How does alcohol affect your stomach?

Alcohol can cause damage of stomach lining mucous cells which can cause inflammation, and spike stomach acid resulting to stomach pain, irritation and troubles in emptying your bowel. Excessive drinking can extremely impair the stomach lining resulting to acid reflux, gastritis or ulcers.

Are there any types of alcohol that can have a positive effect on your stomach?

I recommend regular intake of red wine moderate amounts for a healthier gut. The polyphenols from the grape skins used to produce can increases the gut microbiota especially the good bacteria which improve digestion and lower risks of gut related disorders.

Beer contains B vitamins and bitter acids that can stimulate gastric acid release, boosts food digestion and how the body uses the excess carbs and fat to fuel metabolic processes. 

Can regularly consuming any kind of alcohol have an effect — either positive or negative — on your stomach health over time?

Regular alcohol drinking can impair proper stomach and digestion functioning as the mucous linings on the stomach walls are destroyed leading to ulcers, stomach cancers, gastritis or cause a reduction in gut microbiome.

Which alcohols affect your stomach least? Why is this?

Whiskey, vodka and other distilled alcoholic spirits or red wine are ideal for the stomach as they can’t trigger acid refluxes while wine improves gut microbiome.

Which alcohols affect your stomach most? Why is this?

Sugary cocktails, and frozen alcoholic drinks are worst for the stomach as the high calories and harmful chemicals can worsen digestive problems.

What are some key signs that your stomach issues or digestive troubles might be caused by alcohol?

Stomach issues due to alcohol intake can trigger signs like;

  • Belching
  • Gnawing
  • Heartburn
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Boating or stomach gas

How can you tell that alcohol is the culprit if you already struggle with stomach problems?

People with underlying stomach disorders can experience nausea, vomiting, acid refluxes, and diarrhea after taking alcohol even in moderate amounts. 

What are your top tips for mitigating the impact of alcohol on your stomach when drinking?

Drink less concentrated alcoholic beverages in moderate amounts like red wine and beers. Never drink on an empty stomach, take antacids to prevent acid refluxes, or heart burns, reduce your daily intake and eat plain healthy foods before drinking.

Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.

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