Your drinking habit can play havoc with your gut health. An expert on top gut health issues one can face due to excessive alcohol consumption.
Excessive consumption ofalcoholhas been linked to a range of short-term and chronic health issues from heart disease, stroke, liver disease to cancer. Alcohol over a period of time can weaken immune system, cause memory issues and brain disorders.
The gut is home to a vast ecosystem of bacteria and other microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiome. The health of this microbiome is essential to overall well-being, as it plays a critical role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. When alcohol is consumed, it can have a range of effects on the gut microbiome, depending on the amount consumed and the frequency of consumption,” says Dr Amol Dahale, Consultant, Gastroentrology, Manipal Hospital, Baner-Pune.
“As the stomach is the first line of contact if anything is injected in the body. Hence, it is more vulnerable to gut. One of the primary ways in which alcohol affects the gut is by disrupting the balance of bacteria in the microbiome. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, while simultaneously reducing the levels of beneficial bacteria. This imbalance can lead to a range of digestive issues, including bloating, gas, and diarrhea,” adds Dr Dahale.
1. Leaky gut
Alcohol consumption can lead to increased intestinal permeability, or ‘leaky gut.’ When this occurs, the lining of the gut becomes more permeable, allowing toxins, bacteria, and other harmful substances to leak into the bloodstream, leading to chronic inflammation. This condition has been linked to a range of health problems, including autoimmune diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Alcohol abuse can destroy the stomach’s lining and lead to gastritis. This illness can cause rapid, frequent, and persistent symptoms.
3. Stomach cancer
Drinking too much alcohol can double the risk of stomach cancer, which might also lead to colorectal cancer.
4. Liver failure
In the worst circumstances, this can result in liver failure and scarring. Additionally, alcohol decreases the liver’s capacity for healthy cell growth and regeneration.
5. Damage to the pancreas
One of the two main factors contributing to pancreatic inflammation known as acute pancreatitis is alcohol consumption.
Ways to manage gut health
While alcohol consumption can have significant negative effects on gut health, there are ways to mitigate these effects. One of the most effective ways to do so is to reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption altogether.