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Drinking Effects On The Stomach: Alcohol Bloating

Millions of people drink alcohol regularly, but many don’t understand the risks associated with excessive drinking and the effects that it can have on your stomach and digestive system. Alcohol abuse can have serious consequences, so it’s important to be informed and take steps to protect yourself. Alcohol can irritate the digestive system and change how the body absorbs fluids over time and also cause inflammation issues in the intestines. Alcohol abuse may change the regularity of a person’s bowel movements and could result in either diarrhea or constipation. Drinking too much alcohol can damage the stomach and gut over time.

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How Your Digestive System Processes Alcohol

The majority of alcohol absorption takes place in the small intestine after passing through the stomach. Alcohol is much more quickly absorbed into the small intestine than in the stomach. Alcohol can be detected in the blood minutes after taking your first sip.

From your small intestine, alcohol moves into your large intestine (or colon) and then into your blood. As alcohol enters your bloodstream, it affects your brain and nervous system. You might feel relaxed or happy after having a drink or two. But as more alcohol enters your bloodstream, you may feel dizzy, confused, or sleepy.

Alcohol is metabolized (or processed) by your liver. But because the liver can only metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a time, the rest stays in your bloodstream until it’s metabolized. That’s why your blood alcohol level continues to rise even after you stop drinking.

How quickly alcohol is metabolized depends on several factors, including: 

  • Your gender—men typically metabolize alcohol faster than women
  • Your weight—the more you weigh, the longer it takes to metabolize alcohol.
  • The type of alcoholic beverage you’re drinking—darker liquors like brandy and whiskey are metabolized more slowly than lighter drinks like vodka and gin.
  • Whether you have food in your stomach—food slows down the absorption of alcohol.
  • Whether you have certain medical conditions—certain health conditions like alcoholic liver disease can interfere with alcohol metabolism.
  • Your age—as we age, our bodies become less efficient at metabolizing alcohol.

Alcohol Affects Your Digestive System?

Alcohol consumption can have short- and long-term effects on your digestive system. In the short term, alcohol consumption can lead to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and increased stomach acid and digestive enzymes productions. This can cause stomach ulcers, heartburn, and nausea. Long-term effects of chronic alcohol consumption can include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, pancreatitis, and fatty liver disease.

People who frequently drink too much, acid reflux can become a chronic and serious problem.” Chronic alcohol abuse is also a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus, stomach, and pancreas. By understanding the risks, you can make informed decisions about your alcohol consumption and take steps to protect your health.

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Common Questions: Alcohol & Stomach Issues

How Long Does Alcohol Stomach Bloating Last?

For some people, the effects of alcohol on a bloated stomach may only last a few days. However, for others, the bloating and inflammation may persist for weeks. The length of time it takes for the effects of alcohol to improve depends on how regularly you consume alcohol and the extent of your bloating. If you only drink alcohol occasionally, your bloating should improve within a few days. However, if you drink alcohol regularly, it may take longer for the inflammation to subside. Regardless of how often you drink, it is important to see a doctor if you are struggling with severe bloating. They can help determine the underlying cause of your bloating and recommend treatment options to help you feel better.

How Can Alcohol Damage The Digestive System?

Alcohol can cause a great deal of damage to the digestive system. The most apparent impact of drinking alcohol is stomach lining inflammation, which can lead to ulcers and other health concerns. In addition, alcohol interferes with the production of enzymes necessary for digestion. This can lead to the malabsorption of nutrients, leading to weight loss and other health problems. Excessive alcohol consumption also raises the risk of cancer in the esophagus, stomach, and pancreas.

Other Issues Caused By Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Drug and alcohol abuse can have adverse health effects. For instance, cocaine use can cause sinus issues and increased blood pressure. Alcohol abuse can also cause increased blood pressure and even diabetes from sugar intake. Many drugs like meth can also cause formication and skin sores while using in addition to very strong withdrawal consequences. Individuals that stop drinking cold turkey may get delirium tremens which result in seizures.

Seek Alcohol Addiction Treatment At Magnified Health System

Addiction is a significant problem in society today. Drug addicts are not only a danger to themselves, but they are also a danger to the people around them. Magnified Health Systems provides life-changing alcohol addiction treatment for those struggling with addiction who want to turn their lives around. Magnified Health Systems has experienced staff who will work with you to find the best treatment options.

They offer a variety of treatment options, including inpatient rehab and outpatient programs. We also have a wide range of support services, such as individual and family counseling. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please call us today to learn more about our services.

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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