Stomach pain with IBS & alcohol consumption

Written by vicki holmes
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Stomach pain with IBS & alcohol consumption
IBS treatments prescribed by your doctor may offer relief, but alcohol consumption may complicate matters

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a painful condition that causes severe abdominal cramping and bloating. It is often accompanied by diarrhoea, constipation and nausea. While there are treatment options available through your doctor, alcohol consumption can complicate matters and make your condition more difficult to control.

Alcohol Irritates

According to, a health and wellness website, consuming alcohol can contribute to the pain and bloating associated with IBS. Alcohol irritates the inflamed intestinal tract and could also cause constipation or diarrhoea.

Alcohol Triggers

<p> explains that IBS can be triggered by a disturbance in intestinal flora, which can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption. If you drink, try to reduce or stop consumption to see if your symptoms subside. Ironically stress, another trigger of IBS episodes, can incite people to increase alcohol consumption. The idea that drinking will help your IBS by helping you deal with your stress is erroneous and it will only add more pain to the episode.

<p>, a medical information website, reports that the incidence of IBS is higher in people who are alcoholics.

Sugars in Alcohol

<p> reports that a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology supports the concept that alcohol can make IBS symptoms more severe. The study, which followed patients Crohn’s disease, determined that the amount of sugar contained in the alcoholic beverages consumed made a difference in terms of how well the alcohol was tolerated by patients. Drinks with higher sugar levels triggered or exacerbated symptoms more than ones with lower sugar levels.

Reactions Vary

The Scandinavian study also showed that every person’s reaction to alcohol differed. Not every patient had a negative reaction to the alcoholic beverages. It is important for IBS patients to note how they feel after drinking to determine if they have any adverse reactions.

How to Partake

IBS patients who choose to consume alcohol should take certain steps to avoid any negative side effects. First, discuss the matter with your doctor. Make sure that the medications you are taking will not interact with alcohol. Moderation is also advisable, as is making it a point to never drink on an empty stomach, which may irritate your IBS. Also, try to avoid drinks with high levels of sugar, such as fruity drinks and wines.

Stomach pain with IBS & alcohol consumption
Be wise about which alcoholic beverages you choose

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