Role of Alcohol in Gastrointestinal Diseases

Posted by vankataip 22/06/2021 0 Comment(s)


Alcohol might seem to be your best friend in times of loneliness, but it is your worst enemy ever. 


Alcoholism or being addicted to alcohol is a serious substance abuse issue, and many people suffer from it unknowingly. They become aware of suffering from this problem when they collapse on the floor, and the doctor reveals some major issue with the liver. 


While alcohol is known to destroy the entire body, on the whole, the most pronounced effects are seen as gastro-digestive problems. 


Alcoholic Liver Disease

Due to chronic consumption of alcohol, certain hepatic changes may occur that are referred to as Alcoholic Liver Disease. It is a three-stage disease, and these stages are defined as follows: 

  • Alcoholic Steatosis: It’s the first level of alcohol abuse but is reversible if you stop drinking alcohol. 
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis: It may manifest as jaundice and enlarged liver and spleen. However, it’s a reversible condition if you quit drinking. 
  • Alcoholic Cirrhosis: Irreversible damage to the liver as a result of chronic consumption of alcohol. It may advance to hepatocellular carcinoma. 


If you are diagnosed at the first two levels, there are high chances for you to recover if you’re willing to stop drinking. There also supplements available that promote liver care and can help you speed up the recovery process. 


However, if, for some reason, the condition progresses to stage three – a complete recovery is not possible. And this may result in various gastro-digestive problems that can significantly deteriorate your health. 


Apart from alcoholic liver disease, other problems can arise because of alcohol abuse. 


1. Pancreatitis 
It's the inflammation of the pancreas, an organ responsible for releasing important enzymes that aid in digestion. It results in auto-digestion of the pancreatic substance and may lead to systemic organ failure. 


2. Gastrointestinal Problems 

Alcohol disrupts the normal functioning of your stomach by interfering in the release of gastric acid. Due to this, issues related to indigestion are reported, which may resolve ulcers as well. 

Moreover, with increased alcohol consumption comes the major and painful problem of bleeding in the oesophagus. It can further lead to internal bleeding and multiple organ failure. 


3. Infections 
Our liver is responsible for making substances that help us fight infections. These substances can be called immunoglobulins and are manufactured in the liver. 

Uncontrolled consumption of alcohol can leave you prone to various infections because alcohol significantly damages the liver. 


4. Brain Problems 
The liver is necessary for excreting out a critical waste product known as ammonia. However, if the liver cannot work efficiently (thanks to alcohol), this waste product would continue to accumulate in the body. 


Ammonia can quickly enter the brain and can significantly damage the brain as a result. 


Alcohol can cause severe damage to your liver, a vitally important organ entrusted with many functions. If you're addicted to alcohol and can't seem to stop consuming it - now would be an excellent time to seek professional help. 


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