Substance Use

Alcohol and Stomach Pain: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

man holding stomach after drinking red wine

Is Alcohol Causing Your Stomach Pain?

Many people experience stomach pain after drinking. Alcohol use can irritate your digestive system and cause pain, nausea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. 

Struggling with alcohol addiction? At Zinnia Healing, there is access to the highest quality care and supportive counselors. Our inpatient facilities are perfect for those in need of intensive, round-the-clock treatment and support. We also provide group counseling, as well as outpatient services. Let us help you break the cycle of addiction. Call our alcohol help hotline anytime at (855) 430-9439 to get started.

How Come My Stomach Hurts Every Time I Drink Alcohol?

There are a few reasons why alcohol can lead to stomach pain and indigestion.

1. Gastritis

The most common cause is inflammation of the stomach lining, which is known as gastritis.

Chronic gastritis can be caused by a variety of factors, including excessive drinking, stress, and certain medications.

For example, according to the National Institute on Aging, if you combine aspirin with alcohol, the risk of serious stomach or intestinal bleeding increases significantly.

2. Allergies

Another possible cause is an allergic reaction to ingredients in alcoholic drinks, such as sulfites or histamines.

3. Alcohol Flush Reaction

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcohol flush reaction is something that some people who drink alcohol experience.

The primary indictor of an alcohol flush reaction is redness in the person’s face, but they may also experience nausea.

Binge drinking and other forms of substance abuse can also cause:

  • Hiccups
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reflux
  • Anemia (low iron)
  • Cirrhosis (liver damage)

What Helps With Stomach Pain From Alcohol?

The best way to reduce a burning ache or gnawing pain in your stomach caused by alcohol is to limit your consumption.

Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, and try having a meal before drinking. Eating food can help slow the absorption of alcohol, reducing its impact on your stomach.

Drinking plenty of water can help keep your body hydrated and also reduce stomach irritation.

If you experience persistent or severe stomach pain after drinking alcohol, speak with your doctor. They may suggest medications or lifestyle changes that can reduce your symptoms.

Alcohol addiction is a difficult disease to face alone, and it can feel insurmountable without the help of professionals. At Zinnia Healing, our compassionate support staff is highly trained in providing inpatient rehabilitation, group counseling, and outpatient services. Call our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439 to get started.

What Does Alcoholic Gastritis Feel Like?

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, symptoms of alcoholic gastritis include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and bloating. Some people may also experience diarrhea or black stools.

Is Alcoholic Gastritis Dangerous?

If left untreated, alcoholic gastritis can lead to internal bleeding and other serious complications.

How Long Does Alcohol Gastritis Take to Heal?

The amount of time it takes for alcoholic gastritis to heal depends on the severity of the condition and how quickly you take action.

Generally speaking, if you reduce your alcohol intake and get healthier, your symptoms should improve within a few weeks. However, a full recovery could take longer, depending on your alcohol consumption and the damage done to your stomach lining.

What Is the Difference Between Alcohol-Induced Stomach Pain and Stomach Flu?

Alcohol-induced stomach pain is caused by irritation to the lining of your digestive system, whereas the stomach flu (or gastroenteritis) is caused by a virus.

Symptoms of alcohol-induced stomach pain include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating

According to MedlinePlus, the stomach flu can cause similar symptoms but may also include fever.

If you are experiencing stomach pain after drinking, seek medical advice to determine the cause of your symptoms and the best course of action. This will help ensure you get the treatment you need for a speedy recovery.

When Should I Worry About Stomach Pain After Drinking Alcohol?

Stomach pain after drinking alcohol is usually nothing to worry about and can be relieved by limiting your alcohol consumption or eating before you drink.

However, if you experience severe pain, vomiting blood, or black stools, seek medical advice immediately.

Regular check-ups with your doctor can help you stay on top of your health and catch any potential issues before they become more serious.

How Does an Ulcer Cause Stomach Pain?

An ulcer is a sore that forms on the lining of your stomach or intestine. Ulcers can be caused by factors including:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Medication

When an ulcer becomes inflamed, it can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea. If left untreated, ulcers can lead to bleeding and other serious complications.

If you suspect you may have an ulcer, seek medical advice as soon as possible. A doctor will help determine the cause of your symptoms and what to do next.

Treatment typically involves medications that decrease the amount of stomach acid, allowing the ulcer to heal. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as reducing stress and avoiding alcohol can also help.

What Is the Difference Between a Stomach Ulcer and a Peptic Ulcer?

According to MedlinePlus, a peptic ulcer is a painful, gaping wound that manifests in the lining of your stomach or intestine.

There are two types of peptic ulcers:

  • Gastric ulcers, which manifest in the stomach
  • Duodenal ulcers, which manifest in the first part of the small intestine

Drinking too much alcohol is one of the risk factors for developing a peptic ulcer.

Treatment for both types of ulcers typically involves medications that reduce stomach acid levels, allowing the ulcer to heal. Doctors also typically advise avoiding spicy foods.

Some people use antacids to relieve pain. Check with your doctor before taking antacids, though, because they can work against some prescription medicine for ulcers.

What Are Some Other Causes of Stomach Pain?

In addition to alcohol, other causes of stomach pain include:

  • Food allergies or sensitivities
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Polyps
  • Gas in the digestive tract
  • Medications
  • Stress and anxiety

Get Help for Heavy Drinking Today

Alcohol can cause discomfort and long-term effects, including tumors. If you experience stomach pain after drinking, try limiting your alcohol intake.

Need help quitting alcohol? If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, Zinnia Healing is here to help. Our experienced team of compassionate professionals offers inpatient treatment and supportive care to give you a solid foundation for long-lasting recovery. Call us at (855) 430-9439 today for more information.

Related Articles