Stomach Pain Alcohol Withdrawal - Ask Abbeycare (2023)

Stomach pain alcohol withdrawal

Sometimes when going through alcohol detox, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, one of which is stomach pain. This happens because the alcohol stimulates your stomach to produce a high level of enzymes that are supposed to help with digestion.

These extra enzymes become an irritant to the stomachlining andleads to stomach upset and problems such as heartburn, ulcers, gastritis,nausea,and an upset stomach.

Alcohol use disorder erodes the stomach's mucous membrane and bloating may become a side effect of alcohol withdrawal as well. This is caused by what is known as "alcohol-induced hepatitis," making your stomach lining susceptible to intestinal issues.

Abdominal swelling is another sign of severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and it could be a sign of acute gastritis as well. (We discuss this indetailbelow.)

Acutegastritis,however, could also bebecause oftaking too many nonsteroidal or anti-inflammatory addiction medicine such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

Additionally, this type of swelling could also be a residual result of heavy drinking it is a built-up of gas.

The good news is that as the bloating disappears, while going through the alcohol and drug addiction treatment, you will most likely drop a few pounds. Definitely a silver lining!

Does your stomach hurt when you quit drinking?

Yes. The pain in your stomach when you stop drinking is a form of alcoholic gastritis and it is one of the many alcohol withdrawal symptoms that you will experience.

However, the most common type of stomach problem during alcohol addiction detox is gastrointestinal distress, which is the first symptom likely to appear. It can also be the last one to leave.

It will develop just a few hours after your last drink, and it is part of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. You will experience severe nausea and abdominal cramping and pain.

This will make it difficult for you to drink or eat anything during the recovery process.

What is alcohol gastritis?

Alcohol gastritis is a form of stomach pain, and it is one of the many withdrawal symptoms you will experience as you go through the treatment for alcohol use disorder.

It occurs because of the alcohol damaging your stomach lining and can cause a wide variety of issues including vomiting and severe nausea.[1]

Alcohol induced gastritis may present immediately you stop consuming alcohol, or over time, and it tends to eat away at your body's digestive tract.

Long-term alcohol dependence puts a strain on your body and mayleadto acute gastritis, bacterial infections, bleeding,ulcersand discomfort.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe or mild, and this is a form of severe withdrawal of alcohol use disorder.

Symptoms are usually managed in a residential clinic using tapered and supervised alcohol detox treatment.

What causes alcoholic gastritis?

Your stomach, being part of the digestive tract produces powerful enzymes and acids that help in breaking down food and other substances.

These also protect the rest of the body from potent compounds and there is a membrane that exists to help keep the process in the stomach. But, when this membrane is irritated, it causes gastritis.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are part of this irritation that leads to the condition.

The longer the person suffers from alcohol use disorder, the more likely the alcohol gastritis symptoms tend to become permanent, and this can damage their digestive system.

Types of gastritis

When going through alcohol withdrawal symptoms, there are two main types of gastritis you are likely to develop:

  • Acute alcohol gastritis
  • Chronic alcohol gastritis

Both ofthesecausessevere pain and can destroy your stomach and digestive tract. Although one of them is more life threatening than the other one.

Acute alcohol gastritis

This refers to an alcohol withdrawal symptom that causes a sudden inflammation of your stomach lining.

It can present itself very quickly and painfully than the other kind and has a long list of severe symptoms that include:

  • Ulcers
  • Mild stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach irritability.
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Haemorrhaging.

Chronic alcohol gastritis

This normally develops as a form of alcoholwithdrawal,and it is a persistent condition that can cause the stomach lining to become inflamed for a long period of time.

As a result, the stomach loses its protectivefunction,and the acid affects stomach lining and as a result the stomach lining remains inflamed.

The symptoms can be mild or severe and they are less likely to be addressed as compared to the acute gastritis.

They include:

  • Feeling tired.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Stomach irritation.
  • A loss of appetite.
  • Anaemia.

Alcoholic gastritis risk factors

Excessive alcohol consumption that causes alcoholic gastritis symptoms to develop.

You are at risk of this condition if you expose yourself to the following:

  • Smoking excessively or using illicit drugs.
  • Consuming diets that are high in oil, fats, saturated and trans fats and preservatives.
  • Long-term alcohol consumption.
  • Autoimmune conditions such as high blood pressure that weaken the body.
  • A stressful lifestyle.

Alcoholic gastritis complications

As an alcohol withdrawal symptom, any development of acute or chronic gastritis should be handled with care, which is why we say that detox should be medically reviewed.

In fact, medical treatment options should be explored for all alcohol related problems.

So, the gastritis, although a rare complication can have adverse implications on your health and if left untreated, you may end up with stomach ulcers and bleeding in your stomach, which is known as erosive gastritis.

Erosive gastritis is characterizedby;weakness, dizziness, black or tarred stools, shortness of breath, and blood in vomit and stool.

In addition to this, if the gastritis is combined with other more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as high blood pressure, delirium tremens, chronic gastritis, high body temperature, mental health disorders, excessive mood swings, etc., you are advised to seek other treatment programs that will help you throughthis as common symptomscan quickly turn fatal without treatment.

Can alcohol withdrawal cause stomach cramps?

Yes. Alcohol withdrawal can cause stomach cramps. This is because the stomach produces an acid that causes gastritis when you stop drinking.

This inflammation of your stomach lining triggers symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, , cramps and even bleeding.

In addition, the alcohol withdrawal process can cause a condition called delirium tremens and high body temperature which when combined with the cramps can be quite unbearable and fatal.

You may need medical emergency from treatment facilities when the following symptoms develop:

  • Stomach cramps.
  • Excessive weakness.
  • Less endurance.
  • Impaired recovery.
  • Hallucinations.

How long does alcohol gastritis last?

It depends. The treatment of alcohol use disorder is unique to each person, and some may experience the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal longer than others.

When you are addicted to alcohol, and have suffered for a long time, the symptoms are likely to take longer, than someone with moderate drinking problems.

With time, the painsubsidesand you are able to continue with the medically reviewed alcohol use addiction treatment with ease.

The drinking effects can however be felt even one year after your detox programme is completed. This is because, the alcohol withdrawal timeline is also different for everyone.

What is causing stomach pain from alcohol?

The pain from alcohol isas a result ofthe stomach lining losing the mucus membrane and opening itself up to the digestive enzymes and other stomach acids.

These are basically attacking your stomach as a result of severe withdrawal symptoms and the pain will subside with time.

In most cases, the abdominal pain from the treatment of alcohol use disorder is a part of the treatment process, but then again, it could just be a simple common pain in your tummy.

What are the dangers of stomach pain from alcohol?

Stomach pain from alcoholas part of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome, is a more serious condition compared to just a normal stomach pain.

According to research (1), when you do not treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as gastritis, you may expose yourself to the following dangers:

  • Excessive stomach pain.
  • Polyps.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Canceroustumoursin your stomach.
  • Stomach bleeding.

An individual's alcohol withdrawal timeline can cause mild or severe symptoms.

This process should therefore be medically reviewed by a professional to ensure that you are going through the detox from too much alcohol with ease, without affecting your nervous system or causing an increased risk to your mental health.

Is there a stomach pain after drinking alcohol cure?

Well, yes. Technically, when a person drinks and then they stop drinking, their body tends to react through pain, and the simple cure to this pain is either to relapse, or persevere through the process, so you can completely beat the habit.

Well, since you are trying to quit drinking, the only option would be to persevere, in just a few days, the pain will subside.

Otherwise, if you are unable to get through the treatment and you relapse,so as toease the symptoms, sooner rather than later, you will be back again trying to get through detox, and the pain will present itself once again.

Persistent alcohol and drug use for an extended period will cause pain when the drugs or alcohol leaves your body, and because you have abused alcohol and other drugs, you should be able to understand that the process will notbe easy, but with medical attention and other treatments, you can get through it.

You are not alone, and many other people seeking treatment are also going through the same painful process, but according to peer reviewed studies, the key to a successful treatment is to persevere through the painful drinking affects and other symptoms for someone who tends to consume alcohol excessively.

The first step towards Alcohol addiction treatment is detox, and this can help you through the stomach pains, but you will have to follow the treatment process, such as eating a healthy diet, and ensuring that you take medication for the alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Other symptoms of alcohol abuse

A few hours after your last drink, you will suffer from a myriad of symptoms, although they are different for everyone.

These are the most common types of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, other than gastritis:

  • You may experience insomnia.
  • You may suffer from blood pressure issues.
  • You may experience shakes.
  • You may have headaches.

You may not know which of these symptoms will develop, and some can be quite fatal to your health and life. It is therefore highly advisable to seek medical treatment when going through the rehab process.

All the best as you deal with stomach pain alcohol withdrawal.

FAQs

Does quitting drinking make your stomach hurt? ›

Nausea and Abdominal Pain

The most common symptom of alcohol withdrawal is gastrointestinal distress. This is typically the first symptom to appear, and it can also be the last to leave. As few as eight hours after the last drink of alcohol, patients might experience nausea as well as abdominal pain and cramping.

Why am I so gassy after quitting drinking? ›

Bloating and abdominal discomfort are often the result of alcohol-induced gastritis. It remains after you quit drinking because it is the result of ingesting alcohol over time. Since the condition occurred over time, it is unlikely to disappear overnight.

What would you do if someone is showing withdrawal symptoms? ›

If you need to support someone through withdrawal, talk to a doctor (you can search for a doctor in your region here), another health professional, or a drug and alcohol service before starting. If you are helping someone with an addiction, encourage the person to exercise and eat healthy food.

Can stopping drinking make you feel sick? ›

You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms if You Stop Drinking

Withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, tremors, sleep problems, rapid heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, anxiety, restlessness, and possibly even seizures.

How long does alcoholic gastritis last? ›

Acute gastritis

Irritants like alcohol, drugs, heavily spiced foods, injury and bacteria exposure can all lead to the condition. While symptoms are often intense, they typically subside with treatment in under two weeks.

What does alcohol gastritis feel like? ›

Signs & Symptoms of Alcoholic Gastritis

Common symptoms include: A burning or gnawing sensation in the stomach. Bleeding in the stomach, which may appear in vomit or stool. The vomit may be red or look like coffee grinds, while stool may be black, tarry, or have red blood in it.

How do I get rid of alcohol gastritis? ›

Alcoholic Gastritis Treatments
  1. Antibiotics to kill bacteria that cause gastritis.
  2. Antacids to reduce your stomach acid.
  3. Histamine (H2) blockers, which curb how much acid your stomach makes.
  4. Proton pump inhibitors, which treat stomach ulcers and reflux.
12 May 2021

What are the first signs of liver damage from alcohol? ›

Symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)
  • feeling sick.
  • weight loss.
  • loss of appetite.
  • yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
  • swelling in the ankles and tummy.
  • confusion or drowsiness.
  • vomiting blood or passing blood in your stools.

How do you Debloat from alcohol? ›

If you've been drinking alcohol, you should drink water to quickly get rid of bloating in your face and stomach. In fact, drinking water before, during, and after drinking alcohol can help prevent its inflammatory effects on the body. If you're feeling bloated while drinking alcohol, switch over to drinking water.

What medication is best for withdrawal? ›

Buprenorphine is the best opioid medication for management of moderate to severe opioid withdrawal. It alleviates withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings.

How long will withdrawal symptoms last? ›

According to American Addiction Centers, withdrawal symptoms will generally peak within 24-72 hours after your last drink and resolve within 4-5 days.

What are the 4 levels of addiction? ›

There are four levels of addiction: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. We will discuss each level in-depth and provide tips for overcoming addiction. Most people who try drugs or engage in risky behaviors don't become addicted.

What helps a stomach ache after drinking? ›

Antacids work by neutralizing the stomach acid to relieve an upset stomach. Taking antacids can reduce nausea, heartburn, and indigestion that drinking causes. This is a good option for people who tend to feel sick when hungover.

How do you know your liver is healing? ›

You will experience physical signs your liver is healing, such as healthier-looking skin and eyes, increased energy levels, and reduced stomach pain and swelling. Other signs your liver is healing include: Improved amino-acid regulation – Your liver processes proteins and amino acids that your body cannot store.

How long after drinking does your body heal? ›

Minor detox symptoms may show up in just 2 to 6 hours after your last drink, she says. They will typically peak in 1 to 3 days for a lighter drinker, but may last for a week with heavy drinkers. Persistent withdrawal symptoms are fairly rare, she says, but they may last for a month or more.

Is alcoholic gastritis reversible? ›

Unless they are extremely serious, gastritis and ulcers can be reversed through treatment and abstinence from alcohol, although there will most likely be some scar tissue remaining in the individual's gastrointestinal tract.

What helps gastritis pain fast? ›

Available by prescription or over the counter, acid blockers include famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet HB) and nizatidine (Axid AR). Medications that neutralize stomach acid. Your doctor may include an antacid in your drug regimen. Antacids neutralize existing stomach acid and can provide rapid pain relief.

Can your stomach lining repair itself? ›

The inner lining of the intestines is one of the most-often renewed surfaces in the human body, replenishing itself every 2 to 4 weeks. Lining replacement depends on stem cells stored within indentations called crypts, which are densely scattered across the intestine's inner wall.

What happens to your digestive system when you stop drinking alcohol? ›

It can improve overall digestive health

"The digestive system works hard to eliminate alcohol (a toxin) from our system," Sonpal said. "So when we cut out alcohol we are allowing the digestive system to better convert the food and beverages we consume into fuel, energy for us to function optimally."

When should I go to the hospital for abdominal pain? ›

If the pain is sudden, severe or does not ease within 30 minutes, seek emergency medical care. Sudden abdominal pain is often an indicator of serious intra-abdominal disease, such as a perforated ulcer or a ruptured abdominal aneurysm, although it could also result from a benign disease, such as gallstones.

Do alcoholics have stomach issues? ›

Alcohol can cause gastritis by irritating the lining of the stomach. Gastritis can happen while you are drinking, causing pain and sickness. Gastritis can also be a long-lasting condition.

What happens to your digestive system when you stop drinking alcohol? ›

It can improve overall digestive health

"The digestive system works hard to eliminate alcohol (a toxin) from our system," Sonpal said. "So when we cut out alcohol we are allowing the digestive system to better convert the food and beverages we consume into fuel, energy for us to function optimally."

How long does it take for your stomach to recover from drinking? ›

Recovery after abstinence

Recent studies have shown that a 3-week abstinence following the removal of alcohol induces a complete recovery of gut barrier function in subjects with AUD who presented with high intestinal permeability.

How long does it take for alcohol belly to go away? ›

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few months for the appearance of bloating to reduce, depending on the cause and severity. In this article, we describe how alcohol can cause a bloated appearance in the stomach.

How do I heal my stomach after quitting drinking? ›

Take a probiotic supplement.

Probiotics have also been shown to put back the good bacteria in the gut and improve damage to the liver caused by alcohol. Eating probiotic foods (such as yogurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut) can improve brain function.

How do I get rid of alcohol gastritis? ›

Alcoholic Gastritis Treatments
  1. Antibiotics to kill bacteria that cause gastritis.
  2. Antacids to reduce your stomach acid.
  3. Histamine (H2) blockers, which curb how much acid your stomach makes.
  4. Proton pump inhibitors, which treat stomach ulcers and reflux.
12 May 2021

Will my liver stop hurting if I stop drinking? ›

The liver damage associated with mild alcoholic hepatitis is usually reversible if you stop drinking permanently. Severe alcoholic hepatitis, however, is a serious and life-threatening illness.

Do probiotics help alcoholics? ›

Recent evidence has shown that probiotics can reverse alcohol-induced changes of the microbiota and prevent ALD progression by restoring gut microbial composition.

Will alcohol gastritis go away on its own? ›

If you go on a drinking spree and binge on alcohol, you will experience a sudden attack of gastritis that will eventually subside once the irritants in your stomach are gone and your gastric mucosa is finally able to repair itself.

Is alcoholic gastritis reversible? ›

Unless they are extremely serious, gastritis and ulcers can be reversed through treatment and abstinence from alcohol, although there will most likely be some scar tissue remaining in the individual's gastrointestinal tract.

How do I know my liver is healing? ›

You will experience physical signs your liver is healing, such as healthier-looking skin and eyes, increased energy levels, and reduced stomach pain and swelling. Other signs your liver is healing include: Improved amino-acid regulation – Your liver processes proteins and amino acids that your body cannot store.

Do you bloat when you stop drinking? ›

A: Yes, alcohol withdrawal can, in some cases, cause diarrhea. Other nonspecific symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, including indigestion, excess gas, bloating and constipation, may also occur.

How do you Debloat from alcohol? ›

If you've been drinking alcohol, you should drink water to quickly get rid of bloating in your face and stomach. In fact, drinking water before, during, and after drinking alcohol can help prevent its inflammatory effects on the body. If you're feeling bloated while drinking alcohol, switch over to drinking water.

Does alcohol bloating go away? ›

Alcohol bloating may last a few days or even a few weeks, depending on what is causing the irritation and inflammation. The length of time it takes for the effects of alcohol on a bloated stomach to improve depends on how regularly you consume alcohol and the extent of your bloating.

How long after stopping drinking does liver repair? ›

Some alcohol-related liver damage can be reversed if you stop drinking alcohol early enough in the disease process. Healing can begin as early as a few days to weeks after you stop drinking, but if the damage is severe, healing can take several months.

Does alcohol hurt gut bacteria? ›

Alcohol, especially large amounts and high concentrations, can overwhelm the gastrointestinal tract. The alcohol kills many of the beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines. Our body needs these bacteria as they support a healthy gut microbiome and many critical processes.

How long does it take for liver enzymes to normalize after drinking? ›

With 2–6 weeks of abstinence, levels generally decrease to within the normal reference range, with the half–life of GGT being 14–26 days.

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