How Alcohol Affects the Digestion System

How Alcohol Disrupts the Digestive System

By Jennifer McDougall

Alcohol is also known as ethanol, a liquid produced by fermentation and an ingredient in beer, wine, and liquor that causes intoxication. Alcohol is a depressant drug that slows down activity in the central nervous system, delaying messages sent to and from the body and the brain that also wreaks havoc on the digestive system.

When people consume alcohol, they put significant organs at risk, threatening the proper and healthy function each organ is designed to perform for optimal vitality.

When the cells in your body metabolize, alcohol is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde (CH 3 CHO). Acetaldehyde damages tissue in the mouth, which can cause dental problems and mouth and throat cancer.

As the alcohol trickles down into the body, it reaches the stomach, disrupting the production of natural acids that help break down food and nutrients. These natural acids in our gut also help fight off harmful bacteria. When the elimination of these natural stomach acids occurs, our stomach’s ability to properly process food slows down because of the consumption of alcohol. This, in turn, causes much discomfort and inflammation on the lining of our stomach and makes it difficult for the food in our gut to be broken down and smoothly move through our intestines.

Prolonged damage and continued consumption of alcohol can lead to many issues.

The effects alcohol has on the digestive system range from stomach pain, bloating, acid reflux, diarrhea, sensitivity in the mouth and throat, and the risk of cancer of the colon, pancreas, throat, and mouth. Reversing or repairing the damage alcohol causes to these organs is very difficult and requires a lot of time with lifestyle changes, medications, and eating habits. Critical health concerns raise at the mention of alcohol consumption.

Here is a look at what is included in the digestive system and what is affected when you consume alcohol.

Photo via: National Cancer Institute

How to Care for Your Digestive Health

  • Eliminate alcohol from your diet
  • Seek medical help to regain mental clarity (medications, dietary supplements, or hospitalization for extreme cases)
  • Begin fueling your body with proper nutrients and hydration (healthy foods, water, and vitamins)
  • Enroll in a rehabilitation program, such as Passages to improve the quality of your life. Call (888) 397-0112 for information.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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