Alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on the body both internally and externally. Unfortunately, many people who fall victim to alcohol addiction do not consider the repercussions that excessive alcohol consumption can have on their body.
Because of this, many people find out too late that they are suffering from the consequences of frequently drinking too many alcoholic drinks. When people think of alcohol addiction, their initial thoughts are usually focused on the liver. This may be, due in part because it is likely the organ that is most often talked and even joked about in terms of alcohol-inflicted harm. It is also because it is an essential organ that alcohol can destroy. This damage does not stand alone, as many other organs can also be negatively impacted from excessive alcohol consumption.
Alcohol Abuse And Addiction Can Damage Your Stomach
Alcohol affects many parts of the body. Alcohol can severely damage your liver and affect how your brain functions. It can increase your risk of heart disease and cancer. Alcohol abuse and addiction also affects other organs in your body, such as your stomach and gastrointestinal tract.
Your stomach and intestinal lining works to protect your body from the gastric juices that are created during the digestive process. When a peptic ulcer is formed, the lining in the stomach and intestines becomes frail, inflamed, and damaged, and no longer protects the stomach or intestines from acidic juices the way that it should, which can cause great pain and open sores called ulcers.
Peptic ulcers can occur for several reasons. Alcohol is hard for the body to process once it enters the system. It causes the liver to go into overdrive, but it also causes damage to the gastrointestinal lining because it is unnatural toxin entering the body.
Ulcers occur when damage is done to the lining of your stomach or upper small intestine (duodenum). This is because of toxins and irritants derived from the alcohol that enter the body that are hard on the digestive tract. There are two types of peptic ulcers, gastric (stomach) or duodenal (upper region of small intestine), both can cause a great amount of pain especially to those that continue to worsen the problem by consuming more alcohol.
Symptoms And Causes
There are several symptoms that can indicate that you may have an ulcer. If you feel abnormal pain in your upper abdomen, it may indicate that you have an ulcer in your stomach. Stomach aches or a burning sensation in the stomach region may also indicate an ulcer.
Other symptoms may include feeling nauseous or even throwing up because of the damage to the stomach lining. You may lose sleep because the pain of the ulcer is too much. You may also notice a change in appetite or weight. Heartburn and acid reflux often accompany this condition. In the worst cases, the ulcer becomes so progressed that it goes all the way through the tissue, this is called a perforation, which demands emergency medical attention.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or notice that the pain in your stomach worsens when you are eating or consuming alcohol, or if you vomit blood and/or notice blood when you go to the bathroom (may be darker than normal and tarry), it is time to seek professional medical treatment. Keep in mind, some people may not experience any symptoms despite the fact that they have developed an ulcer.
Ulcers can be caused and/or aggravated by many factors in addition to excessive alcohol consumption, including diet (certain foods or drinks may aggravate an already present ulcer), an H. pylori bacteria infection, smoking cigarettes, and taking certain medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen.
Stress can be a major factor in stomach ulcers. When someone consumes too much alcohol and falls victim to addiction, stress can become a major part of their life. Stress is often times the reason that people turn to drinking, but ultimately even more stress occurs to the body and the mind when a person begins to abuse alcohol. The stress and anxiety in addition to the large amounts of alcohol only serve to make a person more susceptible to ulcers and other health risks.
In order to treat an ulcer properly you should seek treatment from a medical professional before attempting to treat it on your own. Your doctor may prescribe any medication necessary to treat the ulcer. They may also suggest changes to your lifestyle that may relieve some of the pain from the ulcer and help you to heal more quickly. If alcohol consumption has caused your ulcer or worsened your symptoms, you will likely need to cut back on alcohol if not eliminate it completely from your daily routine in order to give your stomach time to heal.
Certain foods and beverages may aid in protecting your stomach lining, while other foods and beverage may irritate the ulcer more. The foods that protect your lining contain flavonoids and include food and drinks such as berries, kale and green tea. Regular consumption of these and other flavonoids may help your ulcer to heal.
Citrus foods and alcohol have the opposite impact on an ulcer and the lining of your stomach and may worsen your symptoms. Cranberry, garlic and honey may also help to heal your ulcer. Your doctor should be able to provide a full list of healthy foods and beverages that will aid in healing your stomach ulcer, in addition to those you should avoid.
Those who have fallen victim to alcohol addiction often face many digestive problems in addition to stomach ulcers. With each drink of alcohol, you are willingly putting toxins into your body that your body is not sure how to process. This puts your digestive organs into overdrive in an attempt break down those toxins and get them out of your body as quick as possible.
If you try to heal a stomach ulcer while still choosing to consume alcohol, the likeliness of the ulcer healing properly is slim. Alcohol will continue to disrupt the digestive process and prevent your body from recovering.
Peptic ulcers are only one health problem that someone may face that has fallen victim to alcohol addiction. Because of this health risk and many others, it is extremely important to eliminate alcohol to help get your body back to a state of wellness.
Rehab facilities are able to offer you the help you need to find the path necessary to get your life and health back on track. Professionals at these facilities may also be able to offer suggestions about how to help heal your stomach ulcer. They will also offer the support you need to make the necessary steps to eliminate alcohol from your daily life.
Contact Us, Healing Starts From Within
If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, you are not alone. Our staff is here to get you the help you need to make the necessary changes to get your life back on track. If you are experiencing abdominal pain or other symptoms of a peptic ulcer, it is important to seek professional treatment first. Contact us at AlcoholTreatment.net and we will help you to take the next steps in healing your mind and body from alcohol addiction.