Alcoholic Gastritis

Causes of Gastritis
Gastritis Symptoms
Gastritis Treatments



Alcohol is one of the major triggers for gastritis, hence the name 'alcoholic gastritis'.
Recognizing the symptoms of gastritis is essential, as it can become chronic.





Other Alcohol Health Issues

-Does alcohol cause hair loss?

-What damage does alcohol do to the liver?

-Alcohol and the brain.

-What effect does alcohol have on your weight?

  • At any one time 2.7 million Americans suffer from gastritis
    (Digestive diseases in the United States: Epidemiology and Impact – NIH Publication No. 94-1447, NIDDK, 1994)
  • In 2002-2003, 83,242 people were admitted to hospital in the U.K. with an episode of gastritis
    (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England.)
  • In the 1980s, 730 Americans died as a result of gastritis
    (Digestive diseases in the United States: Epidemiology and Impact – NIH Publication No. 94-1447, NIDDK, 1994)
These statistics illustrate the prevalence and potential seriousness of gastritis.

However, at the same time, it is also a largely preventable and treatable disease. This is particularly true of gastritis caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Stopping drinking or reducing your alcohol consumption is one way to lessen the symptoms.

What is Gastritis?

Simply put, gastritis is inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

If left untreated it can result in bleeding and the appearance of stomach/duodenal ulcers (....and all the complications these can lead to) [1].

What is Alcoholic Gastritis?

Gastritis can have any number of causes [2]. Alcoholic gastritis is, as the name suggests, gastritis that is exclusively caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Because the stomach wall of an alcoholic does not get respite from the irritating effects of alcohol, it is a common condition among those who abuse alcohol, be they alcoholic or not.

To understand the difference between heavy drinking and alcoholic drinking read drinking problems.

Other Causes of Gastritis

Other causes of gastritis include:

  • Use of NSAID type drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen). Long-term use of NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation and bleeding.
  • Helicobacter pylori infection. This is a bacteria present in more than half the worlds population. Only in some does it cause gastritis [3]
  • Old age. The older you get the more likely you are to suffer from gastritis. This is because as you age your stomach lining gets thinner. Also your immune system weakens as you age [4].
However, in the developed world, it is NSAIDs [5] and excessive alcohol consumption that are the most common triggers for gastritis.

What are the Symptoms of Gastritis Caused by Alcohol?

The symptoms are the same as those of non alcohol-induced gastritis.

They may include the following [6]:

  • Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen.This is the most common of the gastritis symptoms.
  • alcoholic gastritis
  • Nausea and vomiting. The vomit may differ in color depending on the severity of the gastritis.
  • Belching. Belching usually either does not relieve the pain or relieves it only briefly.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • A bloated feeling, feeling as if you have just drunk A LOT of water.
  • A burning sensation at the top of the belly.
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • Diarrhea




How is Alcoholic Gastritis Diagnosed?

It is possible for a physician to diagnose gastritis caused by alcohol by solely listening to the patient's history [7].

Any physician who hears of a history of heavy/alcoholic drinking and is presented with symptoms that suggest gastritis will find it hard not to make the connection.

If the gastritis symptoms persist even when the individual has stopped drinking, then a physician will usually perform an endoscopy. This is done to see if there are any other reasons for the abdominal pain.

Alcoholic Gastritis Treatments

When alcohol is the cause of gastritis, it is not much good to treat it with medicines.

The only way to stop the symptoms of alcohol-induced gastritis is to either reduce your alcohol consumption or stop drinking altogether.

If you wish to stop or moderate your alcohol consumption, then Deborah Morrow, our addictions counselor, can give you a free online consultation in which she will assess your drinking problem and give advice as to possible treatment options.

There are over.the-counter and prescription remedies for the temporary alleviation of gastritis. But the important word here is 'temporary', the symptoms will always return if you continue to drink excessively.

Remember, you should never stop drinking alcohol without first consulting your physician/doctor. Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal if not medically supervised.

Prognosis for Alcoholic Gastritis

If you suffer from gastritis and continue to drink excessively then you will continually suffer from gastritis and it will get worse,

There will be continuous pain in your abdomen and a bloated feeling.

Your stomach will become so sensitive that many foods/drinks (not just alcohol) will irritate it. It is also possible that stomach ulcers will form.

The only way to prevent multiple outbreaks of gastritis occurring is to cut down on your drinking or, even better, to quit drinking.


Are you suffering from gastritis because of your heavy alcohol consumption? Do you want to stop drinking too much and return to safe, healthy drinking? I highly recommend Rahul Nag's E-book, in which he outlines the steps you need to take to moderate your drinking or give up entirely. A great alternative to the way of AA and the expense of a treatment center. Take a risk-free look at his method and return to social drinking



If you found this page helpful, then the following may be of interest to you:




References:
  • [1]http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gastritis/#10
  • [2]"Gastritis". University of Maryland Medical Center (University of Maryland Medical System). 2002-12-01. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/gastritis-000067.htm
  • [3]Kandulski A, Selgrad M, Malfertheiner P (August 2008). "Helicobacter pylori infection: a clinical overview". Digestive and Liver Disease 40 (8): 619–26
  • [4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7102030
  • [5] Siegelbaum, Jackson (2006). "Gastritis". Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterolgoy. http://www.gicare.com/pated/ecdgs46.htm
  • [6] http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases
  • /pubs/gastritis/#10
  • [7] www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-gastritis


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Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice, Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)



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