Alcohol and Diarrhea, Causes and Effects

Bristol Stool Chart

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If you have ever drank a little, or especially way too much, alcohol and ended up losing the rest of the night to the toilet with a horrible bout of diarrhea, you are probably wondering why. This is a rather commonplace complication of drinking for many.  For many others the do not begin until the next morning.

Why Diarrhea After Drinking Alcohol?

When you consume alcohol, a variety of things happen to your gastrointestinal system. The more regularly you consume alcohol, the more likely you are to experience this problem, yet it can also occur if you are not a hard drinker at all.  The most common problem is that as your intestinal tract absorbs alcohol, they suffer a loss of their capacity to absorb water. This is the reason why you feel so dreadful when you have a hangover – you are not properly hydrated, even if you consumed a good deal of alcoholic beverages at last night’s festivities. Also, alcohol suppresses the muscle actions of your digestive system. When the muscles do not expand and contract as quickly as they normally would, you may well find that you are sensitive to food and drink with higher sugar concentrations. You might also realize that your diarrhea comes on surprisingly fast after consuming food. This is because your body is not absorbing sufficient water to intermix with the food you consumed, and your muscles group is not doing its job of processing the food appropriately.

Alcohol can decrease the muscle contractions in the rectum and large intestine. This gives the same result, a decreased time period for the foodstuff to proceed through your body, with diarrhea as the result. All of these problems can result in surplus liquid from the intestinal tract’s inner lining, bundled with absorption issues, this can trigger considerable diarrhea.

Moreover, the issue with diarrhea after drinking is frequently worse than it initially appears. Occasionally you might think you are going to break wind, but it is actually an unrestrained diarrhea incident. Depending on the situation this can be both embarrassing and discomforting.

The diarrhea problem typically persists for a several hours, not abating until the liver processes the alcohol out of your gastrointestinal system. Remember, your odds of getting diarrhea deviate substantially based on your physical chemistry, your alcohol tolerance, and the amount you drank.
(rewritten from: http://www.med-health.net)

Specifics on Alcohol and Diarrhea

Alcohol and Water Absorption:

The absorption of alcohol begins in the stomach and continues in the small intestine, where the bulk of the alcohol is absorbed. As the intestinal cells absorb the alcohol, the toxicity causes these cells to lose their ability to absorb water, and some cells even die. The cell injury and death leads to an outpouring of fluid from the intestinal lining, which is in turn poorly absorbed. – See more at: http://www.poopreport.com/Doctor/Content/alcohol.html#sthash.Hyh62Ei6.dpuf

Who is at Risk of Diarrhea After Drinking?

Certain groups of people are more at risk of suffering diarrhea after drinking.

If you drink a lot of alcohol regularly then it will gradually damage your gut which will not work as efficiently as it did and you will be more prone to diarrhea.

For example regular drinking can eventually cause the tops of the villi – the little projections which stick out from the intestinal lining – to wear off.

Binge drinking will mean a large dose of alcohol will suddenly reach your gut so diarrhea will be more likely.

If you suffer from an intestinal disorder like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome then your gut is already extra sensitive and you are more likely to succumb to diarrhea.

People with food intolerances and allergies.

Taken from: http://www.diarrheanurse.com/diarrhea-after-drinking.html

Beer Drinking And Diarrhea

Beer is made from grain. Grain is a source of dietary fiber. The brewing process intensifies the potency of the fiber. The colon has bacteria that normally aide in digestion by fermenting sources of dietary fiber that could not be broken down by the enzymes in the stomach and small intestine. The alcohol in the beer possibly intoxicates the bacteria, causing them to not do their job properly. Absorption of water by the colon is disrupted because of the imbalance created by the onslaught of all the extra fiber juice and yeast. The yeast goes into overdrive with the slacking off of the good bacteria and multiplies rapidly, producing yeast waste which would appear as a frothy substance resulting in foamy diarrhea.

So we have learned that beer is a source of soluble fiber which is derived from the cell walls of malted barley. A liter of beer contains an average of 20% of the recommended daily intake of fiber and some beers can provide up to 60%.

It may be helpful to try different brands of beer in order to find one that has a fiber content more agreeable with your system.

– See more at: http://www.poopreport.com/Doctor/Knowledgebase/beer_and_poop.html#sthash.wV8GrEcY.dpuf

What To Do About Diarrhea (general information)

NIAAA Study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20575826 (pretty technical stuff)

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