Countless people experience abdominal bloating, but when that puffiness is the result of chronic drinking, it becomes more difficult to manage. For most alcohol-dependent individuals, stomach bloating is a frustrating and annoying problem.
A bloated alcohol belly is a common hazard of drinking. After a night out with too much alcohol, your stomach should return to normal within a few days. But if you struggle with alcohol abuse, your bloating may be chronic and you’ll need to make a concentrated effort to get back to good health.
A ‘beer belly’ completely changes the shape of the belly and makes digestion slow and unsteady. That’s why it’s crucial to understand everything that is related to alcohol bloating, including the causes, treatment, and possible preventive methods.
This is a detailed guideline for anyone who has to deal with alcohol-induced abdominal bloating.
How Does Drinking Alcohol Cause Alcohol Bloating?
According to the National Institutes of Health, bloating is often the result of irritable bowel syndrome. This intestinal disorder can cause actual damage to the intestines, which will manifest in pain and discomfort in the abdominal area.
Those who suffer from the condition will often have constipation and diarrhea. Many factors can cause irritable bowel syndrome, but one of the most impactful ones is alcohol.
Heavy or occasional alcohol drinking can lead to irritation and inflammation in the abdominal area. This is the reason for the bloating.
However, to really understand the bloating contributors, you will need to figure out how alcohol affects the stomach and its role in the gastrointestinal tract. Research indicates that alcohol can interfere with multiple stomach functions.
How Alcohol Impairs Stomach Health
Here is a simple overview of the various ways heavy ethanol consumption can impair stomach health:
- The Stomach: Alcoholic beverages are toxins irritate the stomach lining. As a result, the body experiences erosions of the internal stomach lining (mucosal lining), which causes inflammation.
- GI Tract: The smooth muscle is the one that controls the entire gastrointestinal tract. This is a unique muscle that people don’t have the capability to control. Instead, it works autonomously to keep the system working. The alcohol overwhelms the gastrointestinal tract and results in organ
- Increased Acid: Ethanol is a well-known contributor for altering the levels of acid secretion. Drinks like beer can drastically stimulate acid secretion. The stronger the drink, the more acid the stomach will secrete.
- Muscle Function: The sphincters in the stomach are responsible for controlling what goes into and out of the stomach. The sphincter is a muscle that acts as a valve. Alcohol relaxes the muscles and forces them to dilate. So, the stomach won’t function properly.
If you or anyone in your family is suffering from chronic alcohol abuse, check out our inpatient alcohol rehab center for men in Dallas-Fort Worth or give us a call at (817) 993-9733! Here, you will get access to a safe facility with experienced medical professionals who will make sure that you overcome your drinking habit.
Why Does Drinking Alcohol Cause Abdominal Bloating?
A lot of people wonder, “Why does my stomach bloat after drinking alcohol?” The truth is, not all people who drink alcohol get abdominal bloating.
But those who often have health complications that are the result of impaired stomach functions have issues with digestive processes like the gastrointestinal tract, stomach lining, acid secretion, and relaxed sphincter muscles.
Alcohol is a trigger for inflammatory bowel disease, research shows. Out of 129 patients evaluated, 39 had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In fact, 43% of patients with IBS claimed to have worsened the symptoms of the condition after drinking alcohol. The more they drank, the worse the symptoms became.
The stomach must work properly for the body to digest the drinks normally. In other words, the autonomic nervous system should control the stomach muscles and digestive fluids. When something impairs the normal movement of food and drinks in the stomach (like alcohol does), that’s when people experience stomach bloating.
Based on studies, alcoholic beverages are nervous system depressants. They slow down the entire system, which could have serious repercussions on the overall health, not just the stomach lining. Therefore, people can experience cramps, pains, and diarrhea.
For those dealing with alcoholism in the DFW area, it’s best that you enroll in a medical alcohol detox in North Texas to manage your withdrawal symptoms. The sooner you get treatment, the higher the chances of overcoming your alcohol-induced bloating problem.
How Long Does Alcohol Bloating Last?
The bloating duration can vary from one person to the other, experts explain. It often depends on the severity of alcohol consumption and whether the patient also has a chronic health condition. It may take somewhere from a couple of days to a few months.
The only thing that will have a heavy impact on the bloating duration timeline is the type of drinking habit. People who are occasional drinkers are still vulnerable to bloating. However, their body is more capable of flushing out the toxins from the system.
Since their organs are still working at full steam, they will need less time for the bloating to subside. In many cases, their stomach goes back to normal in just 2 to 3 days.
Chronic alcoholism is different.
Heavy alcohol abuse can severely damage multiple organs. So, it’s normal for people to need weeks or months to manage the bloating. The constant drinking will have already taken a toll on every part of their body. Therefore, it’s imperative that they detox their system to get the organs back on track.
According to research published in Science Daily, moderate alcohol consumption (1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men) can cause small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. That’s why people experience mild bloating, pain, constipation, and gas.
Alcohol-Related Weight Gain
In individuals with alcohol-related weight gain, the bloating length will depend on their calorie intake, activity, and fitness level. Overall, if they are physically active or their digestive system works well, the bloating can disappear in less than a week.
In cases of alcoholic gastritis (inflammation in the stomach lining), bloating can disappear in under 2 weeks. In chronic cases, it can last well over a month to even years, depending on how complex the health condition is, including whether the patient plans to stop drinking.
However, if the bloating is caused by alcohol-induced hepatitis, it may take a month for it to subside.
If you don’t think you can handle the alcohol withdrawal all by yourself, try the best 90-day recovery center for chronic alcohol abusers in Texas. You will get all the support you need for a healthy recovery.
Tip: Consult with a doctor if your alcohol-induced bloating
doesn’t subside in a week after your last drink.
How To Get Rid of Alcohol Bloating
A beer belly that’s an accumulation of stored fat can put you at risk for health problems such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Bloating can also be accompanied by inflammation, which could lead to heartburn, acid reflux, or gastritis.
You’ll improve your overall well-being when you get rid of an alcohol belly. The best way to do that naturally is to cut back on your drinking. If you depend on alcohol to get through the day or you’re drinking more frequently, you may need to enter an alcohol abuse treatment program. At Stonegate Center, we treat alcohol addiction with an emphasis on wellness to promote healing as part of recovery.
Ways to get rid of beer belly:
- Eat foods high in fiber and water content, while avoiding salty foods.
- Exercise regularly. While you can’t target fat loss in the belly, losing weight in general will decrease beer bloat.
- Stay hydrated with plenty of water.
- Medications, Antibiotics and Probiotics
- Add zinc to your diet in alcohol recovery. Too much alcohol lowers testosterone levels, especially for men, and that means you’re likely to accumulate belly fat. Zinc supports testosterone production so your body can burn fat more effectively.
Treatments for Alcohol Bloating
Drinkers are advised to consume plenty of water to help the body process the toxins quicker than usual. Staying hydrated and getting enough rest is often the go-to choice for treating alcohol-induced abdominal bloating.
The liquid will break down the food and drinks and help the body absorb all the necessary nutrients. But, most importantly, it softens the stool, which aids with constipation.
Sometimes, implementing drastic lifestyle changes is necessary. Particularly if a person is overweight. Obesity is known to put a lot of strain on the digestive system and metabolism. When you pair that with alcohol, it becomes even more difficult to get rid of the bloating.
That’s why it would be in your best interest to start a healthy eating habit, stay active, and pay attention to your health.
Review Medications, Antibiotics and Probiotics
If the problem persists, doctors may recommend antibiotics. The antibiotic treatment will depend on the individual’s health state and drinking habits.
For example, if the person experiences bloating due to gastritis, they will receive antibiotics that target the H. pylori infection.
Capsules with anti-foaming agents are often a popular choice for relieving gas pressure, discomfort, and bloating. If hydration and antibiotics don’t help, the medical specialist will most likely suggest medications that are designed to shield the stomach lining from future damage.
These medications could include:
- H2 blockers to reduce abnormal stomach acid production.
- Proton pump inhibitors to stabilize stomach acid production, just like the H2 blockers are.
- Antacids to decrease the harm done to the stomach as a result of the increased stomach acid. Their primary purpose is to reverse any of the damage done and properly restore the organ.
Medications such as these usually target the stomach acid and help restore normal abdominal functions.
Sometimes people need a little boost in the right direction. According to the NIH, dietary supplements can help. Anything that blocks fat absorption curbs the appetite and speeds up the metabolism, can come in handy.
But, for ideal results, it’s best to cut down alcohol consumption as much as possible. Regulating your drinking habit should be a top priority. Because the next time you grab a drink, you will still have to deal with the bloating, no matter how hard you tried to treat it.
Experts at our medical alcohol detox in North Texas can help you overcome your chronic alcoholism regardless of how severe it might be. What matters is that you take the first step and contact us at (817) 993-9733 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Are There Ways to Prevent Stomach Bloating in Drinkers?
Although you can’t completely avoid bloating if you are drinking, you can reduce the chance of experiencing it.
Based on a recent study, drinking water is highly beneficial for the overall system, especially for those who drink alcohol. If you want to prevent bloating, you should try drinking water right after you’ve had your alcoholic beverage. This can calm the facial and stomach bloating.
Consuming water before, after, or during drinking should prevent ethanol’s inflammatory properties from affecting the body. So, the moment you start feeling bloated, you should start drinking more and more water.
Aside from drinking water, here are a couple of other techniques you can try:
- Avoid carbonated beverages when drinking alcohol – Carbonated drinks are packed with sugar, which is a known contributor to bloating. Plus they will also release carbon dioxide gas into the stomach and increase the problem even more.
- Stay away from hard candy or gum when drinking – By focusing your attention on the candy, the body will be forced to suck in more air than it actually needs.
- Don’t pair alcohol with cigarettes – Breathing difficulties will take a toll on the entire human body, including the stomach.
- Take your time when eating – If you are at a party and enjoy a meal or two, it’s best that you eat it slowly. Especially if you are drinking alcohol with those meals. With slow chewing, it is easier for the body to swallow the food and process it later.
- Do some exercise – Physical activity is known to reduce bloating, and it can also prevent it. If you’ve recently had a drink, try to exercise. This will get the digestive system moving, and the toxins will leave the stomach.
- Try probiotics – Any digestive enzyme or probiotic can be useful, either as a treatment or preventive method. They are designed to aid the body in breaking down the food. With regular use, they can promote healthy gut bacteria and decrease the odds of bloating.
Note: Make sure that you stay away from the food triggers. If you have any food sensitivities, you should assimilate your nutrient intake and keep the body healthy. Your doctor can advise you on the best possible ways to prevent the bloating with your current health state.
Does Alcohol Cause Water Retention?
Although alcohol affects people differently, water retention is a common side effect of drinking. Alcohol dehydrates you, so your body will hold onto whatever fluids it can. This water retention also contributes to a beer belly.
How Long Does It Take for Alcohol Belly to Go Away?
This is different for each person. Alcohol belly in women and men depends on many factors, including body weight, age, and overall health. It’s also determined by how committed you are to healthy diet and exercise.
Why Do Drinkers Have Big Stomachs?
Among the reasons for beer bloat:
- Calorie consumption: Research indicates a link between obesity and alcohol consumption. That’s because alcohol adds extra calories to a daily diet. But alcohol also inhibits fat burning, so calories are stored as extra fat.
- Inflammation: Alcohol irritates the stomach so it becomes inflamed and produces more stomach acid. This increases bloating.
- Carbonation: Bubbly drinks like Champagne can make you look more bloated.
- Underlying health conditions: Alcohol may cause bloating in people with digestive conditions such as celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
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Can Drinking Alcohol Result in Indigestion?
Yes. Based on clinical reports, alcohol consumption increases your odds of indigestion. Indigestion is a health problem, often known as a burning sensation that affects the upper area of the abdomen and the chest. The pain progresses after the person eats or lays on the bed.
Indigestion appears because of the elevated acid levels in the stomach. This acid affects the food pipe (esophagus) and irritates the stomach lining. Heavy alcohol abuse can drastically impair normal abdominal functions.
It often appears in individuals who consume three or more alcoholic drinks in a day, for a minimum of 5 times a week, published Oxford Academic. In other words, the more a person consumes alcohol, the bigger their risk of indigestion.
But, do keep in mind that abdominal bloating and indigestion are not the same and they don’t produce the same symptoms. Instead, they affect the body in their own way, with indigestion being the more troublesome one, particularly with all the pain and discomfort that comes with it.
If the alcohol is causing numerous health problems for you, it’s time to take action. Browse the internet for alcohol detox centers near me and start treating your drinking habit. With on-site treatment, you can get all the alcohol-related issues under control.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Drinking?
In some cases, alcohol-induced bloating can cause a certain level of pain and discomfort. While it isn’t as debilitating as other stomach complications, it’s still a troublesome thing to deal with.
It’s crucial to note that the pains can sometimes be associated with something other than alcohol. You might be experiencing health issues that affect the stomach lining. So, it’s best that you consult a doctor to rule out any serious complications.
The medical experts at the our inpatient alcohol rehab center for men or women in Dallas-Fort Worth can provide you with all the information you need. Their team of specialized experts will make sure that all alcohol-dependent individuals get the treatment they deserve.
Get Help Today
Abdominal alcohol bloating can be extremely uncomfortable. Its impact, duration, pain, and discomfort will vary based on a person’s drinking habits and underlying health issues. In many cases, bloating can be caused by a health problem. When paired with alcohol, it only makes things worse.
That’s why it’s crucial that people understand the impact ethanol has on the human body, especially the abdomen. With proper control, adequate treatment, and prevention strategies, anyone can restore their health.
But, to really treat the issue, you would need to work from the root of the problem to overcome a drinking habit. That’s where quitting alcohol comes into play. The sooner you stop the habit, the better. Once you cut down on alcohol, you won’t have to deal with bloating that often.