Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a common disorder affecting the large intestine. If you have experienced it before, you recognise its symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and constipation.
However, there are various causes of IBS. One major cause is alcohol abuse. The connection between the two lies in alcohol’s ability to interfere with the normal functioning of the digestive tract muscles.
Currently, IBS affects approximately 10-12% of the UK population. Similarly, alcohol abuse is widespread, with the World Health Organization estimating around 2.3 billion people worldwide. The major complication of excessive drinking is that it also contributes to over 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions. If you want information for yourself or a loved one, we will explore the link between alcohol abuse and IBS.
The Providence Projects facilities are well-equipped to provide you with the necessary personal space for healing from your alcohol-induced gastrointestinal issues. We provide en-suite bedrooms and can arrange a longer-term programme if you need it to feel more confident in your returning back to everyday stressors and responsibilities.
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Overview of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a complex and multifactorial disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the large intestine. Although the exact mechanisms underlying IBS are not entirely understood, several factors are believed to contribute to its development and symptoms.
Some common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Altered bowel habits
- Abdominal bloating and distension
- Gas and flatulence
- Mucus in the stool
Aside from IBS, other common gastrointestinal issues include:
- Acid reflux
IBS and these GIT issues are quite common. However, have you wondered if they are being triggered by excessive drinking?
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Alcohol Abuse And Other GI Problems
Alcohol consumption can also affect the gastrointestinal system. Here are some of the key connections between alcohol and gastrointestinal problems:
- Gastritis: Alcohol irritates and inflames the stomach lining, leading to gastritis. Gastritis symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- Peptic ulcers: Alcohol abuse has been associated with an increased risk of peptic ulcers. These open sores develop in the stomach lining or the small intestine’s upper part. Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the protective lining of the stomach and intestines, making them more susceptible to the acid in the digestive tract.
- Pancreatitis: Chronic alcohol abuse is a leading cause of pancreatitis. Alcohol-induced pancreatitis can be extremely painful and may lead to digestive problems.
Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
If you already developed alcohol-triggered IBS, we advise you to pay attention to your triggers. We also recommend that you limit or avoid alcohol consumption completely. It is more likely to consistently worsen your IBS symptoms. Here are some other ways to treat IBS:
- Taking over-the-counter or prescription medications to manage symptoms
- Participating in therapy options
- Modifying lifestyle with new activities like exercise
If you’re struggling to quit alcohol it may be a sign of dependence. If you are worried about your alcohol consumption, speak to our treatment team today to learn more about how we can help you.