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How Alcohol Affects the Stomach

It is common for places that focus on serving alcohol to also provide food and popular wisdom suggests that eating food while consuming large amounts of alcohol will keep people from becoming “too drunk.”  According to, “The effects of alcohol are very harsh on the stomach and it can hinder the ability for the digestive juices within it to break down food for absorption.”  “Bar snacks” and other foods often provided when people intend to consume a lot of alcohol tend to be low on nutrients and have a lot of grease, so while these things may “absorb” some of the alcohol, they may also add to a person’s discomfort.

Since the stomach’s normal functions are impaired by alcohol, someone who is drinking and eating may not completely digest his or her food. In some cases, alcohol consumption leads the stomach to produce an excess of acid and this can result in heartburn, nausea and a loss of appetite. The discomfort, indigestion and possible loss of appetite can cause people to refrain from eating as they continue to consume alcohol and this may further irritate the stomach.

Some of the more serious digestive consequences of alcoholism can include: violent vomiting, peptic ulcers, and an increased risk of cancer that forms in the digestive tract.

You can reduce the risk of digestive issues that stem from alcohol by drinking less and eating carbohydrates and drinking plenty of water when you do drink alcohol.