Living With IBS

How does alcohol affect irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

A Answers (1)

  • AWilliam Salt, MD, Gastroenterology, answered
    Alcohol (especially beer) irritates the gut and causes diarrhea. Alcohol may also trigger irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. It is worthwhile to try a period of abstinence from drinking to see if alcohol is one of your gut triggers/stressors. Alcohol can also interfere with sleep, disturbing your body's restorative capacity and thereby aggravating your IBS symptoms. Furthermore, excessive alcohol intake can damage the stomach and intestinal lining, causing ulcerations, gastritis and intestinal bleeding.
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