Does alcohol cause and worsen ulcerative colitis?

Written by Daniel Disusa

Should you drink alcohol?

No matter how plentiful the arguments in favour of moderate alcohol consumption are, consuming a moderate amount of alcohol cannot be recommended as good practice and it cannot be said that it promotes health and wellness. Additionally, long-term use of alcohol can result in a number of conditions such as chronic alcoholism, liver cirrhosis, and several neurological illnesses (e.g. Korsakoff Syndrome) that are hard to combat. The situation gets trickier and more complex for people who have other conditions that concern the digestive apparatus such as when ulcerative colitis patients consume a substantial amount of alcohol each day.

What happens when ulcerative colitis patients consume alcohol on a regular basis?

1. Alcohol leads to flare-ups that aggravate Inflammatory Bowl Disease (IBD) symptoms, Gastrointestinal Inflammation (GI) and the signs of these diseases.

2.Uncontrollable deterioration of IBD signs might lead to the necessity of surgery, or specialised surgical procedures that help curb the aggravation of ulcerative colitis signs and GI inflammation.

3. Alcohol damages the liver, the key detoxification centre of the body. The liver purifies and filters blood, removes toxins, and aids the creation of several chemicals that are crucial for important bodily functions.

4. Liver damage increases the level of toxins which damages the gut and the liver lining.

5. Long-term use of alcohol can cause Chronic Liver Disease (CLD).

6. Prolonged use of alcohol leads to the deterioration of several symptoms of gastrointestinal irritation such as nausea, vomiting, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and diarrhoea.

Does alcohol consumption always aggravate the symptoms?

Even though significant intake of alcohol increases the risk of flare-ups and deterioration of inflammatory bowel disease, some patients can manage to consume moderate amounts of alcohol without grappling these adverse impacts and exacerbations. However, this bodily response cannot be used to encourage alcohol consumption. Hence, experts continue to recommend total abstinence from alcohol, which leads to experiencing significant improvements in ulcerative colitis signs and gastrointestinal inflammation symptoms.

That said, constant drinking might not exacerbate the inflammatory bowel disease signs and gastrointestinal inflammation proportionally. Instead, the severity and extent of gastrointestinal damage caused by alcohol and alcohol by-products might become evident only after a significant amount of time when irreversible damage to several GI organs has already occurred.  Moreover, other habits such as smoking can worsen the extent of the disease, thus intensifying its life threatening impact.

Where can you find more info?

More information can be obtained on a bespoke social networking website, developed solely for gastroenterologists around the world. Health care experts specialised in GI disorders can register with The Gut People and start interacting with top GI experts around the world, on various commonly found gastrointestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal tuberculosis. The Gut People is also equipped with unique functionalities that help download informative documents on gastrointestinal disorders, as well as their comprehensive diagnosis steps and advance treatment methods.