surgery. Why? We did not recognize our bodies and food, which gave us such solace before, was no longer available (classic emotional eaters tied with poor genetics). This combined with people constantly commenting on our bodies, what we were putting in our mouths, etc. But we had each other to share our frustration; frustration that we had to hide every time someone said, "You look great! Don't you feel just wonderful now?" No, not everyday. Not even on days when the scale number dropped. Because one's weight can be a major part of your identity and your identity is under fire.

I bet most men don't feel comfortable expressing any turmoil after surgery, it may not seem very masculine to their families who are being their cheerleaders (which I am sure you very supportive spouses were).

Shoe, you are not going nuts, he probably is a different person and I bet even he can't even express why he feels the way he does. Men have such a "there is a problem, I'll fix it" and women are "there is a problem, let's talk about it" I have no doubt you did your best to be supportive and it sounds like he didn't share how to help him, making it your problem and not owning it himself.

No need to slam the surgery itself, but it can be an issue that arises and I agree, there has to be as much emphasis in pre-op training for emotional issues as dietary ones.

Laurmann 09-20-2013 02:29 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
Hi - my husband had a gastric bypass last year and has lost an incredible amount of weight. He has however started drinking more than ever (without any weight gain) and has become very verbally abusive and loses his temper even quicker than before. I am finding it very hard to cope with. When drunk, he now says that he is interesting and that I am boring and dull. Every day/night has become a nightmare. I am going to try to contact AA to see if they have any experience with this. Anyone else out there?

captjane 09-20-2013 11:15 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
[QUOTE=Laurmann;5225007] He has however started drinking more than ever (without any weight gain) and has become very verbally abusive and loses his temper even quicker than before. [/QUOTE]

Part of his behaviour may be from the alcohol abuse, and one of the problems with bypass is that alcohol gets absorbed faster, so it has a similar effect to what heavy drinkers do, i.e drink fast to get the buzz as soon as possible, with the faster absorption, it has this same effect into a quicker drunken state and that has a very strong affect on the brain and how it reacts. Addiction transference would play a big part in this too because if a person can't eat what they want to feel good, then alcohol can easily become a suitable substitute. I think your husband is setting himself up for alcohol addiction with his behaviour, but he just doesn't realise it yet, so you do need to prepare yourself that this could get much worse. I definitely think you need to look into support groups or some form of counseling because it sounds like your husband is really on a slippery slope right now, and there may not be a lot you can do to stop it.

With alcohol addiction there is usually a honeymoon phase where alcohol is doing a good job of making a drinker happy, but over time the brain chemistry changes and it gets harder to get that same good feeling, so a heavy drinker will just drink more and end up feeling miserable because the alcohol won't deliver because the brain is blocking the effects, and by that time the person is usually dependent and has trouble stopping. Right now I think your husband is in this classic honeymoon phase

basia71 10-04-2013 12:17 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
My husband is the same, he had surgery may 2011 and his personality changed so dramatically Im scared of him. he goes out drinking with his "so called friends" all hours of the night and then expects me to say nothing. I have threathened to throw him out of the house numerous times, but havent done it yet. Just a few weeks ago he told me he was having an affair, of course I broke down and cried for a week, I went to see a phsych and got some meds to calm down. then later my husband said he lied and didnt know why. I keep telling him there is something wrong with him, he has changed and all he does is get angry and violent, he had broken doors, wireless phones and punched walls. as I said Im scared of him. I finally conatcted the DR that did the surgery and told him what was happening and he set up an appt ASAP. I had no idea that personalities could change so much. I am greatful that I saw your post. THANK YOU. I though I was the only one going thru this stuff.

basia71 10-05-2013 05:33 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
can you tell me how you are dealing iwth it? I am at my end of the rope. I love my husband dearly, but I just cant stand the abuse anymore. please, if you can, ket me know. Basia

bob5183 10-22-2013 03:02 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
I am a male that has gone through the gastric sleeve route on January 2012. I was 265 and now down to 185. The first 3 months I had to baby my stomach-throwing up,food stuck in my throat, gastric leak,-let's just say I went through hell to get this weight off. I had diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, metabolic syndrome-all of which are normal-that is for now. I have known people that have known other people that have had this done and wound up putting the weight back on. It is something I think about EVERY day. I am seeing stretch marks starting to form in places that were'nt fat before, and fat deposits in my groin area which isstarting to look a little gross when I sit nude. I have had numerous comments on how good I look-although I have noticed quite a few wrinkles on my face that looks to have aged me 10-12 years. I did go through a total transformation looks wise, and I do take the vitamins and morning shake, but mentally I'm a bit of a wreck.
I started drinking in late March last year. By May I was up to 1.75L of Vodka every 4-5 days. My SO never said anything, but I felt bad for her as she put up with it and thought it was only a phase. I was never abusive in any way, just liked to sit and drink.
Back in December 2012, I was diagnosed with ADD and was put on Concerta. My drinking stopped cold turkey-absolutely NO desire for alcohol at all. Unfortunately it led to side effects of being ****** off all the time so had to quit. Next up-Strattera-felt too much on a weird buzz on that one. I am presently on Wellbutrin 300mg for ADD and depression. I have cut down on the alcohol consumption-down to 7-8 light beers everyday, but still want some sort of self-medication. You are not supposed to drink on Wellbutrin, but alcoholics are not to stop cold turkey-that's why I am cutting down gradually. Wellbutrin has a sexual side effect that I REALLY like , and alcohol just numbs those really good feelings.
At this stage of the game, I don't know whether the gastric sleeve caused an addiction transfer to make me an alcoholic, the ADD (which I have had since 5-6 and not diagnosed) and needing brain stimulation, the alcoholism requiring an anti-depressant, or depression casing the alcoholism. But since I am on Wellbutrin, my outlook is looking up. Let's just say I am more fun to be around.

jgilliam1955 03-08-2014 06:48 AM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
The blood sugar will cause this. I developed this also. But it runs in my family. As for drinking it should not be done. It will hit you harder than a normal stomach person. A friend lost his job from drinking after having gastric sleeve done.

Lisah507 04-28-2014 10:39 AM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
I know this is an older post however I seem to be going to the same issues. Can you tell me if there's anything that you were able to do

karensk 04-28-2014 10:52 PM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
Thankfully I got a notification from the boards that more people had replied. Wanted to stop back here and add to this a bit more.

On advice of a really good friend, I got involved with Al-Anon, even though my almost-ex (final papers signed now, awaiting judge to sign them) is out of the house. I go to "in person" meetings and also am a member of a totally private ******** group that does online Al-Anon meetings a few times weekly for people who can't get there "in person." One of the most helpful things about Al-Anon was helping me to realize that he is sick, an addict. Whether it is food or drugs or sex or gambling or booze, it is an illness and the addict is going to pursue their addiction until they either hit "bottom" and find recovery or they die. I did not cause this, I cannot control it, and I can't cure it. Period. Then I started working on me, my reactions to him, etc. I will be eternally grateful for the fellowship and the peace this program has brought me.

In addition, I also sought counseling for myself with my work EAP program. They found me a counselor who is 30 yrs sober now himself and it was tremendously helpful. Even brought the soon-to-be ex in for a few sessions in reference to our parenting together.

No one (male or female) should have to put up with abuse and have anguish in their lives. I hope and pray that many of you can find the peace that I now have, either with our without your partners. I have let go of much of the resentment and am focused on keeping the kids safe in our parenting relationship (such as I do all the driving, even though it is inconvenient, because he drinks so much). Lots of luck to all of you!

red robbin 04-29-2014 08:18 AM

Re: Personality and other changes after gastric bypass surgery?
This describes my husband who underwent the surgery in December. He is irritable and hybernates after coming home from work. I thought it was me looking at him differently, but his personality has changed. He was not demanding before or quick to make a barb, but now it is frequent. Glad I am not alone.

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