Have you ever had a wild night out with friends, drank a few too many cocktails, and woken up the following day feeling less than stellar? We have all been there, right? But, in the bathroom, you notice something strange – your stools are a bright yellow. Now you are too embarrassed to call a friend at 10 in the morning to discuss the color of your feces but too worried not to do anything about it. Before you panic and start googling your symptoms, let us take a moment to explore why alcohol can cause this unexpected bodily reaction.
In this blog, we will break down the mystery behind your post-drinking-with-friends feces color. So grab a cup of coffee (or alcohol, we would not judge) and read ahead to discover what your body is trying to tell you in this cryptic color-coded message!
Normal Stool vs. Yellow Stool
First, to determine whether your stool is too yellow, you need to know what a normal stool looks like. Let’s be honest; we have all peeked into the toilet bowl after finishing our business to see what it looks like. And if you haven’t, maybe you should! This way, you can ensure your stool looks what it should and rush to the doctor if it looks any different.
Your stool is typically a shade of brown due to the presence of bilirubin, a yellowish-brown pigment formed by the breakdown of red blood cells in the liver. Bilirubin is excreted into the intestines and combines with other waste products to form a stool. So, if you see a sudden change in color, such as yellow stools, after drinking alcohol, it can be a sign that something is off, and it might have something to do with your liver.
What causes Yellow Stools after Drinking Alcohol?
When it comes to a sudden change in your stool color after a night out with friends, there are a few different factors at play.
Altered Bile Processing
Some alcoholic beverages increase the production of stomach acid. These are the ones with a low ethanol content, such as wine and beer. Excessive gastric acid production ends up irritating the lining of the intestines. This causes inflammation, altering how the body absorbs and processes nutrients, including bile.
Bile is a fluid produced and excreted by the liver to be stored in the gallbladder, and it plays an essential role in the digestion and absorption of fats. When bile is released into the intestines, it combines with other waste products to form a stool. If the body is not processing bile correctly due to the effects of alcohol, it can give stool a yellowish hue.
Furthermore, alcohol tends to slow down food movement through the digestive tract, leading to a buildup of bile in the intestines. The higher the bile content in your stool, the yellower it will be.
Altered Water Absorption
Another factor that can contribute to yellow stools after drinking alcohol is dehydration. The longer your digested food stays in the intestine, the more water and electrolytes will be reabsorbed.
Alcohol is a known diuretic, which means that it causes you to urinate more frequently, leading to a loss of fluids and electrolytes. When your body is dehydrated, it can affect the color and consistency of your stool.
Altered Fat Absorption
Malabsorption of fats is a common condition in chronic alcoholics. If you decide to get tipsy for more than a few nights a week, your body may not be processing fats as efficiently as it should. This leads to fat accumulation in the liver and increased fat content in your stool.
Excessive amounts of fat in your feces are referred to as steatorrhea. In this condition, your stool is likely to be foul-smelling and bright yellow with a clay-like consistency. One of the ways to recognize fatty feces is to see if they float in the toilet bowl.
Can you Prevent Yellow Stools from Drinking Alcohol?
Absolutely! While the terminologies used above may be daunting, preventing yellow stools is relatively easy. Here are some tips to help you avoid this unpleasant sight.
Drinking lots of water before, during, and after consuming alcohol can help prevent dehydration and keep your digestive system functioning correctly.
Eat Before You Drink
Drinking on an empty stomach can aggravate the effects of alcohol on your digestive system. By eating a light meal or healthy snack before you drink, you can help slow down the absorption of alcohol and prevent irritation of the intestinal lining.
Avoid Heavy Drinking
Excessive alcohol consumption can overwhelm your digestive system, leading to inflammation and changes in stool color. Try to drink in a limited quantity and listen to your body’s signals to avoid overdoing it. Trust us when we say a hangover followed by passing bright yellow stools is not worth getting tipsy.
Consider Alternative Drinks
Try non-alcoholic drinks such as water, juice, or soda. These are way healthier and help you stay hydrated while avoiding the effects of alcohol on your digestive system.
Give Your Body Time to Recover
If you experience yellow stools after drinking alcohol, take a break from drinking and give your body time to recover. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting plenty of rest can help your body heal and prevent further digestive issues.
Yellow stools after drinking alcohol can be an unpleasant sight and symptom, but it is not something you have to suffer through. Following the tips above, you can keep your digestive system healthy and functioning.
That being said, there is no reason for you not to enjoy a night out with friends and a few drinks. Just remember to drink responsibly and take care of your body! And if you do experience yellow stools the next morning, remember to stay hydrated and skip alcoholic beverages for a few days so your body has enough time to recover.
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.