If you experience feelings of pain in your stomach or a burning feeling in your chest after drinking alcohol, you may be suffering from alcoholic gastritis.
This condition is quite common for people who consume alcohol on a very regular basis over many years. It is one of many negative health side effects caused by drinking alcohol. If left untreated, alcoholic gastritis can lead to a number of uncomfortable or even dangerous complications.
If you or someone you know is a heavy or frequent drinker of alcohol, read on. It’s important that you learn about alcoholic gastritis. That way, you can recognize its symptoms as soon as they begin and so you or your loved one can seek treatment and/or alcohol rehab as needed.
What Is Gastritis?
When we eat food and drink beverages, our digestive system breaks these things down. It does so through the secretion of stomach acid and other chemicals. If our stomach wasn’t lined with a protective membrane, those harsh chemicals would break down our stomach as well.
Unfortunately, some of the bad habits in which we as humans participate can damage this lining. Gastritis is the uncomfortable or painful condition that results when this lining begins to disintegrate.
A number of different common bad habits can lead to gastritis.
Many people who work in stressful environments suffer from it. People who smoke or who consume large quantities of caffeine can end up with it, too. If someone takes a lot of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), he or she may develop symptoms of gastritis. Individuals who eat a lot of high-fat foods or who experience acid reflux after eating may also soon find that they have gastritis symptoms as well.
However, one of the most common indicators of the development of gastritis is the regular consumption of alcohol. This condition is so often linked to alcohol consumption. In fact, alcoholic gastritis has become a specific diagnosis all its own.
Many Americans drink alcohol on a regular basis. Some of these people develop alcohol abuse disorder, but some do not. In either case, it’s likely that most drinkers will also participate in one or more of the other bad habits listed above. This will raise their chances of developing gastritis even further.
What Are the Symptoms of Alcoholic Gastritis?
There are two different types of gastritis but their symptoms are quite similar. Acute gastritis comes on suddenly and causes intense pain, but it also subsides and even disappears quickly until it returns again. On the other hand, chronic gastritis is a longer-term condition that produces a dull, ongoing, and even constant pain instead.
Both types of gastritis result in stomach pain. In its acute form, gastritis can cause stomach upset and irritability, bloating and gas, and nausea and vomiting. It can also lead to ulcers and even hemorrhage in extreme cases.
Chronic gastritis comes on more slowly as stomach acid eats away at the stomach lining. As a result, people with chronic gastritis may feel a consistent mild stomach pain in their upper abdomen. They may also feel tired or anemic, and they may have difficulty eating at regular mealtimes.
Alcoholic gastritis presents as acute. People who suffer from alcoholic gastritis will experience sharp, intense stomach pain and irritability. They will desire fast relief. Although episodes of this type of gastritis may clear up quickly, it’s important that people who experience these pains see a doctor to avoid long-term complications.
Complications of Alcoholic Gastritis
If alcoholic gastritis is diagnosed and treated, people who suffer from it will not experience any long term effects. However, if it is ignored, it could lead to feelings of dizziness or weakness and shortness of breath. It could also result in internal bleeding, vitamin deficiencies, and polyps or tumors in the stomach.
People who drink heavily often avoid visiting their doctors even when they experience pain. However, it’s crucial that you seek medical advice and treatment if you believe that you are suffering from alcoholic gastritis.
Alcoholic Gastritis Treatment
Because alcoholic gastritis is caused by the regular and ongoing consumption of alcohol, you likely already know how this condition can best be treated. People who suffer from alcoholic gastritis should stop drinking alcohol right away. This will allow their protective stomach membrane to begin to heal.
If you or your loved one suffers from alcoholic gastritis, you should also avoid the other habits mentioned in this post that can further exacerbate this condition. Things like smoking, eating fatty foods, taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, and caffeine consumption will make the condition worse.
Stressful situations should also be avoided. When they cannot be avoided, healthy responses should be encouraged and cultivated. Going for a walk outside, meditation, taking deep breaths, and journaling are all examples of healthy ways to deal with stress.
Recovering from Alcoholic Gastritis
Alcoholic gastritis is highly treatable. If you stop drinking alcohol, your stomach lining will repair itself in time.
Of course, for many, quitting drinking alcohol is easier said than done. If you find the prospect of stopping drinking terrifying or potentially impossible despite the possibility that you may have a medical condition that can cause long term damage to your body, then you might have a substance abuse disorder. You may need help to break free from it.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help. You’ll soon be glad that you did.
If you are looking for help to break free from a dependency on alcohol or drugs in southern California, we would love to help you achieve your goals. New Leaf Detox and Treatment is located in beautiful San Juan Capistrano, just south of Los Angeles. Our experienced staff can help you to find the root of your addiction and can guide you on your first steps on a happy and healthy path that you can celebrate for the rest of your life.
Please give us a call today. We are here to help and we can’t wait to meet you.