When people drink a lot of alcohol, they tend to have issues with their intestines and digestive systems. This is due to the processing of toxins in the alcohol that filter through the organs and, eventually, make their way through to the end. From beginning to end, mouth to the gut, the organs in between are all impacted. Most of all, a gut can take the impact harder than other organs, resulting in what is called leaky gut syndrome. This is a term for symptoms that center on the damage done to large intestinal lining that can make a person feel, at best, uncomfortable, at worst, miserable and in pain. Find out why alcoholism and leaky gut co-occur and how best to treat symptoms.
What is Leaky Gut
Medically speaking, a disease is not a syndrome. Diseases are a collection of symptoms that appear at the same time and have unknown origins. Leaky gut symptoms can include many things, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Food allergies
- Muscle cramps
- Frequent hunger
Irritation or damage to the cell structures in the wall of the bowel can cause them to loosen up and lead to gaps in the gut. The leaky gut syndrome begins when the material goes through the gaps into the bloodstream. They don’t belong there, so the immune system identifies them as invasive and sends the signal to attack them. This increases inflammation, damaging the wall of the bowel, creating a vicious cycle.
The Role of Alcohol
When a person over-consumes alcohol or struggles with alcoholism, the normal functioning of the intestinal tract is impacted two-fold. Alcohol reduces the level of activity in the body of prostaglandins. Alcohol-related suppression of prostaglandins allows the inflammation to increase. Excessive drinking causes this to happen on an ongoing basis so inflammation continues to grow, triggering leaky gut.
While alcoholism can make leaky gut worse, there are ways to find support. The condition, once diagnosed, can begin to heal when people stop drinking and start listening to a doctor’s advice on how to properly care for their body. It means getting proper nutrients, healthy food, and finding stable recovery tools that help them stop drinking. Sometimes the damage is done and a person has to live with certain symptoms being managed, but at the very least, the inflammation can go down without the presence of alcohol and the individual can find some relief from symptoms and seek treatment to repair any damage caused. The best help is to seek treatment first for alcohol use disorder, dual diagnosis, and other conditions, then start to treat underlying conditions like leaky gut with the help of professionals.
Oceanfront understands there are many things that go into treating addiction. It is never one thing and we tailor our programs to the individual’s needs. Our goal is to help you heal. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295