Abdominal Pain After Drinking: Causes and Treatments

The abdomen houses various organs like the kidneys, liver, stomach and intestines. Momentous stomach or abdominal pain is normal. However, discomfort or pain after drinking alcohol can be causes by a health complication which should not be taken lightly. Seeking medical attention as advised if the pain preserves or worsens.

Causes of stomach pain after drinking alcohol

Alcohol is a pro-oxidant meaning it is digested rapidly. This process produces oxygen that is reactive, which may result to damage of cells and can also cause gastrointestinal tract damage causing pain. 

1. Alcohol intolerance

This is a condition that inhibits the body from digesting alcohol. The inability of the small intestines to produce enzymes that digest the alcohol toxins causes this condition. Beer ingredients like preservatives, sulfur dioxide as well as histamine trigger this condition.

Alcohol intolerance is incurable. Avoidance of alcohol is highly advised. Severe pain can be an indication of condition like Hodgkin's lymphoma.

2. Pancreas inflammation

Inflammation of the pancreas is caused by intake of alcoholic beverages. Besides stomach pain, this can also cause nausea and vomiting.

3. Epithelial lining damage

The epithelial lining is a protective covering of the stomach. Intake of too much alcohol damages this lining resulting in inflammation. This triggers stomach pain and cramps. The damage to this lining also causes medical complications.

4. Peptic ulcers

Peptic ulcers are an open wound in the lining on the stomach. These wounds can also be present in the duodenum and esophagus. Symptoms include pain and extreme discomfort in the stomach especially after eating. The discomfort is accompanied by a burning feeling before eating or drinking.

5. Chronic cholecystitis

Also referred to as the gallbladder disease, this condition is caused by the presence of excessive gall stones in the gallbladder. Symptoms include pain in the abdomen. However, pain in the right abdomen to the back indicates another condition. Chronic cholecystitis triggers pain in the abdomen a few hours after drinking alcohol.

6. Gastritis

This condition is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol that severely irritates the stomach walls. This can lead to inflation or bleeding. It is also caused by cigarettes and coffee. Symptoms include dull and constant pain in the upper abdomen, lack of appetite and bloating. Other symptoms include burning sensation, nausea and vomiting.

For any of the above symptoms, it is advisable to seek professional help from a medical doctor. For alcoholism, acceptance by the alcoholic is the hardest part. It is only after accepting that one is able to seek help. Medication is administered depending on the severity of the symptoms. Treatments include antibiotics and antacids. This prevents further growth of the injured parts of the stomach. It is advisable to avoid the intake of alcohol.

7. Bowel obstruction

This condition is caused by serious health complications or simply fecal matter that is impacted. Health complications could be tumors, hernias or abnormal growth of tissues. Symptoms include abdominal cramping and pain, bad breath, constipation, vomiting as well as a distended abdomen. This condition can also cause stomach pain after drinking alcohol. Medical help is needed immediately if you are suffering bowl obstruction.

Home remedies for stomach pain after drinking alcohol

1. Drink lots of water

Water is a known cure for hangovers. This is caused by dehydration. Water is also ideal before going to bed after drinking alcohol. This avoids damage from occurring in your stomach.

2. Consuming foods that dry the acid

Stomach pain after drinking is partly caused by the elevated acid levels in the stomach. Eating dry foods will soak this acid and thus stop the ache. Salty crackers or a piece of toast are ideal.

3. Having bananas

Bananas compensate the vitamins and minerals absorbed by alcohol. Vitamin B is the most commonly lost vitamin after drinking alcohol. Bananas compensate for this loss.

4. Taking pickles

Pickles supply the body with vitamin A, potassium, iron, manganese, as well as calcium. These contents calm a paining stomach.

5. Taking yogurt

Yogurt contains lactic acid, which is good in digestion. This helps to ease the stomach upsets.

6. Having Mint tea

This is an old and helpful stomach remedy. It cures stomach upsets as well as hangovers. Chewing on mint leaves are also as effective.

7. Drinking ginger tea

Ginger tea can be made from ground ginger or ginger tea bags. It eases the stomach upset.

Take 2 pieces of ginger roots and then peel it. Boil two cups of water and then add in the sliced ginger. Let the ginger simmer for 15-20 minute. You can also add some lemon or honey and lemon to add the taste.

8. Chicken soup

Hot chicken soup eases the stomach pain after drinking. It will rehydrate the body and also replaces lost electrolytes.

9. Taking non-acidic fruit juice

This compensates for lost vitamins and also rehydrates the body. Avoid juices with acids as they elevate the levels of acid in the stomach. So avoid common choices of apple juice or orange juice.

10. Taking vitamin B supplements

This replenishes the lost vitamin B and repairs the body's nervous system. This also reduces stress. These supplements also aid in digestion and will balance the sugar levels in the blood.

Prevention for alcohol induced discomfort

The most ideal way to avoid stomach pain after drinking alcohol is to avoid alcohol. However, if one must indulge, there are several ways to prevent stomach pain. You can:

  1. Eat before drinking. This prevents the quick absorption of alcohol.
  2. Taking it slow. Take your time on a drink. Limit yourself to a drink per hour.
  3. Taking water between drinks. Taking a glass of water after each drink maintains the body's hydration and prevents stomach upsets.
  4. Avoid taking beverages with high congeners. Avoid taking darker alcoholic drinks. These drinks contain high levels of congeners. This is the chemical used to add flavor and color to the drinks. Drinks with higher congeners include scotch, bourbon, brandy, red wine, tequila, and dark colored beer that have high alcohol content.
  5. Quit smoking. Avoid taking other drugs while drinking alcohol. Avoid nicotine while drinking.
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