Alcoholic Gastritis Causes and Symptoms

The inner lining of your stomach contains enough powerful acid to rival that of a car battery, but it can be a fragile thing if pushed too far by dietary or lifestyle choices.

Heavy drinking can lead to concerns like liver failure and cardiovascular disease, but also the condition of alcoholic gastritis.  Alcoholic Gastritis occurs when the lining of your stomach, needed to protect the organ as well as joining areas of the digestive system, becomes too worn to keep the stomach secure and safe.  Over-consumption of alcohol is but one of the causes of gastritis (stress, infection, or repeated vomiting may be other causes) but alcoholic gastritis often leads to much greater erosion than other types.

When you ingest alcohol, the body has to go through several steps in order to process and metabolize the substance.  When the body does not over-consume alcohol, stomach concerns are rare, but repeated heavy drinking will lead to rejection in the form of vomiting, corrosion of the soft tissue, and difficulty in retaining substances in the stomach, all of which lead to wear and tear on the organ’s lining.  When a single puncture or opening in the stomach occurs, the acid may spill out in the form of a burning ulcer or may cause chronic vomiting.  Sufferers from alcoholic gastritis have difficulty keeping food down and frequently feel nausea, which is often aggravated by further drinking.  Blood in stool is another common side effect; doctors frequently check waste samples to determine if gastritis is present.  If problems persist, a doctor may do a full upper endoscopy, working a small tube through the throat and down into the lungs to check for specific areas of damage.  If necessary, these areas will be collected and biopsied for further study and analysis.

Treatments for stomach lining problems necessitate re-growing the area of the organ that has been affected.  This may take as much as one year to fully close and reform, meaning that a person must consume large amounts of anti-acids in order to keep their stomach from producing too much acid.  A patient’s diet must be completely altered, meaning that consumption of spicy foods, red meat, and high-sugar drinks is forbidden, as these all require a large amount of stomach acid in order to be metabolized.  Sometimes it is necessary for Vitamin B12 shots to be issued to keep the cell lining of the stomach healthy and strong.

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