Alcoholic Gastritis: What is it & Can You Come Back From It?By Michaela
For those dealing with the uncomfortable, and often painful, symptoms of alcoholic gastritis it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Not only are you trying to manage your physical health, but alcohol can also have a strong emotional impact on your life. If you’re wondering what exactly alcoholic gastritis is as well as possible ways to improve your overall health and quality of life then this blog post is for you. We’ll cover causes, signs & symptoms, treatments available, and tips for those struggling with alcohol consumption while living with an active case of alcoholic gastritis. Read on to learn more!
What is Alcoholic Gastritis & Chronic Gastritis?
Alcoholic gastritis is a type of chronic inflammation of the stomach lining caused by long-term, heavy consumption of alcohol. It is a result of the body’s weakened ability to protect itself from the damaging and toxic effects of ethanol, which is present in alcoholic beverages. The inflammation affects the stomach lining and can cause severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and bleeding. Often times symptoms such as these may be confused with other digestive conditions making it difficult to diagnose.
The term “alcoholic gastritis” was first coined in 1970 to describe this particular type of gastritis because it was found to be directly related to excessive drinking. Long-term heavy drinking increases the amount of acid and enzymes produced by the stomach which weakens the mucus layer that protects the delicate cells within it. This damage then leads to an erosion of the stomach’s inner lining causing symptoms like those listed above. While individuals suffering from alcoholism are more likely to suffer from this condition, non-drinkers can also develop alcoholic gastritis if they consume large amounts of alcohol on a frequent basis over a long period of time or even just a single episode of binge drinking.
Treating alcoholic gastritis requires abstaining from alcohol altogether as well as medications prescribed by your doctor such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Additionally dietary changes including eating smaller meals throughout the day and avoiding foods that irritate or worsen symptoms can help improve quality of life for those living with this condition. Adhering closely to treatment plans set forth by your doctor is key for managing both current and future episodes while maintaining overall health in general.
Alcoholic Gastritis Symptoms
Common symptoms include indigestion, nausea, abdominal pain and bloating, loss of appetite and weight loss, vomiting, dark stools or blood in vomit or stools. In some cases, alcohol-related gastritis may also lead to long-term complications such as internal bleeding and even stomach cancer.
Identifying alcoholic gastritis can be difficult due to its wide variety of symptoms. The diagnosis process typically begins with a physical exam followed by laboratory tests such as blood work and imaging studies. A thorough examination of your medical history is important when diagnosing this condition as there are many other conditions that have similar symptoms to alcoholic gastritis including ulcers, Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Unfortunately, alcoholic gastritis is often underdiagnosed due to the difficulty in identifying it correctly. This can be problematic since the condition requires immediate treatment in order to prevent serious complications from developing over time. If you suspect you might have an active case of alcoholic gastritis then it is important that you seek professional medical help right away. Your doctor may recommend further testing such as an endoscopy or biopsy in order to confirm the diagnosis.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with alcoholic gastritis or think you might have it then it is important that you get checked out by your doctor right away. With early detection and proper treatment, you can avoid serious complications from developing over time due to untreated alcohol-related damage to your stomach lining.
Treatments for Alcoholic Gastritis from Excessive Alcohol Consumption
When it comes to treating alcohol gastritis symptoms, the first step is to stop drinking alcohol. This is essential for allowing your body to recover and heal from the damage done by consuming alcohol. Once you have stopped drinking, your doctor may suggest a variety of treatments depending on the severity of your condition (acute gastritis or severe). These include medications such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors, lifestyle changes like eating smaller meals more often, avoiding spicy and acidic foods, stress management techniques, and possibly even surgery in more extreme cases. These are similar methods that you might use if you are experiencing digestive and kidney diseases.
Medications are usually the first line of defense against alcoholic gastritis and can help reduce acid secretion while promoting healing of the stomach lining. Antacids like Tums can be taken before meals to neutralize stomach acid and make digestion more manageable. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can also help reduce acid production and may be prescribed if antacids aren’t effective enough. These medications work by blocking acid-producing cells in the stomach wall which allows them to heal faster.
In addition to medications, lifestyle changes can also be beneficial for those with alcoholic gastritis. Eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large ones can make digestion easier on your stomach and allow it time to rest between meals; this will also prevent excessive amounts of acid from being produced in between meals which can cause flare-ups of symptoms. Avoiding acidic or spicy foods is important too as they can aggravate existing inflammation in the stomach lining and make symptoms worse. Stress management techniques such as yoga or meditation can also be helpful in reducing symptoms that are caused by emotional stressors associated with alcoholism recovery. In some cases, surgery may be recommended if medication alone isn’t enough to reduce pain or other symptoms associated with alcoholic gastritis.
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If you stop drinking, there is definitely a chance that your alcoholic gastritis will go away; however it depends on how far along your condition has progressed and how well you take care of yourself during recovery from alcoholism. It is important that you follow any advice given by your doctor regarding medications or lifestyle changes as these will help promote healing of the stomach lining and minimize flare-ups of symptoms associated with alcoholic gastritis.
Having Trouble Stopping Drinking Even if You Have Alcoholic Gastritis?
For some, the treatment of “stop drinking” is simpler than others. If you find that you have difficulty committing to slow your alcohol intake despite your alcoholic gastritis, then you have probably developed an alcohol dependence. Alcohol dependence is defined as a psychological and physical reliance on alcohol, leading to increased tolerance for it, the need for more to achieve the same effects, or withdrawal symptoms if the person stops drinking. If this sounds like you, then it may be time to consider getting help from The Alcohol Coach.
The Alcohol Coach takes a unique and comprehensive approach to helping overcome alcohol dependence and with graduates around the world having had success, there is a proven track record.
If you want to start the process of reversing your alcoholic gastritis now, then get started with out 60-minute free masterclass that will give you a taste of what it’s like to have The Alcohol Coach on your side.
Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
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