– Alcohol is easily absorbed into many tissues in the body. As soon as alcohol enters the body, it starts making its way into the bloodstream. Some of this absorption happens in the stomach. If there is food in the stomach at the time, the absorption rate will slow.
- This is why people feel the effects of alcohol more quickly on an empty stomach.
- Once it leaves the stomach, alcohol starts getting absorbed by the small intestine.
- Much of the alcohol is absorbed here, but the remainder goes into the large intestine and exits with the stool and urine.
- Alcohol can cause serious changes in the normal functions of the digestive system at every step of the way.
These changes include:
Inflammation : The gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed when it comes into contact with alcohol. Alcohol can also lead to more acid production in the stomach, which can increase the irritation and inflammation, This irritation can often lead to diarrhea. Water absorption : Water is usually absorbed from the foods and liquids reaching the intestines. The large intestine pulls liquids out of the stool before passing it out of the body. When alcohol is present, the large intestine does not function as well. This can result in liquid stools and dehydration, Faster digestion : Alcohol agitates the intestines and causes them to react by speeding up digestion. The muscles in the colon contract more frequently, pushing stool out faster than usual. This quickening can lead to diarrhea, as the intestines do not have time to digest the passing food properly. Bacterial imbalance : There are a variety of bacteria in the intestines that work to keep the body in balance by attacking harmful pathogens. Alcohol may temporarily kill off some bacteria species or allow others to grow rapidly, which can cause the intestines to malfunction.
- 0.1 How long does alcohol diarrhea last?
- 1 What happens after 2 weeks of no alcohol?
- 2 How do you stop diarrhea after drinking alcohol?
- 3 Why am I so sensitive to alcohol?
- 4 Which alcohol is best to avoid diarrhea?
- 5 How long until you feel better without alcohol?
- 6 What happens to your skin when you stop drinking?
- 7 Will my diarrhea go away if I stop drinking?
How long does alcohol diarrhea last?
How Long Does Alcohol Diarrhea Last? – In most cases, alcohol-induced diarrhea will resolve on its own in 1 to 3 days. It’s important to not drink more alcohol during this time so the gut has time to recover. There are a few other factors that can influence the duration of symptoms.
- These include how much alcohol was consumed, the amount of sugar in the alcoholic drink, your metabolic rate, and if you’ve been drinking water to combat alcohol-related dehydration.
- While many of these factors aren’t in our control, hydration is.
- You can help decrease the duration of diarrhea by drinking lots of water and replenishing your electrolytes.
If you have other symptoms such as fever and chills, or if diarrhea does not resolve within a few days, you should seek medical attention immediately to determine the cause. As mentioned above, alcohol use can lead to chronic gut issues, which can cause diarrhea to last two weeks or more.
What helps an upset stomach after drinking?
How is a hangover treated? – Many hangover remedies claim to treat a hangover. But they’re often not based in science, and some can be dangerous. For example, drinking more alcohol (“hair of the dog”) will not cure a hangover. More alcohol just increases the toxicity of the alcohol already in your body. Steps you can take to improve hangover symptoms include:
Eating bland foods with complex carbohydrates, such as toast or crackers. You’ll boost low blood sugar levels and reduce nausea. Drinking water, juice, broth and other non-alcohol beverages to reduce dehydration. Getting sleep to counteract fatigue. Taking antacids to help settle your stomach. Trying aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to help your headache or muscle ache. However, use them sparingly since they can upset your digestive system. Do not take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) — it can be toxic to your liver when combined with alcohol. Being patient. Hangover symptoms tend to ease up over eight to 24 hours. Your body has to clear the toxic byproducts of alcohol, rehydrate, heal tissue and restore functions and activity to normal.
Is diarrhea a symptom of alcohol intolerance?
4. Diarrhea – If you are suffering from alcohol intolerance, your digestive tract is already sensitive. Having alcohol may increase the irritation as alcohol leads to more acid production and the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed leading to diarrhea, This can last from 1 to 3 days. It’s important that you consume enough water and recharge electrolytes.
Can I drink alcohol after diarrhea?
Things you Should Avoid Eating or Drinking – You should avoid certain kinds of foods when you have diarrhea, including fried foods and greasy foods. Avoid fruits and vegetables that can cause gas, such as broccoli, peppers, beans, peas, berries, prunes, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, and corn.
What happens after 2 weeks of no alcohol?
Week two of giving up alcohol – After two weeks off alcohol, you will continue to reap the benefits of better sleep and hydration. As alcohol is an irritant to the stomach lining, after a fortnight you will also see a reduction in symptoms such as reflux where the stomach acid burns your throat.
How do you stop diarrhea after drinking alcohol?
– Share on Pinterest Eating rice and other easily-digested foods can help ease diarrhea symptoms after drinking alcohol. Diarrhea after drinking alcoholic beverages is usually not long-lasting. Symptoms typically go away quickly when the person starts eating regularly, hydrating, and avoiding alcohol.
- Eating bland, easily-digested foods such as rice, toast, or plain crackers may help fill the stomach without causing additional symptoms.
- It may help to avoid dairy products and foods high in fat or fiber immediately after diarrhea, as these can put further stress on the digestive system when it is trying to recover.
Fluids are especially important after drinking alcohol, as the body has lost a lot of water through both urine and diarrhea. Drinking water, herbal teas, and broths can help prevent dehydration. In cases of persistent diarrhea, medications available over the counter or online can help the body soak up water and fill out the stool.
Does eating help a hangover?
1. Toast – Carbs are an essential hangover cure, and toast is an easy source that can be found in most office kitchens. Carbohydrates are a heavier option, which will provide necessary energy to fuel your mind and body.and hungover soul. We recommend eating a simple toasted cheese sandwich, or choose smashed avocado on toast for a healthier option.
Why am I so sensitive to alcohol?
Causes – Alcohol intolerance occurs when your body doesn’t have the proper enzymes to break down (metabolize) the toxins in alcohol. This is caused by inherited (genetic) traits most often found in Asians. Other ingredients commonly found in alcoholic beverages, especially in beer or wine, can cause intolerance reactions. These include:
Sulfites or other preservatives Chemicals, grains or other ingredients Histamine, a byproduct of fermentation or brewing
In some cases, reactions can be triggered by a true allergy to a grain such as corn, wheat or rye or to another substance in alcoholic beverages. Rarely, severe pain after drinking alcohol is a sign of a more serious disorder, such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Why is my diarrhea yellow after drinking?
Problems with your liver or gallbladder – The liver’s main function is to make and release bile. Then the liver stores the bile in your gallbladder, where it waits to be secreted into your digestive tract to help break down food. Bile is what gives your poop its brown color.
Hepatitis caused by alcohol, virus, or infectionBiliary cirrhosisCyst in the bile ductStones in your gallbladder (gallstones)Cancerous or noncancerous tumors in your liver, gallbladder, or pancreas
Should I keep drinking water after diarrhea?
A prolonged bout of diarrhea or vomiting can cause the body to lose more fluid than it can take in. The result is dehydration, which occurs when your body doesn’t have the fluid it needs to function properly. Severe dehydration can cause your kidneys to shut down.
thirstless frequent urination than normaldark-colored urine dry skin fatigue light-headednessinability to sweat
By the time these symptoms show up, however, dehydration may be well advanced. At the first sign of diarrhea or vomiting, begin replacing lost water and the essential salts called electrolytes, When you’re sick with diarrhea or vomiting, you lose fluid rapidly.
- So it’s important to take in as much fluid as you can.
- Drinking plenty of water is the top priority.
- The amount of water you need to replenish depends on how much is being lost.
- People with certain medical conditions such as heart failure or incontinence may need to limit their fluid intake, so ask your doctor how much fluid you need to prevent dehydration when you’re sick.
If you’re nauseated, keeping fluids down may be difficult. “Try sipping small amounts of water as frequently as possible,” advises Joshua Evans, MD, a physician at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit and an expert on dehydration. Sucking on ice or frozen Popsicles can help increase fluid intake.
- Water rehydrates the body.
- But water alone doesn’t replace the essential salts required by the body for fluid balance and other functions,” Evans says.
- Replacing these essential salts is crucial during a bout of diarrhea or vomiting.
- Most experts recommend drinking oral rehydration solutions.
- Dehydration experts also recommend remove excess clothing and/or seeking shade or an air-conditioned shelter to keep your body cool.
Children can lose a tremendous amount of fluid in a short time from diarrhea or vomiting. In addition to routine signs of dehydration, parents of sick infants and children should also watch for dry mouth and tongue, no tears when crying, listlessness or crankiness, sunken cheeks or eyes, sunken fontanel (the soft spot on the top of a baby’s head), fever, and skin that does not return to normal when pinched and released.
Call your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms in your child. If your sick child shows signs of dehydration, give fluids called oral rehydration solutions. Sports drinks and fruit juices are helpful too, but they don’t provide the ideal balance of water, sugar, and salt. Instead, pediatricians recommend oral rehydration solutions such as Ceralyte, Infalyte, or Pedialyte,
If your child is not vomiting, these fluids can be used in very generous amounts until your child starts making normal amounts of urine again. If your child is dehydrated and vomiting, call your doctor. Seniors are at increased risk of becoming dehydrated because they may not be as sensitive as younger adults to the sensation of thirst.
- In addition, age-related changes in the body’s ability to balance water and sodium increase the danger.
- An elderly person sick with diarrhea and/or vomiting should try to drink at least 1.7 liters of fluid every 24 hours, or a little less than half a gallon.
- That’s the equivalent of about 7 eight-ounce glasses of water.
Dehydration experts also recommend liquid meal replacements. Experts recommend calling your physician if diarrhea or vomiting persists for more than two days. Call sooner if there’s a fever or pain in the abdomen or rectum, if stool appears black or tarry, if signs of dehydration appear.
Which alcohol is best to avoid diarrhea?
– FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. FODMAPs are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by some people. They’ve been linked to the digestive symptoms associated with IBS. Experts note that following a low-FODMAP diet may help relieve symptoms for many people who have IBS.
beer (although carbonation and gluten may be an issue for some)red or white wine (although sugar may be an issue for some)whiskeyvodkagin
High-FODMAP alcoholic drinks to avoid include:
cider rumsherryportsweet dessert wine
You can also use the low-FODMAP diet to choose mixers. For example, while many fruit juices are high in FODMAPs, tomato juice and cranberry juice (without high fructose corn syrup) can be low-FODMAP choices. Seltzer is also a low-FODMAP beverage for mixing cocktails.
What is considered heavy drinking?
Frequently Asked Questions Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches. Alcohol affects every organ in the body. It is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream.
- Alcohol is metabolized in the liver by enzymes.
- However, the liver can only metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a time, leaving the excess alcohol to circulate throughout the body.
- The intensity of the effect of alcohol on the body is directly related to the amount consumed.
- A standard drink is equal to 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol.
Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in
- 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content).
- 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content).
- 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content).
- 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey).
No. One 12-ounce beer has about the same amount of alcohol as one 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. It is the amount of alcohol consumed that affects a person most, not the type of alcoholic drink. According to the, 1 adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women, when alcohol is consumed.
Drinking less is better for health than drinking more. Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08% or more. This pattern of drinking usually corresponds to 5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for women.2 “Getting drunk” or intoxicated is the result of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
Binge drinking typically results in acute intoxication.2 Alcohol intoxication can be harmful for a variety of reasons, including:
- Impaired brain function resulting in poor judgment, reduced reaction time, loss of balance and motor skills, or slurred speech.
- Dilation of blood vessels, causing a feeling of warmth but resulting in rapid loss of body heat.
- Increased risk of certain, stroke, and liver diseases (e.g., cirrhosis), particularly when excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed over extended periods of time.
- Increased risk of, violence, and other injuries.
For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 8 drinks or more per week. Excessive drinking both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, is associated with numerous health problems, including
- Chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis (damage to liver cells); pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas); various, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (the voice box), and esophagus; high blood pressure; and psychological disorders.
- Unintentional injuries, such as, falls, drowning, burns, and firearm injuries.
- Violence, such as child maltreatment, homicide, and suicide.
- Harm to a developing fetus if a woman drinks while pregnant, such as,
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Alcohol use disorders.3
There is a strong scientific evidence that drinking alcohol increases the risk for, including cancers of the mouth and throat, liver, breast (in women) and colon and rectum, and for some types of cancer, the risk increases even at low levels of alcohol consumption (less than 1 drink in a day).
The evidence indicates that the more alcohol a person drinks, the higher his or her risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer. The risk varies by many factors, such as the quantity of alcohol consumed and type of cancer. The recommends that adults who choose to drink do so in moderation – 1 drink or less on a day for women or 2 drinks or less on a day for men.
However, emerging evidence suggests that even drinking within the recommended limits may increase the overall risk of death from various causes, such as from several types of cancer and some forms of cardiovascular disease.1 According to the 2020–2025 1 some people should not drink alcoholic beverages at all, including:
- If they are pregnant or might be pregnant.
- If they are under the legal age for drinking.
- If they have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications that can interact with alcohol.
- If they are recovering from an alcohol use disorder or if they are unable to control the amount they drink.
To reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, the Guidelines recommend that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed.
The Guidelines also do not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason and that if adults of legal drinking age choose to drink alcoholic beverages, drinking less is better for health than drinking more.1 By following the Dietary Guidelines, you can reduce the risk of harm to yourself or others.
Studies have shown that alcohol use by adolescents and young adults increases the risk of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. Research has also shown that people who use alcohol before age 15 are six times more likely to become alcohol dependent than adults who begin drinking at age 21.
Other consequences of youth alcohol use include increased risky sexual behaviors, poor school performance, and increased risk of suicide and homicide.4, There is no known safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant should refrain from drinking alcohol.
Several conditions, including, have been linked to alcohol use during pregnancy. Women of childbearing age should also avoid to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy and potential exposure of a developing fetus to alcohol.5, Generally, moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages by a woman who is lactating (up to 1 standard drink in a day) is not known to be harmful to the infant, especially if the woman waits at least 2 hours after a single drink before nursing or expressing breast milk.
- Legal limits are measured using either a blood alcohol test or a breathalyzer.
- Legal limits are typically defined by state law, and may vary according to individual characteristics, such as age and occupation.
All states in the United States have adopted 0.08% (80 mg/dL) as the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle for drivers aged 21 years or older (except for Utah, which adopted a 0.05% legal limit in 2018). However, drivers younger than 21 are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle with any level of alcohol in their system.
- Inability to limit drinking.
- Continuing to drink despite personal or professional problems.
- Needing to drink more to get the same effect.
- Wanting a drink so badly you can’t think of anything else.
Drinking is a problem if it causes trouble in your relationships, in school, in social activities, or in how you think and feel. If you are concerned that either you or someone in your family might have a drinking problem, consult your personal health care provider.
- US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services.9th ed. Washington, DC: 2020.
- National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism., NIAAA Newsletter.2004;3:3.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., Accessed May 30, 2020.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., Accessed January 14, 2021.
- US Department of Health and Human Services., Washington, DC: US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2005.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration., Accessed January 14, 2021.
- Esser MB, Hedden SL, Kanny D, Brewer RD, Gfroerer JC, Naimi TS., Prev Chronic Dis.2014;11:140329.
- American Psychiatric Association., Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration., Accessed Accessed January 14, 2021.
How long until you feel better without alcohol?
How Long Will It Take To Feel Better? – It may take a full month of not drinking alcohol to feel better. Although positive changes may appear earlier, 3 months of not drinking can not only improve your mood, energy, sleep, weight, skin health, immune health, and heart health.
What happens to your skin when you stop drinking?
1. Your Skin Looks Brighter – Have you ever noticed how tired you look after a long night of drinking? Well, it’s not just because of the hangover you’re likely experiencing. It’s also because of the effect that alcohol has on your body, including your skin.
The more you drink, the more dehydrated your skin gets, causing it to appear dry and porous. Alcohol also deprives your skin of necessary nutrients which can lead to waxiness and rashes, and make you more susceptible to sun damage. These side effects can have a lasting impact, lead to more wrinkles, and speed up your skin’s aging process.
Fortunately, your skin can bounce back from the effects of alcohol. By giving your body a month-long break from drinking, you’re allowing your skin to rehydrate and regenerate. The best part is that you don’t have to wait an entire month to start seeing the changes.
Will my diarrhea go away if I stop drinking?
Acute diarrhea-induced shock during alcohol withdrawal: a case study 1 Department of Psychiatry, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, Henan, China Find articles by 2 Department of Cardiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, Henan, China Find articles by 3 Department of Psychiatry, Huzhou 3rd Hospital, Huzhou, Zhejiang, China Find articles by
- 1 Department of Psychiatry, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, Henan, China
- 2 Department of Cardiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, Henan, China
- 3 Department of Psychiatry, Huzhou 3rd Hospital, Huzhou, Zhejiang, China
- * These authors contributed equally to this work.
GuangBiao Huang, Department of Psychiatry, Huzhou 3rd Hospital, No.2088 Tiaoxidong Road, Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province 313000, China. Email: Received 2020 Sep 10; Accepted 2020 Dec 15. We present the case of a 54-year-old man with severe acute diarrhea during alcohol withdrawal, despite special feeding, correction of vitamin deficiencies, and protection of the gastrointestinal mucosa.
Diarrhea is often overlooked, so we aim to draw attention to the risk of combined malnutrition, acute diarrhea, and alcohol withdrawal because this can lead to lethal complications. We recommend that patient’s bowel movements should be carefully observed during alcohol withdrawal, even during hospitalization.
Keywords: Alcohol withdrawal, diarrhea, hyperkalemia, malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, hospitalization A number of published reports have shown that diarrhea is a common symptom in alcohol dependence that usually improves during hospitalization for alcohol withdrawal; therefore, it is easily ignored.
Patients with alcohol dependence have long-term malnutrition and vitamin deficiency. The case presented here illustrates how the combination of malnutrition, acute diarrhea, and alcohol withdrawal can lead to potentially fatal consequences, such as shock. The patient was 54 years old. He was an emaciated man with chronic diarrhea.
From the age of 20 years, he had been drinking every day. He never succeeded in stopping his excessive alcohol consumption despite several attempts. He was admitted to the hospital owing to alcohol withdrawal. On admission, the first routine check revealed that the patient’s blood pressure and pulse rate were 130/90 mmHg and 90 beats/minute, respectively.
- The initial laboratory data were as follows: potassium level 3.38 mmol/L, which was slightly below normal; all other indicators were within the normal range.
- Because the patient had chronic diarrhea, a special diet, oral vitamins, and gastric mucosal protective drugs and oral potassium chloride (KCL, 0.5 g twice a day) were given.
However, he still had occasional diarrhea, which the patient paid no attention to, and he did not inform family members or medical staff at the time. On a routine check one morning, the patient was weak and had rapid breathing, cold clammy skin, and anxiety corresponding to the initial symptoms of shock.
- After a detailed inquiry, we determined that the patient had experienced diarrhea dozens of times during the night, mostly watery stools, and had decreased urine output (100 mL/24 hours).
- Diosmectite (Smecta) rehydration was given (6 g, three times a day) and relevant tests were performed.
- Blood pressure and pulse rate were 110/70 mmHg and 126 beats/minute.
The results of blood tests revealed a very high level of potassium (6.32 mmol/L), leukocytes as high as 23.84 × 10 9 /L, neutrophils 21.36 ×10 9 /L, and creatinine 301.3 µmol/L, simultaneously, which exceeded the critical values (). Electrocardiogram (ECG) showed prolongation of the PR interval ().
Arterial blood gas analysis showed bicarbonate (HCO 3 – ) 21.47 mmol/L, pH 7.21, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO 2 ) 28.17 mmHg, and partial pressure of oxygen (PO 2 ) 66.48 mmHg, which were all decreased. In contrast, base excess (BE) 3.61 mmol/L and lactate 3.01 mmol/L were increased (). The results of arterial blood gas analysis are important in evaluating shock.
This patient had been malnourished for a long time; he was emaciated and was now in critical condition, being at risk of cardiac arrest. The patient was treated with rehydration (0.9% NaCl) to correct electrolyte imbalance (glucose/insulin ratio 5 g/1 unit, oral KCL was stopped) and ameliorate renal function (uremic clearance granule 5 g, three times a day).
- We further supplemented vitamins via intramuscular injection (vitamin C 3 g/day, vitamin B6 300 mg/day).
- Considering that the patient had chronic diarrhea, his diet was carefully adjusted by a nutritionist.
- Seven hours later, the patient’s potassium level dropped to 5.86 mmol/L, his leukocytes were 19.62 × 10 9 /L, neutrophils 17.33 × 10 9 /L, and creatinine 283.7 µmol/L ().
His blood pressure returned to the normal range and his pulse rate was 116 beats/minute. Lactate dropped to 1.67 mmol/L and PO 2 was 76.74 mmHg. Levels of HCO 3 -, pH, PCO 2, and BE were all within the normal range (). Test results regarding physiological findings.
|First testOn admission
|Second testAcute diarrhea
|Third testAfter 7 hours’ treatment
|Fourth testAfter 3 days’ treatment
|Blood pressure (mmHg)
|Pulse rate (beats/minute)
|Potassium level (mmol/L)
|Urine output (mL/24 h)
|Leukocytes (10 9 /L)
|Neutrophils (10 9 /L)
Results of arterial blood gas analysis.
|First testAcute diarrhea
|Second testAfter treatment 7 hours
|Third testAfter treatment 3 days
|HCO 3 – (mmol/L)
|−3 to +3
|PCO 2 (mmHg)
|PO 2 (mmHg)
After 3 days’ treatment, the patient’s test results showed that levels of potassium had decreased to 3.8 mmol/L and leukocytes, creatinine and arterial blood gas analysis results () were within the normal range. ECG showed that prolongation of the PR interval had returned to normal and his blood pressure and pulse rate were stable at approximately 130/90 mmHg and 90 beats/minute, respectively.
- The patient’s skin had become warm, his emotions had stabilized, he was breathing regularly, and his urine output was increased (2140 mL/24 hours).
- Defecation was reduced to twice a day and the stool was soft.
- Diarrhea is a common complaint among people with acute and chronic alcoholism, which may lead to dehydration and electrolyte deficiencies in those who are alcohol dependent.
Unlike common diarrhea caused by infection among binge drinkers, the exact causes of diarrhea in people with alcohol dependence are still unknown, although the effects of ethanol on the gastrointestinal tract have been well studied. Alcohol can lead to structural damage to the microvasculature and epithelium, as well as increased mucosal permeability, which can contribute to diarrhea.
- Impaired absorption of nutrients and vitamins are also important factors in the pathogenesis of diarrhea among alcoholics.
- With abstinence and correction of malnourishment and vitamin deficiencies, diarrhea will slowly improve in most patients after admission to the hospital.
- Therefore, this symptom is often neglected during hospitalization.
Alcohol withdrawal coexisting with acute diarrhea is rare. The disease progression of the patient in this case is considerably different to that of other patients as his condition deteriorated very quickly. Our patient’s potassium concentration was lower than normal in initial laboratory tests.
A number of studies have shown that potassium levels fall during alcohol withdrawal; therefore, oral potassium supplementation should be given routinely after hospitalization in such patients. In the present case, the patient’s diarrhea had been ignored, even when acute, and it was therefore not treated in a timely manner.
Diarrhea may lead to dehydration and decreased urine output, causing hyperkalemia, which can induce deadly cardiac arrhythmias. Hence, the management of alcohol withdrawal accompanied by diarrhea is different from conventional treatment; levels of potassium must be monitored in a timely fashion because development of either hyperkalemia or hypokalemia can be life-threatening.
After acute diarrhea, our patient’s potassium and creatinine levels increased rapidly and ECG showed prolongation of the PR interval; at the same time, he had symptoms of shock. Therefore, diarrhea is definitely a symptom that cannot be ignored during alcohol withdrawal. There is a lack of systematic studies on the pathophysiology of alcohol abuse; thus, the mechanism underlying diarrhea during alcohol withdrawal is still not well understood.
Because alcoholics are already at higher risk for diarrhea owing to malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, and impaired gastrointestinal function, careful monitoring of defecation is necessary, even during hospitalization. As described in this case report, such monitoring is needed even if the patient is receiving special feeding, vitamin replacement, and has improved gastrointestinal function.
Moreover, even if withdrawal symptoms improve, diarrhea will continue if not addressed, and severe diarrhea may occur at any time in patients undergoing alcohol withdrawal. This is different to withdrawal from any other substance. Further research is needed to identify whether some or all such patients who are consuming a normal diet and without chronic diarrhea should be monitored.
During alcohol withdrawal, observation of defecation and diet is needed, even after improvement of symptoms, to avoid recurrence. Ethics statement: Our case report was conducted as a retrospective study and in accordance with the Guidelines for Clinical Trials of The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University.
- Declaration of conflicting interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
- Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
- ORCID iD: XiaoLei Gao
1. Chiba T, Phillips SF. Alcohol-related diarrhea. Addict Biol 2000; 5 : 117–125.2. Ham BJ, Choi IG. Psychiatric Implications of Nutritional Deficiencies in Alcoholism, Psychiatry Investig 2005; 2 : 44–59.3. Williams KB, Christmas AB, Heniford BT, et al. Arterial vs venous blood gas differences during hemorrhagic shock,
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- Leclercq S, Matamoros S, Cani PD, et al.
- Intestinal permeability, gut-bacterial dysbiosis, and behavioral markers of alcohol-dependence severity.
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Alcohol 2000; 35 : 188–189.6. Parham WA, Mehdirad AA, Biermann KM, et al. Hyperkalemia Revisited. Tex Heart Inst J 2006; 33 : 40–47. Articles from The Journal of International Medical Research are provided here courtesy of SAGE Publications : Acute diarrhea-induced shock during alcohol withdrawal: a case study
What can I drink to stop diarrhea fast?
What to Do About Fluids When You Have Diarrhea – Do drink plenty of fluids. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 1 cup of liquid every time you have a loose bowel movement, Water, Pedialyte, fruit juices, caffeine -free soda, and salty broths are some good choices.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, salt helps slow down the fluid loss, and sugar will help your body absorb the salt. Don’t consume beverages at extreme temperatures. Consume all liquids at room temperature, or slightly warmed, advises Dr. Ganjhu. “Anything too hot or too cold can cause nausea.” Do drink herbal tea.
There is some research to suggest that products containing certain combinations of herbs may help an upset stomach, One research review cited the potential favorable effects of drinking a chamomile preparation that is combined with other herbs in treating diarrhea,
Don’t consume caffeine, alcohol, or certain sodas. Caffeine and alcohol can irritate the digestive tract and worsen diarrhea, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine, Sodas containing high-fructose corn syrup can also cause trouble when you have an upset stomach, According to a study published in the journal Healthcare, large amounts of fructose can lead to gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Dilute your water with fruit juice. Water can sometimes be nauseating when you have diarrhea. Ganjhu recommends diluting it with fruit juice, like cranberry or apple juice, to make it easier to tolerate.