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Effects of Alcohol on the Digestive System

Table of Contents

  1. What Does Digestive System Explain
  2. Organs of your digestive system
  3. Beneficial effects of alcohol on digestive system
  4. Digestive Problems associated with Alcohol consumption
  5. Alcoholism and Malnutrition
  6. Prevention of alcohol from causing harm to digestive system
  7. Treatment of Digestive Problems Caused by Alcohol

The moderate alcohol consumption is known to make life enjoyable for than ever for some people. It may help you in socialization and may assist you after having a tough day.  But always remember that alcohol has a dark side and it appears when you drink too much. The major health issues are mental and physical and appears after having a heavy drink. If you are addicted to alcohol it will destroy your healthy life. The human digestive system is among the major systems which are impacted by alcohol consumption. It can effect both positively and negatively.

What Does Digestive System Explain

People need to take food for their survival on earth. This food works as the fuel but in addition to this body also uses some nutrients to rebuilt body. The function of digestive system is to extract the needed nutrients from you food to give you the potential to survive. In order to have healthy life you must need a healthy digestive system.

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Organs of your digestive system

The digestive system is the largest system of our body and consists of the following basic parts.

  • Mouth: mouth is the fist part from where your digestive system begins. The mechanical action of jaws help to partially breakdown food and hence make it easier to digest. Saliva contains some chemical which are helpful to breakdown food.
  • Esophagus: it help the entry of food inside stomach.
  • Stomach: stomach is assisted with strong hydrochloric acid which helps to breakdown food. Churning action of stomach convert food into a sludge like material known as chime.
  • Liver: the function of liver is the production of bile which is the stored in gallbladder.
  • Pancreas: pancreas produces different enzymes which help in digestion.
  • Small Intestine: the small intestine helps in the extraction of nutrients with the help of enzymes and bile.
  • Large Intestine: the large intestine is facilitated with microbes which are necessary for breaking down of food. The large intestine helps to extract water and electrolytes from the chime.
  • Rectum: all those which are not necessary for your body are expelled in the form of feces through rectum.

Beneficial effects of alcohol on digestive system

There are some beneficial effects of alcohol on digestive system which include:

  • It is generally believed that formation of gallstone is less common in those individuals who are alcohol addicted. The gallstones are the solid masses which are formed in the gallbladder and hence causes inflammation or obstruction.
  • Drinking alcohol is known to reduce the risk of having metabolic syndromes. The metabolic syndrome covers all the cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and stroke. Metabolic syndrome also involves insulin resistance and central obesity.

As there are some advantages associated with alcohol consumption but it doesn’t mean that you start drinking in order to get these benefits. This is because the disadvantages associated with it are far more than the advantages.

Digestive Problems associated with Alcohol consumption

Alcohol consumption causes serious threats to different organs of digestive system. The most common problems include:

  • Alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing a mouth cancer. It is the second deadliest cause of mouth cancer after smoking. Additionally it I also related with gum diseases.
  • Excessive alcohol intake may cause severe heartburn. The heartburn is cause because of the relaxation of the sphincter which functions to control the acidic content of your stomach and hinder its passage to the esophagus. If due to infection the fluid enter in to the esophagus it cause severe heartburn.
  • Alcohol consumption directly damage lining of your stomach. This in turn causes gastritis which is the inflammation of the stomach.alc dig
  • Excessive alcohol consumption causes the stomach cancer but until now there is not even a single reference which correlate alcohol consumption with stomach cancer.
  • Alcohol directly affect your small intestine and in severe cases it causes cancer of small intestine.
  • Alcohol may cause malabsorption which is a term use to describe a condition in which individual become unable to extract nutrients from the food.
  • It can cause leakages in the intestine and as a result the toxic substances may enter in to your gut called leaky gut syndrome. This will cause severe problems and may lead to death of the affected person.
  • It can also cause the bowel syndrome which is very irritating.
  • Alcohol has the ability to cause both constipation and alcohol.
  • Inflammation of the pancreases is also caused by excessive intake of the alcohol. The condition is known as pancreatitis and has life threatening affects. Additionally it cans also cause hindrance in the ability of the digestive system to function properly.
  • Alcohol infection to the liver is comprehensively known. If you are drinking alcohol excessively then you are more likely to develop early stages of liver disease. If the condition progresses to cirrhosis then the consequences are very severe and leads to permanent failure of your organs. As liver is vital for digestion but its proper function is necessary requirement for other body functions as well.

Alcoholism and Malnutrition

Alcoholic usually have less ability to get maximum nutrients from their food which is a sign of serious concern. They usually have peripheral neuropathy and alcoholic dementia because of deficiency of basic nutrients. The reason behind this is that alcohol contains empty calories and in turn offer little nutritional value. As a result you don’t feel hunger. Alcoholics have little interest in food, it is associated with other factors as well such as malabsorption after having a meal. This can be easily seen in people who are alcoholic because of their poor health conditions.

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Prevention of alcohol from causing harm to digestive system

It is quite evident that you can enjoy occasional alcoholic drink and are not affected by its harmful effects. You can reduce the risk of alcoholic damage to your digestive system by:

  • You can minimize the effects by minimizing your liquor consumption up to the threshold level such as one drink for a women and maximum of two drinks for men having age above 65. But always keep it in mind that one glass means a glass of beer, wine, or somewhat standard shot like spirit.
  • If you want to control alcohol intake then abstaining is very much difficult.
  • If you have any kind of liver problem then always avoid alcohol consumption in order to have healthy life otherwise it will cause serious problems and have bad impacts on your liver and life as well.
  • Never take drink with empty stomach because it has very bad impact on the intestine and may shrink your intestine which will definitely cause serious digestive problems. In some extreme cases you need serious medical attention after this. In case when you don’t have any doctor nearby you try to vomit the alcohol if you are feeling anything bad after having a drink.
  • Ensure that you are taking a balance diet which contain all the necessary ingredients which are necessary and helpful after having alcohol intake. This is very important as mentioned above after alcohol consumption the body starts to take less nutrients from your diet so to get proper nutrients you need to consume more food. This will definitely assist you in handling your daily activities.

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Treatment of Digestive Problems Caused by Alcohol

It is known that there is no proper care for cirrhosis of your liver, but there are treatments available which will help to minimize or stop the progress and minimize the damage to the liver cells and finally reduce complications.

The possible treatment depends on the following factors:

  • To decrease cirrhosis caused by alcohol consumption you must need to stop the alcohol drinking and need to avoid places where it is available.
  • If you have hepatitis then doctor must prescribe you antiviral or steroids to reduce all types of liver cell injuries.
  • The cirrhosis which is caused by autoimmune diseases or hemochromatosis treatment varies.

Medications are also available which help in controlling the symptoms caused due to cirrhosis. Ascites (fluid in the abdomen) and edema (fluid retention) must be treated along with removal of salt from your body. Drugs like diuretics are used which will help in removal of fluid from the body. Drugs along with proper diet are advisable which will help in altering the mental functions which are caused by the cirrhosis. To remove toxins and increase the speed of removal laxatives are also prescribed.

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All of these prescriptions and treatments are beneficial in one way or the other so that you need to use them with proper care. Sometime alcohol consumption looks quite fascinating but it become addiction with passage of time and it will become difficult to get rid of it. With the passage of time its harmful effects dominate and make your life miserable. The digestive system can be improved but if it is lost permanently due to alcohol consumption you will never be able to configure it again. To get rid of alcohol you need to make a promise with yourself and then stick to that so you can get rid of it.

 Related Posts

http://www.mediologiest.com/effects-of-alcohol-abuse-on-skeletal-system/

http://www.mediologiest.com/effects-of-alcohol-and-caffeine-on-the-urinary-system/

You can get additional information from the following links

http://alcoholrehab.com/alcoholism/alcohol-effects-on-the-digestive-system/

http://sciencenetlinks.com/interactives/alcohol/ebook/pages/digestive-system.htm

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