If you are one of the people who suffer from gastrointestinal bleeding and blood in your stool after drinking alcohol, if the presence of blood in your stool after drinking alcohol has caused you concern and you want to know the possible causes, we recommend that you read more carefully. By reading this you will know what effects alcohol will have on your digestive system and intestines and why some people get bloody stools after drinking alcohol.
Doctors believe that people who drink alcohol will sooner or later see the negative effects of alcohol on any part of their body, tissues and organs, but the subject of this article is the effects of alcohol on the gastrointestinal tract.
People who drink alcohol, especially if the habit has been around for a long time, will definitely have problems with the structure and function of their digestive system. Stomach problems, gastritis, peptic ulcers, as well as stomach aches and pains and gastrointestinal bleeding are some of the complications that alcoholics will suffer from.
Alcohol and the gastrointestinal tract
Now the question arises, what does alcohol do to the digestive system? Doctors say that the side effects of alcohol consumption in the gastrointestinal tract are caused by structural and functional changes in this system. These side effects are more or less due to alcohol consumption, but according to statistics, people who drink a lot are more likely to suffer from these side effects.
Also, people who have consumed alcohol chronically and for a long time will experience these side effects more than people who have recently consumed alcohol and their alcohol consumption is low to moderate.
Gastric inflammation, intestinal inflammation, gastrointestinal ulcers; Pain, discomfort as well as gastroesophageal reflux are some of the problems that these people experience.
We should also know that alcohol can cause weight gain in the user. Each gram of alcohol is very high in calories, approximately one calorie per gram of alcohol is equivalent to the calories per gram of fat. Also, people who consume alcohol may become less active and lose energy due to obesity.Alcohol consumption can also cause malnutrition in the user due to changes in the intestines, whether small intestines or large intestines. Malnutrition due to chronic alcohol consumption is usually due to nutrient malabsorption. In other words, people who consume alcohol regularly will definitely be deficient in many essential vitamins and minerals if the nutritional deficiencies are not replaced.
What is the effect of alcohol on each component and part of the digestive system?
In this section, we want to talk briefly about the negative effects of alcohol on different parts of the gastrointestinal tract.
- The effect of alcohol on the liver
Alcohol can have very serious effects on liver function. Acute alcoholic hepatitis is said to be one of the most serious liver problems caused by alcohol consumption. This problem occurs in people who drink a lot of alcohol in a short time.
Acute alcoholic hepatitis occurs with inflammation of the liver, acute yellowing of the skin, abdominal pain and hypoglycemia, and specific symptoms of liver failure, and ultimately loss of consciousness. Note that this set of symptoms occurs in a very short time. Another problem that alcohol causes in the liver is alcoholic fatty liver.
People with alcoholic fatty liver have elevated liver enzymes. This person may be completely asymptomatic, but we need to know that alcoholic fatty liver can cause liver failure in the long run and eventually liver cirrhosis.
Another problem that alcohol causes in the liver is the end stage of liver failure and liver cirrhosis, and this liver cirrhosis is very common in people who consume alcohol for a long time. Alcohol causes the liver cells to gradually lose their structure and normal function due to inflammation. These cells gradually turn from normal to fibrotic and dysfunctional.
A person with liver cirrhosis will have weakness and disability, nausea and weight loss. He has anorexia and becomes very tired and weak. He gradually develops swelling in his arms and legs., and in the final stages, there will be yellowing of the skin and severe itching of the skin. As the disease progresses, the pressure in the hepatic vein rises and the esophageal varices appear.
Rupture of the esophageal varices causes upper gastrointestinal bleeding and manifests itself in the form of melena, where the stool is watery, tarry !!, and very foul-smelling. Bleeding from esophageal varices can be very dangerous.
- What is the effect of alcohol on the pancreas?
We must say that alcohol can affect the pancreas of an alcoholic in both acute and chronic forms. Alcohol is associated with chronic inflammation or acute inflammation of the pancreas. Chronic inflammation of the pancreas or chronic pancreatitis following alcohol consumption is common in people who have experienced acute inflammation of the pancreas or acute pancreatitis several times. Complete abstinence from alcohol can help these people recover, but people with chronic pancreatitis may experience symptoms such as fatty stools, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, and lethargy and weight loss. Be aware that chronic alcohol-induced pancreatitis can also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. In fact, alcohol is a well-known risk factor for people with pancreatic cancer.
- What is the effect of alcohol on the stomach?
Alcohol can usually make stomach ulcers and the beginning of the small intestine worse, and most stomach ulcers will not be caused directly by alcohol. But drinking alcohol can make your stomach ulcer worse, especially if you are a person who, in addition to drinking alcohol, has bad habits such as smoking, stress, as well as taking anti-inflammatory and analgesic painkillers. You may be at risk for inflammation and ulcers caused by alcohol.
People who suffer from severe stomach ulcers after drinking alcohol will have the following symptoms:
These people may experience severe, sudden stomach pain, usually following a rupture in the lining of the intestine or stomach.
These people experience bloody vomiting and vomit that contains beans like coffee beans.
They will also have more heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease than others.
These people will have changes in their weight and appetite.
Briefly, the effects that alcohol can have on the stomach are as follows:
- inflammation of the stomach
- gastric bleeding
- gastric atrophy
- ulcers in the mucosa and under the gastric mucosa
Even very small amounts of alcohol can damage your stomach. Beverages that are low in alcohol, such as beer, are more likely to increase stomach acid production than drinks that are high in alcohol. Therefore, these people, which is chronic consumers of bear, may be more prone to the annoying complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease than other people.
Also, these people may have a more painful experience than other users due to the contact of gastric juice on the gastric mucosal ulcers.
- What are the effects of alcohol consumption on the intestines?
Briefly, the side effects of alcohol on your gut will be as follows:
- Increase the speed of small bowel movements
- Alcohol-dependent diarrhea
- Alcoholic malnutrition: Alcoholic malnutrition is caused by the malabsorption of substances from the damaged small intestinal wall following alcohol consumption.
- Exacerbating the symptoms and manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammation of inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease
- Inflammation of the intestinal wall or alcohol-induced colitis
- Creating intestinal ulcers
- Occurrence of lower gastrointestinal bleeding that usually presents with clear blood in the stool
- Exacerbation of colonic spasm and abdominal cramps
In the following, we want to point out the effects that alcohol has on your small and large intestines and talk about each of them briefly.
- Alcohol causes spasms and contractions of the intestines to occur more quickly
It is said that only two minutes after drinking an alcoholic beverage, 20% of the alcohol enters the bloodstream through the mouth and stomach and 80% of the alcohol enters the bloodstream through your small intestine and reaches the liver. Also, the remaining amounts of alcohol that could not be absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract affect the large intestine or the end of your small intestine. This residual and unabsorbed alcohol causes the contractions of the colon and cramps and the compression of the wall of the colon to occur more and faster than normal. What happens when the large intestine experiences accelerated contractions?
The large intestine is the site of reabsorption of water in eaten food. When bowel movements move faster than normal, material and water pass through the large intestines faster, so the cells in your colon wall will not have enough time to reabsorb the available water.
The second effect:
- Alcohol-induced malnutrition:
People who are accustomed to long-term alcohol consumption will definitely suffer from malnutrition due to nutrient malabsorption.
As we have said, the effect of alcohol on the intestinal wall is such that it intensifies bowel movements and intestinal spasms and accelerates the movement of ingested food into the intestinal tract Because food passes rapidly through the intestines, the cells in the small intestinal wall that are responsible for absorbing and reabsorbing substances will not have enough time to absorb nutrients. So the repetition of these events in the long run will have a huge impact on the condition and quality of nutrition and cause malnutrition, which is generally, as you can see, due to malabsorption of nutrients. So these people definitely need to use supplements as well as assessments to estimate deficiencies.
- Aggravating the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome:
Irritable bowel syndrome can be exacerbated by drinking alcohol or its symptoms. As we all know irritable bowel syndrome is a very common condition that different people experience and the main cause of it, has not been determined yet.
- Worsening of some intestinal diseases:
One of the known effects of alcohol consumption on the intestines is exacerbations of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease. It is natural that if this disease becomes active, the affected person can also experience blood in the stool. Among other diseases and intestinal disorders that will be exacerbated by alcohol consumption is celiac disease. It is normal for these people to experience the presence of blood and excretion of blood in the stool following alcohol consumption.
Alcohol can cause malnutrition in the user due to changes in the intestines, whether small intestines or large intestines. Malnutrition due to chronic alcohol consumption is usually due to nutrient malabsorption.
In other words, people who consume alcohol regularly will definitely be deficient in many essential vitamins and minerals if their nutritional deficiencies are not replaced.
- Causes internal bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract:
People who are chronic alcohol users or, in other words, people who have been accustomed to drinking alcohol for a long time can experience gastrointestinal bleeding, including upper bleeding from ruptured esophageal varices or ulcers of the stomach or beginning of the small intestine, as well as bleeding from the large intestine and lower intestinal tract.
We need to know that any type of blood transfusion that these people have in their stool can have different manifestations depending on the location of the bleeding, which we will mention below.
If gastrointestinal bleeding occurs in the upper gastrointestinal tract, doctors say that this upper hemorrhage is accompanied by bleeding in the stool and causes the stool to be very foul-smelling, watery and tarry.
The reason for this dark color and this bad smell is that it took a long time for the blood to reach the anus from the top of the gastrointestinal tract.
Among the causes of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract in alcoholics is the rupture of esophageal varices.
As we have said, esophageal varices are twisted veins in the lower parts of the esophagus that cause liver disorders and diseases and high blood pressure in the hepatic vein, and when they rupture, they can cause severe gastrointestinal bleeding that can sometimes be life-threatening.
Another effect that alcohol can have on your gut is to increase your risk of developing bowel cancer.
What will be the symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding?
- Excretion of clear, fresh blood in the stool or on the stool
- Excretion of very foul-smelling and watery stools due to bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract or rupture of esophageal varices
- Weakness and lethargy
- feeling exhausted
- Abdominal pain and increased abdominal cramps
- Change in appetite
What are the methods for diagnosing gastrointestinal bleeding?
To find out what the main cause of gastrointestinal bleeding is, your doctor will definitely ask about your symptoms and medical history, as well as alcohol abuse. In cases where the vital signs are stable, it may be necessary to take a stool sample to check for blood in the stool and other tests and send it to the lab. Other common tests and procedures include the following:
- Upper endoscopy
- flexible sigmoidoscopy
It should be noted that most cases of gastrointestinal bleeding that causes blood to be excreted in the stool can be treated and managed as long as the patient presents in a timely manner, and the treatment plan of individuals will depend on the cause of the bleeding. For example, if a person’s upper gastrointestinal tract is bleeding, the doctor will perform an endoscopy and inject the drug directly into the bleeding area It can control it or, for example, a bandage may be attached to the varicose vein of the esophagus or stomach wall that has ruptured and caused bleeding, thus controlling upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
If the person has severe or active gastrointestinal bleeding, he or she should be hospitalized. Surgery is the last resort if the bleeding continues and after all the treatment techniques mentioned above the patient is unable to respond to the above. So we have to say that the treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding largely depends on the following:
Where the bleeding was
What the cause of the bleeding was
Also, the amount of bleeding when the person is referred to the medical center is estimated, and in addition, the underlying problems and general health conditions of the patient cause the treatment group to use special plans to treat him.
What methods can be used to reduce the ill effects of alcohol on the gastrointestinal tract?
One of the definitive ways to eliminate the negative effects of alcohol on the gastrointestinal tract is to stop drinking alcohol.
However, sometimes it is not possible to stop or quit alcohol in some people. In this group of people, it is better to use the following strategies to reduce the adverse effects of alcohol on the gastrointestinal tract.
It is better to keep your drink moderate. It is said that it is enough for women to drink once and for men and drink twice a day.
It is best to avoid alcoholic beverages that are high in sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Be sure to drink plenty of plenty of drinking water whenever you drink alcohol.
Avoid caffeinated beverages with alcoholic beverages as caffeine itself can exacerbate dehydration.
Finally, avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach.
When to see a doctor?
In case of one or more of the following warnings, call the emergency room immediately or go to the nearest equipped medical center. These symptoms include:
- Weakness and lethargy
- Darkening of the eyes
- Increased heart rate
- Respiratory problems
- Feeling short of breath
- Chest pain
- The presence of recurrent clear blood in the stool
- Recurrent or progressive abdominal pain that does not get better in a few hours
- Bloody vomiting
- Dark stools