Alcohol in Blood Cells

Gastritis is a condition, which occurs when the lining of the stomach is inflamed. In the case of alcohol induced gastritis, drinking contributes to and exacerbates symptoms. This guide provides useful information about alcohol and gastritis.

What is alcoholic gastritis?

Alcoholic gastritis causes inflammation of the stomach lining. There are several possible causes of gastritis, including bacterial infections, taking certain types of medication (for example, aspirin and ibuprofen) and stress. Alcohol related gastritis affects individuals who drink excessively. Alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach, and prolonged, continuous drinking makes the stomach more sensitive to the acids that are produced to facilitate digestion. This results in alcohol gastritis symptoms, which we will discuss in more detail below. Alcohol induced gastritis is common in those who are addicted to alcohol. A study conducted in the US found that over 90% of participants who had been drinking for over 10 years experienced symptoms of atrophic gastritis. This type of gastritis causes the stomach lining to gradually waste away. 

Common alcohol gastritis symptoms

Examples of alcoholic gastritis symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain: this can vary from a burning sensation to acute stabbing pain
  • Bloating
  • Dark, tar-like stools
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting (sometimes blood may be visible)
  • Indigestion
  • Feeling full even when you’ve not eaten a large meal

Symptoms of alcoholic gastritis can be acute or chronic. Alcoholic gastritis duration will often depend heavily on the quantity of alcohol consumed, the frequency of drinking and the timespan. Binge drinking, for example, can contribute to acute symptoms. Prolonged, excessive drinking increases the risk of chronic effects. 

alcohol and gastritis

Complications of alcohol related gastritis

Alcohol and gastritis can be a dangerous combination. As the stomach lining becomes increasingly vulnerable to damage and more sensitive to stomach acids, symptoms can worsen. One of the most severe complications is alcoholic gastritis with haemorrhage. Gastrointestinal bleeding should be treated as an emergency. Vomiting blood is symptomatic of internal bleeding. 

Additional complications include:

  • Increased risk of anaemia
  • Elevated risk of stomach cancer
  • Upper GI bleeding and risk of obstruction

Alcoholic gastritis treatment

There may not always be an alcoholic gastritis cure. In cases where extensive damage has been done to the stomach lining, the primary aim of treatment will be to reduce the severity of and manage alcohol gastritis symptoms. Alcoholic gastritis healing time varies from one individual to the next and will depend on multiple factors, including how much the individual drinks, how long they have been drinking for and the extent of damage. The most effective solution for reducing alcoholic gastritis healing time is giving up alcohol, and there are several methods that can be employed to help those who want to quit or cut down. In addition to treatments designed to help individuals stop drinking, doctors may also recommend medication, such as antibiotics to treat bacterial infections and antacids to prevent further damage to the lining of the stomach. Making changes to your diet, for example, avoiding spicy and acidic foods, may also be beneficial. 

Alcohol induced gastritis Summary

Alcohol induced gastritis is a condition that occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed. It is not always possible to cure alcoholic gastritis, but there are treatments that can reduce the severity of signs and prevent further damage to the stomach.

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