Does Drinking Alcohol Have Negative Effects on IBS?

Does Drinking Alcohol Have Negative Effects on IBS?

Does Drinking Alcohol Have Negative Effects on IBS?

No getting around it-alcohol plays a huge role in our culture. Events, celebrations, holidays, and other spaces take up a lot of room with alcohol. Even though it can have detrimental effects for people’s health, they persist on drinking a lot. For a person with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), this can become complicated. Many people who have IBS avoid alcohol due to the fact it may be a trigger for symptoms.

Alcohol and Digestion

Alcohol affects the working of your digestive system in many ways. Heavy alcohol use can cause significant damage to the digestive system organs and the lining of the tissues. Even moderate alcohol use can have a negative impact on digestion. Alcohol has a weakened effect on the esophageal sphincter which can lead to acid reflux. Alcohol may cause an increase in acid secretion and slow down stomach emptying, causing irritation and nausea or vomiting.

Too Much

The effect of alcohol on digestion depends on how much you drink. Moderate drinking behavior for women should consist of no more than one drink a day and, for me, no more than two drinks a day. People over age 65 should limit themselves to no more than one drink a day. Having more than four drinks in one sitting as a woman or five as a man raises health risks and complications.

Impact on IBS

Studies that have been done on IBS and alcohol use show mixed results as far as how it impacts a person. Generally speaking, drinking affects digestive systems and people who have IBS were not found to be bigger drinkers than others. Next-day digestive system issues was different in that when women engaged in binge drinking and had IBS, they were more likely to experience diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and indigestion. Moderate or light drinking was not associated with the symptoms. It may be that heavier drinking or binge drinking behavior impacts people’s digestive tracts.

The association between drinking and next-day symptoms were more likely to be seen in women who had diarrhea-predominant IBS as opposed to those with constipation-predominant IBS or mixed-type IBS. researchers conclude alcohol use is problematic for women with IBS-D who binge drink. This depends on the people and it is only one study but it shows how some people have experienced the effects of drinking behavior.  Some tips to consider if you or a loved one have IBS:

  • Limit drinking to one per day
  • Drink plenty of water when drinking alcohol to stay hydrated
  • Be sure to eat a meal alongside your drink
  • Have food in your system to protect tissue lining of digestive tract
  • Slow down intake

The main focus should be on what feels healthy for you. If drinking behavior feels out of control, it can lead to other problems down the road. It is best to find help for your drinking behavior sooner than later.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. Our goal is to help you find support to live free of addiction. We provide trained counselors using therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.