Alcohol Abuse and Digestive Issues

Alcohol Abuse and Digestive IssuesWhen people think of the dangers of alcohol abuse, they commonly focus on how the drug impairs one’s behavior and can cause vehicle accidents, blackouts, arguments or brawls. People connect alcohol abuse with short-term social or behavioral consequences, but alcohol abuse can lead to many severe health problems, many of which are irreversible. Extremely common health problems of alcohol abuse are stomach and digestive problems. Consuming large amounts of alcohol prevents normal digestion, so alcohol will quickly travel into the bloodstream through the lining of the stomach and small intestine. Internal organs absorb alcohol, which damages their functioning since the normal digestive process does not take place.

Potential Stomach and Digestive Problems from Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol can cause uncomfortable issues to life-threatening complications. The more often someone abuses alcohol or binge drinks, the more likely she will experience any of the following problems:

  • Acid reflux. Alcohol interferes with the esophageal muscle’s ability to contract and seal out gastric acid from the stomach. Excessive consumption can even cause overproduction of gastric acid, causing intense acid reflux or even a hernia.
  • Esophageal bleeding. Alcohol abuse damages mucosa between the stomach and esophagus which can cause great internal bleeding or Mallory-Weiss syndrome.
  • Gastritis and stomach lesions. Alcohol increases production of gastric acid and destroys the mucous that protects the stomach from acid irritation. This can cause gastritis, nausea, vomiting or the tearing and bleeding of the stomach. Stomach tears and lesions can cause ulcers and internal bleeding.
  • Disease. Alcohol abuse damages the digestive system and prevents the stomach from killing bad bacteria, which increases the risk of illness.
  • Intestinal complications. The small intestine loses its ability to digest food as its muscles are slowed by alcohol abuse. This can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea.
  • Malnutrition. When the digestive system is compromised, an individual lacks the ability to process needed nutrients like folic acid and portent. Malnutrition and other dietary problems can result.
  • Cancer. Excessive consumption of alcohol can increase the odds of developing cancer of the tongue, larynx, esophagus, liver, kidney, intestines, colon and more.

If you experience any of these problems, seek immediate help to get well.

Other Health Issues Resulting from Alcohol Abuse

Other common health issues resulting from alcohol abuse include the following:

  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Menstruation problems
  • Involuntary rapid eye movement, paralysis of the eye
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Osteoporosis
  • Dementia and short-term memory loss
  • Weakened immune system
  • Increased risk of mouth, throat, liver, colon and breast cancer

Some of these problems are irreversible, so seek help today for these struggles.

Help with Alcoholism

If you or a loved one is ready to stop abusing alcohol, we can help. Please call our toll-free helpline now to speak with an addiction counselor who can assist you with all of your questions, concerns and needs. They can even help you find alcohol abuse treatment and recovery services. We are here 24 hours a day to talk and have information on everything from insurance questions to specialized recovery programs.