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Alcohol Effects On The Stomach And Intestines

Alcoholism is an addiction that could put a strain on family relationships, result in accidents and risky behaviors and of course, lead to serious health problems. We all know the dangerous side effects of too much alcohol consumption on your heart, brain, and kidneys. However, aside from this, your stomach and intestines can also be severely affected.

How Alcohol Affects Digestive System

During the consumption of alcohol, it passes through the entire digestive tract from the esophagus to the intestines. Every lining of your digestive system will come in contact with the substance resulting to functional and metabolic changes such as impairment of the muscles that are involved in the absorption of nutrients and blocking of toxins that cross the walls of the intestines. Even the secretion of the gastric acids responsible for digesting food is adversely affected. It is, therefore, not surprising why a lot of alcoholics suffer from digestive problems.

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Alcohol-Related Stomach and Intestine Disorders

You must remember that the gastrointestinal tract plays a major role in the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. There are actually several digestive system diseases with etiologies that can be traced to excessive alcohol consumption.

Acid Reflux – this is perhaps the most common alcohol-related disease of the digestive system. Consumption of alcohol affects the muscle in the esophagus responsible for keeping the gastric acid from rising up. As a result, the drinker suffers from heartburn due to the reflux.

Ulcers and Gastric Lesions – excessive alcohol consumption can actually lead to increased gastric acid production. Such an increase can severely damage the mucosa which protects the stomach lining. Once damaged, you can suffer from gastritis, which causes vomiting, nausea, and tears in the stomach that can result in bleeding and ulcers. Unfortunately, once the gastric acid production is upset, it cannot return to normal even if you stop drinking. You will suffer from digestive troubles for the rest of your life.

Acute Gastric Mucosal Injury – health experts have proven that too much alcohol can inflame the mucosal lining of the stomach, which leads to gastric lesions and bleeding.

Malabsorption of Nutrients – the intestines’ main responsibility is to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat. With alcoholism, this process again is disrupted resulting in reduced absorption of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, Xylose Definition of the word Xylose , thiamin, folic acid, vitamin B12.

Bacterial Infections – the risk of infection is high for alcoholics due to the altered levels of gastric acid in the stomach. And with the escape of toxins into the bloodstream, it is possible for a person to suffer from blood poisoning.

Cancer – although alcohol does not directly cause cancer, it works with carcinogens. The incidence of colon and rectal cancer is quite high among heavy alcohol drinkers.

Considering the numerous health problems that arise from excessive alcohol consumption, it is important that you or your loved one seek help in order to manage the addiction.

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ARTICLE


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Marcel Gemme

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.

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