Alcohol and gastritis don’t mix. Alcohol irritates your stomach lining and can make gastritis worse. If you have gastritis, avoid alcohol or drink it in moderation. However, this may be easier said than done if you have an alcohol addiction. When you reach out to Recovery Ranch TN, we can help you get the treatment you need to overcome your addiction and heal your gastritis. For more information about our alcohol addiction treatment center, please contact us today at 1.844.876.7680.
What Is Gastritis?
Gastritis is a fairly generic term and refers to an inflammation or swelling of the stomach lining. Unless treated, gastritis can lead to bleeding in the stomach, the development of stomach ulcers, and even stomach cancer. Gastritis can be caused by a number of things, including:
- Ingesting medicines like aspirin
- The presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria
- Thinning of the stomach lining due to advanced age or a weakened immune system
In some patients, gastritis has been linked to the consumption of alcohol; in most of these cases, the consumption will be excessive.
Alcohol and Gastritis
Alcoholics often develop gastritis, as the constant presence of alcohol in the stomach will irritate the lining and provide no opportunity for healing. The symptoms of alcohol-related gastritis include:
- Pain or burning in the upper abdominal region
- Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Excessive belching that does not relieve the stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- A funny taste in the mouth
Alcohol affects the entire gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, intestines, and pancreas. The walls of the stomach are lined with muscles, which churn food into small pieces. At the same time, stomach glands produce and emit gastric enzymes and acids. These acids aid in further breaking down the food into a state that will allow it to be absorbed through the stomach lining into the bloodstream. Hydrochloric acid is one of the substances produced by the stomach and would eat through the muscle if the stomach were not protected by its mucous lining. When there is not enough mucous to counteract the acid, however, the stomach lining becomes inflamed, and gastritis can result. Alcohol interferes with the mucus lining, leaving the stomach unprotected against the corrosive acids.
How Is Drinking Alcohol and Gastritis Diagnosed and Treated?
Although gastritis is typically diagnosed after a complete blood count (CBC), endoscopy, bacteria test, or stool check, many physicians can properly diagnose alcohol-related gastritis simply by listening to a patient’s history of prolonged alcohol use.
Short-term treatment for gastritis can be found in many over-the-counter medicines such as:
- H2 antagonists, such as Pepcid or Zantac
- Proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec, Nexium, or Prevacid
Those with gastritis will also tend to avoid hot and spicy foods. The good news is that alcohol-related gastritis should clear up once the person stops drinking. However, failure to stop drinking in the face of gastritis will likely mean continuous abdominal pain and bloat and the development of ulcers or stomach cancer.
Stomach ulcers are open sores on the stomach lining that produce intense pain, especially at night or when the stomach is empty. Most ulcers will heal and then reoccur. If left untreated, these stomach ulcers can start to bleed, especially if the ulcer has eroded the gastroduodenal artery. An ulcer that erodes and perforates the stomach wall may cause the contents of the stomach to leak into the abdominal cavity, leading to peritonitis or pancreatitis. If the ulcer continues to grow, it can affect adjacent organs, like the liver and pancreas. Although ulcers can certainly be deadly if left untreated, the potential for stomach cancer is the scariest ramification of prolonged alcohol-induced gastritis.
Find Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Recovery Ranch TN Today
If you’re ready to overcome the effects of alcohol and gastritis, call Recovery Ranch TN. We can help you develop the tools you need to live a sober, healthy life. We offer a range of treatment options to support long-term recovery, such as:
- Alcohol detox
- Inpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Aftercare planning
Recovery Ranch TN is a welcoming, supportive environment where you can heal and learn how to live without alcohol. To learn more, please contact Recovery Ranch TN today at 1.844.876.7680.