This goes for all of the people who love to drink some alcohol more than anything else but are worried about the sudden changes they feel and the pain that seems to be emanating from a region in their lower abdomen. It might be time that you consider the likelihood that you have alcoholic gastritis.
Talking about gastritis from a medical perspective, several medical conditions have a common factor, and that is the inflammation of the stomach lining due to a bacterial infection. But drinking too much alcohol can be a contributing factor to getting gastritis.
There are two kinds of gastritis known to the medical world, and those are sudden gastritis, or acute kind, and chronic gastritis, or that which occurs slowly over an accumulated period. Both acute and chronic gastritis can invariably lead to painful stomach ulcers and even the dreaded big ‘C’ or cancer. But when caught early on, it can be managed and cured using some medication and a good old well-balanced proper diet.
Signs and Symptoms of Gastritis
Gastritis can be spotted through several signs and symptoms but be wary because these signs and symptoms are also very common with other ailments.
First off is the indigestion-like pain or ache that one feels, coupled with a feeling of fullness or bloating, especially in the upper portion of the abdomen. Nausea and vomiting are also signs of possible gastritis. But as mentioned, most of these signs are also vaguely familiar to some other medical conditions but if there is pain in the upper abdomen, then it might be proper to lean more towards the possibility of gastritis.
What is alcoholic gastritis?
Alcoholic gastritis is a form of gastritis that is triggered or likely caused by the overconsumption of alcohol. Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages has some benefits in its simple and moderate essence, but too much of any alcoholic drink poses more threats than benefits.
Alcohol is a natural irritant to the stomach lining; although the stomach is filled with stomach acid itself, putting in more acid will tend to irritate the stomach as well. Put it this way. The stomach is one balloon filled with water; now, with the right amount of water, the elastic of the balloon can hold the water inside, but when too much water fills the inside of the balloon, the material stretches out and becomes thin, thus making the balloon burst.
Thankfully the stomach is much stronger than a regular old balloon as it holds stomach acids. But add in more acid, the kind that the insides of the body can only tolerate in small doses, then that is a recipe bound for disaster.
Signs that you have alcoholic gastritis
Like general gastritis, alcoholic gastritis also has signs and symptoms that can be spotted easily. First is the stomach ache and or abdominal pain. Second, are the nausea and vomiting combination. Third is the feeling of fullness or bloatedness and indigestion. Fourth is loss of appetite, and fifth is the hiccups and blood in the stool.
It is natural to assume that alcoholic gastritis is the same as gastritis, and rightly so; the only difference is the cause of the inflammation. General gastritis can be caused by a bad food diet, pernicious anemia, smoking stress, problems with your immune system, and bacterial or viral infections. Alcoholic gastritis is, of course, caused by drinking too much alcohol until it eventually upsets the stomach already.
Diagnosing Alcoholic Gastritis
If one has a terrible stomach ache and decides to go to a doctor and get checked, part of the treatment is a proper diagnosis of what could be causing the stomach ache. It could be a plain stomach flu, or it could be as serious as gastritis and other chronic illnesses.
To determine what’s causing the stomach pain, the doctor will ask about the person’s food diet, if the person got into an accident or fight and physically hurt his or her stomach, and if the person drinks alcohol and how much of it did the person drink.
By doing a short interview like this, the doctor can already rule out some other diseases that have a stomach ache as a common symptom, but further tests can also be done like endoscopy, x-rays of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, blood and stool sample tests and breath test for a bacterial infection that causes gastritis.
Treatments Available for Alcoholic Gastritis
Treating alcoholic gastritis uses almost the same method of treatment as that of regular gastritis. By using medications such as antacids and histamine (H2) blockers to reduce stomach acids, some antibiotics if the cause was bacterial, and some proton pump inhibitors for ulcers and acid reflux. But because the diagnosis is of alcoholic gastritis, part of the treatment will have to be getting in control or fully giving up on drinking alcohol.
To stop the problem you have to root out the cause and the cause of the problem, in this case, is alcohol, so it has to go. Once diagnosed with alcoholic gastritis, one also has to be careful of consuming caffeine-filled food and beverages like coffee, sodas, and others, as well as avoiding orange and tomato juice if one can and smoking cigarettes and vapes.
Also, one has to stay away from taking painkillers and aspirin in the future. Some also swear that they got better with a little help from home remedies and some medical treatments combined. Though, it would still be very much advisable to consult health experts like doctors rather than relying on hearsay alone.
Much has to be sacrificed once treatment has started. No one would want a persistent stomach ache that stops one from enjoying eating. Once clear of the risks, you can talk to your doctor if drinking alcohol in smaller quantities than before is possible or if alcoholic beverages from now on are banned.
It is never a pleasant day to have a stomach ache because you can’t enjoy the food you are eating, and you eventually get weak because you can’t eat. That is why it is very important to take care of our tummy and not to abuse any substance like alcohol.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.