Substance Use

Does Alcohol Cause Diarrhea? Prevention & Reversibility

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Alcohol Abuse and Gastrointestinal Issues

There can be a number of reasons why you may experience diarrhea. For heavy drinkers, gastrointestinal health conditions, like chronic diarrhea, can be common due to the effects of alcohol on the body. For casual drinkers, stomach problems when drinking alcohol can be for different reasons.

Heavy drinking can also cause liver damage and a range of other life-threatening health conditions.

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to long-term health problems. If your alcohol intake is causing problems in your daily life, you should seek addiction treatment. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about how our treatment plans work for alcohol addiction. You can also send us a message.

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Reasons Alcohol Might Give You Diarrhea

If you experience diarrhea or other gastric health conditions when drinking alcohol, you may suffer from conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or celiac disease. These can worsen when drinking alcohol.

1. Intolerances and Celiac Disease

Someone with celiac disease may react to the ingredients used in certain alcoholic beverages, such as gluten in beer. Studies suggest that some people may also experience wine intolerance.

2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

For people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), drinking alcohol may cause diarrhea. This is because of the way alcohol speeds up digestion. Drinking alcohol causes the digestive tract to work faster than usual, increasing contractions in the small intestine and gastrointestinal tract.

3. Alcohol Use Disorder

The effects of alcohol on the gastrointestinal tract are also prevalent in people with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Those with AUD or heavy drinkers may experience the same issues that someone with IBS does when drinking alcohol.

Drinking large amounts of alcohol regularly can mean that the digestive tract does not have a chance to return to normal. As a result, people with AUD may experience malnutrition as their bodies cannot get nutrients from the food they eat correctly.

Alcohol-related malnutrition can be serious. Weight loss can be a sign of malnutrition, but it isn’t always the case. Some people may maintain their body weight while suffering from malnutrition.

4. Liver Disease

Liver disease or cirrhosis can also cause diarrhea when drinking alcohol. These are both health conditions that can arise in people with an alcohol use disorder. Studies suggest that around 80% of people with liver cirrhosis experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea.

Is Diarrhea From Alcohol Reversible?

Gastrointestinal health conditions relating to drinking alcohol may be reversible depending on the reasons for them. For example, if you experience diarrhea when drinking alcohol because of irritable bowel syndrome, you may need to limit your alcohol intake.

However, if celiac disease or intolerance is causing your symptoms, then switching to gluten-free alternatives may be necessary.

For people with gastrointestinal problems relating to regular heavy drinking, detoxing and abstaining from alcohol may help reverse symptoms.

Should I Change My Drinking Habits?

For most gastrointestinal problems relating to drinking alcohol, the best way to alleviate symptoms is to reduce alcohol consumption. The CDC recommends drinking fewer than two alcoholic beverages for men and one per day for women to limit the health effects of alcohol.

You should also avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach to reduce the effects of alcohol on the GI tract.

Finding It Difficult To Reduce Your Alcohol Intake or Stop Drinking?

If you drink large amounts of alcohol regularly and you are finding it difficult to reduce your alcohol intake, you may have an alcohol use disorder.

An AUD can sometimes be hard to spot, but there are some common signs to be aware of:

  • Continuing to drink after experiencing alcohol-related health conditions
  • Craving the effects of alcohol
  • Experiencing side effects of alcohol withdrawal
  • Spending a lot of your time drinking or recovering from the effects of alcohol misuse
  • Repeated attempts to limit your alcohol consumption or quit drinking

These are just some of the signs of alcohol use disorder. If you think you may be suffering from this condition, then entering a treatment program is recommended.

If you have an alcohol use disorder, you’ll find it impossible to control your alcohol consumption. You’ll need professional treatment to help you stop drinking alcohol. Find out about our treatment options today. Call us at (855) 430-9439, or send us a message.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Excessive Alcohol Consumption?

Heavy drinking and alcohol misuse can put you at a higher risk of experiencing life-threatening health conditions. People with AUD are at an increased risk of developing alcohol-related health conditions. These include:

1. Cancer

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly can increase your chances of developing certain cancers, such as mouth, throat, liver, and colon, 

2. Liver Problems

Persistent alcohol abuse may cause liver disease, and cirrhosis, which may result in jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and, ultimately, liver failure.

Treatments for Alcohol Abuse and Gastrointestinal Problems

1. Detox

Alcohol use disorder requires specialist treatment from addiction professionals. Detox can help to alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms relating to excessive alcohol consumption.

Detoxifying from alcohol when you have an AUD is dangerous and should only be done under the supervision of medical professionals.

2. Behavioral Therapy

Although detox may help reverse gastrointestinal symptoms, detox alone is not enough to treat AUD. Alcohol addiction is a complex condition that affects physical, behavioral, and mental health. This means a program incorporating behavioral therapies gives a better chance of success in the treatment of AUD.

Detox focuses on removing alcohol from the body and allowing it to recover from excessive alcohol consumption. Behavioral therapy allows those with an AUD to understand their addiction better and use tools to prevent relapse.

Alcohol use disorder is a progressive illness. This means it continues to get worse without professional treatment. Our team of addiction and mental health treatment professionals has helped people just like you recover from alcohol addiction.

At Zinnia Health, our treatment plans are made to fit your situation. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, your treatment plan will be designed to give you the best chance of success. For example, some people may need treatment and support for a dual diagnosis.

We’ll guide you through a treatment program at each step and be with you to support you right the way through, from detoxification to aftercare.

We offer inpatient and outpatient programs designed to tackle drug addiction. You’ll find the highest levels of care at our treatment centers.

Our team will be there to give you the help and care you need through each stage of recovery.

Alcohol addiction can affect many areas of your life, including your mental health. Our approach means we often incorporate mental health treatments into our programs. We know that behavioral and mental health is just as important as physical health.

Recovering from alcohol use disorder is a huge challenge. Making the decision to enter treatment is already an achievement. The next step is getting in touch. Let us help you on your path to recovery. Contact Zinnia Health by sending a message or calling our alcoholism hotline available 24 hours per day at (855) 430-9439. Our team is also standing by to assist you, so call us and begin your recovery journey today.

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(855) 430-9439
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