One of the short-term impacts of alcohol on the human body is that it causes one to poop. Alcohol speeds up the digestive system and hence the need to relieve is felt soon after a round of drinks. When the gastro-intestinal system speeds up, the contents of the stomach pass through the small and large intestines faster, resulting in watery and loose stools.
But not always, as sometimes one could feel constipated the morning after a drinking spell. This is because alcohol is a diuretic, or it causes the body to make more urine than normal. This makes the body feel dehydrated. And when a body feels dehydrated, the large intestine absorbs as much water as it can from the food, making the stool dry and hard. If in case the intake of fluids is not enough, it could result in dehydration and the inability to pass stools the next day.
Another common problem observed in heavy drinkers is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A common disorder affecting the large intestine and causing abdominal pain, bloating, etc., this could be the case with people who are intolerant to some or all types of alcohol, but are not aware of it. Both gluten in beer and tannins in wine have the property to cause irritation to the stomach lining and cause IBS.
One of the most chronic side effects of alcohol is the impact it has on the gut. It inflames the lining of the intestine because of which the intestine is unable to absorb vital nutrients. This is a cause of concern as the effects of this can be far reaching.
Regularizing bowel movement
So, how does one ensure that alcohol does not impact their gastro-intestinal tract and cause problems like diarrhea, constipation, wind and IBS? Here are a few dos and don’ts that you can try.
Try eating healthy food instead of junk food: Simple filling and fiber rich foods such as cereals and milk, omlette with vegetables, sweet potato casserole, and avocados on toast, nuts etc., are any day better than spicy, acidic, fried foods like chicken wings or a burger with fries and carbonated drinks on the side.
Insist on staying hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is the best remedy for a healthy gut. On days one plans to party, one should increase the intake of water. Further, while drinking, alternate an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic beverage. Keep sipping water throughout the drinking session to ensure that one does not face any bowel-related problems the next day.
Avoid drinking in excess: One of the easiest ways to avoid both the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol on the gut is to avoid drinking in excess. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentions two drinks per day for men and one per day for women.
Avoid drinking on an empty stomach: When one drinks on an empty stomach, the alcohol passes from the stomach into the small intestine where it is absorbed very quickly. From there, it is absorbed into
the bloodstream, which in turn intensifies all the side effects of drinking, such as one’s ability to think and coordinate.
Avoid mixing caffeine and energy drinks: Alcohol and other drinks containing caffeine, such as energy drinks and coffee, should never be mixed.
Seeking help for alcoholism
As alcohol is socially acceptable, it is very easy to go overboard. Slowly, without realizing, one allows alcohol to dictate their life by choosing the places one would visit and the people they would hang out with depending on their alcohol choices. When this starts happening, one moves a step closer to alcohol addiction.
If you notice yourself or a loved one doing exactly this, then you need to take things in your hand and seek help. Do not let alcohol make your choices for you. Get in touch with 24/7 Recovery Helpline and we will help you find the best alcohol addiction help that offers evidence-based treatment modalities to overcome the scourge. For more information about how we can help you combat your addiction, call our 24/7 alcohol helpline 855-441-4405 and speak with a member of our admissions team. You can also chat online with a representative for a free insurance verification.