You asked, we answered: Stomach pain due to alcoholic gastritis

Question:

How can I calm my stomach pain due to alcoholic gastritis? And how can I attach the lining of my stomach where the lining won’t come out with diarrhea?

Response from gastroenterologist Derrick Eichele, MD:

Simply put, alcohol irritates your gut. Regular alcohol consumption can cause alcoholic gastritis, which includes symptoms such as upset stomach, abdominal pain, hiccups, indigestion, loss of appetite, bloating, and nausea. Alcoholic gastritis can be chronic or short-lived.

The most effective way to treat alcoholic gastritis (and stop stomach upset) is to limit or stop drinking alcohol.

Three ways to reduce your alcohol consumption:

  1. Keep a drink diary. Write down the day, time, type of drink and number consumed in a diary or on your phone. Tracking your drinking habits can help you identify likely triggers or when you are consuming alcohol to cope.
  2. Avoid alcohol-infused environments. It’s hard to avoid drinking when you’re hanging out at a bar. Suggest meeting for coffee or ice cream instead.
  3. Replace alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic alternatives. Sparkling water, sodas, kombucha, and juices are all better for your gut than alcohol. You can also find non-alcoholic beer and spirits online.

Alcohol abuse can cause lasting damage to your gut. Sometimes lifelong management is needed, including medication, corrective surgery, and avoidance of certain irritating foods.