Many are aware of the risks of drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. The increased absorption leads to the effects being felt far quicker and more intensely, along with a number of other detriments to one’s physical and mental health. This, however, is not the only way that drinking negatively impacts gastrointestinal functions. So, exactly how does alcohol affect the stomach, and what are the signs that medical intervention is needed? Learn the answers to these questions and more with Banyan Treatment Centers Sebring.
How Does Alcohol Affect Your Stomach?
There are a number of ways that drinking can affect the stomach and related organs. These can range in severity and may last short-term as well as continue to remain over time.
Effects of alcohol on the stomach include:
- Stomach lining irritation: One of alcohol's most noticeable initial effects is its ability to irritate the lining of the stomach. This may result in stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting as symptoms. Inflammation, ulcers, and other digestive issues can develop over time as a result of persistent discomfort.
- Reduced production of digestive enzymes: Alcohol can also affect the activity and production of stomach-based digestive enzymes. The body may have a harder time effectively digesting meals and absorbing nutrients as a result.
- Increased risk of digestive disorders: Consuming alcohol raises one's chances of getting gastritis, acid reflux, and stomach ulcers, among other digestive conditions. Heavy drinkers and those who drink on an empty stomach have a higher chance of developing complications.
- Heightened risk of cancer: Long-term heavy drinking has been associated with an increased chance of acquiring numerous types of cancer, including stomach cancer. The specific mechanism underlying this association is still unclear, but it is generally accepted to be connected to the way alcohol breaks DNA and interferes with cell activity.
- Negative impact on liver functions: Finally, it's important to remember that alcohol use can negatively affect a person’s liver health, which in turn can compromise general digestive health. Alcohol is processed by the liver, and chronic heavy drinking can harm liver cells over time. This may result in liver conditions like cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Now that we have effectively answered the question “How does alcohol affect the stomach?”, it is worth considering what steps a person can take to heal their body.
How to Heal Your Stomach From Alcohol
If you've been drinking heavily and, as a result, are experiencing stomach problems, there are steps you can take to help heal your stomach and improve your digestive health. The first and most important step is to stop drinking entirely. This can help stop future irritation or inflammation while allowing your body to concentrate on mending any harm already done.
Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet can also improve the health of your digestive system and give your body the nutrition it requires for healing. Focus on eating more lean proteins, healthy grains, and fruits and vegetables. Additionally, you might want to think about including foods like yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods, which are considered to be beneficial for the digestive system.
You might want to discuss with a healthcare professional any additional measures you can take to support your digestive health. Your doctor may suggest drugs, dietary supplements, or other treatments to assist in addressing any underlying concerns and aid recovery, depending on your symptoms and the severity of your disease.
Addressing the Addiction
For those who are ready to break away from the complications and struggles of alcoholism, Banyan's Sebring drug rehab offers an alcohol addiction treatment program that can turn the situation around. We also highly suggest that anyone in the midst of active addiction seek out care from our alcohol detox program. This ensures that all withdrawal symptoms that a person may experience can be addressed in a safe and medically monitored manner. There is so much that our rehab centers in Sebring, FL, have to offer. All it takes is a phone call to discover that for yourself.
Call Banyan’s drug rehab in Sebring at 888-280-4763 to learn how we can help you or a loved one recover from the physical and mental tolls of alcoholism.