How does alcohol affect irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
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.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

One in five people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or other functional bowel disorders. As a result, irritable bowel syndrome is the second leading cause of worker absenteeism. This...

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Living With IBS

Living With IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is typically a chronic disorder. Many people with IBS lead restricted lives in multiple areas: diet, social activities, energy level and sense of well-being. Identifying and avoiding triggers, gettin...

g regular exercise and psychotherapy are all helpful in managing IBS in your daily life.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.