For many people, the ultimate way to unwind after a stressful day in the rat race is to have a few drinks with a couple of friends. But sometimes the intended few drinks turn into a few too many and you’re left feeling a little worse for wear. Sound familiar?
Whether you’re a seasoned drinker or just having a few drinks, you might experience a serious stomach-ache afterward. In some cases, you might even have an upset stomach or severe nausea. Why does alcohol leave you feeling sick afterward?
Today’s article answers a few of the more frequent questions surrounding the stomach-ache you could experience after an extensive unwinding session. We’ll also look at a few of the quickest ways to cure this type of stomach-ache. Read on to find some much-needed relief!
Stomach Ailments Caused by Drinking—Does Your Diet Play a Role?
Causing stomach pain or even an upset stomach isn’t limited to one particular type of drink. You can become ill from drinking as little as two glasses of your favorite drink. Eating while you’re drinking might alleviate or aggravate your symptoms, depending on the food and drink combination.
Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Drinking?
Whether you drink a lot or a little, alcohol makes your stomach produce more acid than normal. This increased acid in your stomach causes acute gastritis which in lay terms translates to the inflammation of your stomach lining.
Inflammation of this nature triggers pain, diarrhea, vomiting and in some cases, bleeding. These symptoms can be aggravated by eating spicy foods. In addition to stomach pains, the most common ailments caused by too much drinking include the following:
- Acid reflux
- Lack of appetite
How Long Does a Stomach-ache Last After Drinking?
You might feel incredibly sick after a night of heavy drinking. The good news, however, is that gastritis clears up on its own in most cases. For the most part, you can expect to have a stomach-ache for about 2 to 3 days.
The trick for your stomach-ache to clear up quicker is to avoid alcohol for the few days it takes for your symptoms to clear up. Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- If your symptoms last more than a week
- Symptoms worsen even when drinking stops
- Bleeding in vomit or stools
- Low blood sugar
- Feelings of dizziness that don’t subside after some rest
What Helps a Stomach-ache After Drinking?
Many people who tend to experience stomach aches after some drinking has learned a few tricks and tips to help them feel better. Some of the more common and effective home remedies include the following:
Since alcohol produces more acid, the most logical step would be to neutralize the excess acid. Many people find that antacids work most effectively by neutralizing the acid enough to reduce heartburn, nausea and even indigestion.
If you don’t have any antacids at home, you can also try a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with about 20ml of water. Baking soda is a quick-fix substitute for an antacid. If you suffer from low sodium levels, don’t use this option as a long-term solution.
Drinking alcohol doesn’t constitute staying hydrated. An effective way to neutralize the excess acid in your stomach is to drink water, sports drinks or even ginger tea.
On the night of drinking, have a few glasses of water in between your favorite drinks. On the days after, drink a lot of plain water or an isotonic sports drink. Both of these options will help restore salt to your body as you hydrate. If you don’t enjoy drinking a lot of plain water, consider eating water-rich fruits such as watermelon or pineapple.
Snack on Plain Carbohydrates
When you’re feeling ill, the last thing you might want to do is eat! But small snacks such as plain toast or even crackers can actually help settle your stomach. The trick is to eat slowly to avoid the onset of nausea.
Toast should be dry if possible. The addition of butter might add to your nausea. A good combination is a slice of dry toast with a cup of green tea. Add as little sugar and milk to the tea as you can tolerate.
Excessive alcohol removes the beneficial bacteria from your gut and can eventually result in long-term liver damage. Probiotic foods or supplements return healthy bacteria to your gut. For this reason, it’s a clever idea to eat foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles.
If you don’t like these foods, the good news is probiotics are available as a probiotic supplement. Some people have probiotic foods and supplements as part of their daily diets, and this goes a long way to helping them deal with the ill effects of too much alcohol.
Eat the Right Kinds of Foods
Alcohol depletes your body’s essential nutrients and minerals. This causes your body to feel weak, shaky and nauseous. Your body is essentially trying to flush out the toxins. Eating foods rich in fat like cheese will cover the stomach lining and reduce symptoms of discomfort.
Eating or snacking on the right foods while drinking will also help ease the onset of stomach-ache and possible diarrhea. Other foods that ease stomach aches include protein-rich foods such as beans, lean beef or chicken. Eggs contain essential amino acids that help your body metabolize the acetaldehyde enzyme responsible for causing stomach aches.
Fizzy Sugary Drinks
Fizzy and sugary drinks might worsen the initial stomach pain but will go a long way toward helping you with nausea and acid reflux. If you have acid reflux, start with small sips of a fizzy drink and see if it provides some relief.
In this instance, it’s literally a case of starting with one problem at a time. Since acid reflux is sometimes very painful, it might be a clever idea to start by trying to provide relief for that issue!
Get Enough Sleep
In addition to hydrating your body, getting enough sleep is the ideal way to reduce stomach pain. People who get enough sleep after a night out tend to feel considerably better than those who get little or no sleep before embracing the next day.
Stomach-ache After Drinking: FAQs
Can Alcohol Make Your Stomach Hurt for Days?
If you continue drinking after your big night out, your stomach will continue to ache. Even if you’re drinking less, and milder types of drinks, you’ll still suffer from varying degrees of aches.
If you’re experiencing pain or an upset stomach, you should avoid alcohol, carbonated and caffeine drinks for a few days. It’s necessary to clear the alcohol out of your digestive tract and allow your stomach acid levels to return to normal.
Why Do You Get Upset Stomach After Drinking Alcohol?
For some people, a painful stomach isn’t the only issue they have with a little too much drinking. Sometimes, pain is also paired with an upset stomach in the form of diarrhea. Alcohol-related diarrhea is caused when the alcohol irritates the digestive tract.
Symptoms of this ailment include:
- Bloated feeling that’s irritated when you eat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite for a few days after the drinking session
To avoid having an upset stomach after drinking, focus on eating the right types of food to balance the enzymes in your digestive tract. Some of these include:
- Dry Toast
- Chicken with little spice
- Clear, uncarbonated fluids such as broth, juice and water will replace the electrolytes lost during diarrhea
Do Some Alcohols Make Gastritis Worse?
You might find some people get sick after only a few glasses of the simplest drinks. Other people can consume a lot of alcohol with seemingly no symptoms. Why is this? Generally, it’s all about the ethanol content in your preferred drink.
Drinks such as beer and wine have a low ethanol content and therefore cause additional acid secretion and gastrin release. Drinks like gin or whiskey have a higher ethanol content and don’t stimulate gastric acid secretion.
There’s no reason to give up on your favorite drink because you suffer from extensive stomach aches. The trick is to eat the right foods and take the necessary supplements before and after your night out. Where possible, snack on some of the foods listed in our article and be sure to drink a few glasses of water in between your regular drinks.
Identify the drinks that make you feel sick and replace them with drinks that don’t cause you as much discomfort. Smarter drinking in moderation will allow you to unwind without feeling sick the day after!