We’re Here to Help: 877-954-3908

Can Alcohol Cause Stomach Problems?

John Templeton Jr. - January 14, 2020

Blog image

Once you get past all the clichés and old sayings, you know what alcohol can do for you. You know that it’s often used as a way to relax and unwind after a stressful day. It can also help you be more social when you’re out with friends. But you also know that excessive drinking comes at a price.

After a night of binge drinking, you wake up feeling hung over. Everything seems a bit hazy as you try to adapt to the spinning you feel when trying to stand up. There’s something else that’s bothering you: your stomach. It’s a dull pain that continues to get more and more intense as times goes on.

You’re not sure why it’s happening but after a while, the pain subsides. The experience gets you thinking, and you ask yourself an important question. Can alcohol cause stomach problems? We’re here to give you the answer and talk about the effect prolonged heavy drinking can have on your stomach.

Why Does Your Stomach Hurt After Drinking Alcohol?

To answer our initial question, alcohol can cause stomach problems. But why is that the case? It’s because alcohol and digestion share a close link. You might know that your stomach produces acid to help digest nutrients. But did you know that the level of acid in your stomach needs to maintain the right balance?

In the short term, drinking alcohol causes your stomach to produce more acid. The extra acid can cause pain, vomiting and in severe cases, even bleeding. But that’s only the start of the damage that alcohol can cause in the stomach. Your stomach is also covered with mucous cells that keep the acid from causing internal damage. With one episode of heavy drinking, you can damage those mucous cells. Then, your stomach acid causes inflammation right in the lining of your stomach.

While the issues we mentioned above can cause discomfort, they are easier to deal with than the long-term damage excessive drinking can cause for your stomach.

3 Long-Term Stomach Problems from Drinking Alcohol

1. Gastritis

Gastritis is when your stomach lining becomes inflamed, risking additional infections in your body. What does alcohol have to do with it? With frequent heavy drinking, alcohol erodes the lining in your stomach like we mentioned above. This is known as Alcohol Gastritis, and it’s common for those suffering from an alcohol addiction.

As the stomach lining becomes more inflamed, your risk of more dangerous issues increases. Alcohol Gastritis can cause gastrointestinal tract bleeding. This is considered a major medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention to resolve it. If the bleeding and stomach lining erosion continue as a result from drinking, surgery is often needed to repair the damage.

2. Stomach Ulcers

Ulcers are a result of a certain bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori. That bacteria infects the stomach lining until a sore develops. Light drinking has been known to help prevent ulcers, since alcohol sterilizes any H. pylori in the stomach. But heavy drinking increases the risk of ulcers developing. As the stomach lining erodes, it becomes easier for H. pylori to attach to any openings.

It’s easy for people who abuse alcohol to get caught in a painful cycle with stomach ulcers. Excessive drinking makes it more difficult for stomach ulcers to heal. And if someone is suffering from an alcohol addiction, it can be challenging to cut back long enough for the condition to heal.

3. Gastric Cancer

One of the worst stomach problems caused by drinking alcohol is gastric cancer. But according to a variety of studies, your risk is only increased if you’re a heavy drinker. That means you’re consuming four or more drinks per day. It’s important to note that men are more likely to develop stomach cancer from excessive drinking.

Do you remember the H. pylori bacteria we mentioned earlier? The more time that bacteria is exposed in your stomach, the higher risk you have for stomach cancer.

Ending Alcohol Addiction for a Healthier Life

To help prevent all of the stomach problems caused by alcohol, it’s recommended to limit or stop drinking. If you or a loved one have an alcohol addiction, you might need some help to break the cycle of abuse.

Footprints Beachside Recovery offers alcohol addiction treatment that takes a person-centered approach. We know that every alcohol addiction is unique. That’s why we tailor your alcohol treatment to your specific physical, mental and emotional needs.

Your healing journey is more than detoxing from alcohol. Our program focuses on a holistic and evidence-based approach where we work to identify the underlying causes of your alcohol addiction. We’ve been where you are. And while it might seem intimidating at first, one step forward in your recovery can spark lasting change.

Contact Our Florida Alcohol Rehab Center Today

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we’re dedicated to helping you get past your alcohol addiction to a healthier life. On the scenic shores of Treasure Island, positive change is waiting to be discovered. If you’re ready to take the first step in your recovery journey, contact us today. Our compassionate staff is ready to hear your story.

Call Now: 877-250-3935