If you’re a social drinker or a binge-drinker, there’s a huge chance you have experienced a pounding head, a dry mouth and diarrhoea. A lot of drinkers experience their hangover in a completely different way and find themselves chained to the toilet.
If you are one of those people that notice an unusual pooping patterns synonymous to diarrhoea after a night of drinking, it’s not your imagination playing tricks on you. Gastroenterologist believe the effects of alcohol actually can actually create the perfect storm for diarrhoea.
The truth is a number of issues combine to cause this. Firstly, alcohol has bee known to irritate the linings of the intestines which can make them leak fluid into your gut. Furthermore, they also make the muscle contractions of the intestines stronger and more frequent. These contractions are the same ones that trigger your visit to the toilet, as waste from your digestive tract moves through your system.
When these contractions become a little too much, they have the likelihood of pushing your poop out before your intestines have had the chance to absorb the extra water from your waste. The result of this is you pooping out loose, watery stool before it has become well-formed.
More so, in addition to your intestines becoming leaky and overly active, your irritated intestines may also have trouble doing their usual job of absorbing fluid when you’re drunk, leaving your poop in its pre-dehydrated state.
This will result in a situation where you have too much fluid exiting, too little of it being absorbed, and your gut working overtime to push poop out of your body.
The source of your diarrhoea may however extend beyond intestinal irritation. Alcohol has the ability to kill off the good bacteria in your gut, and this could alter the balance of your normal flora, leading to a higher concentration of the bad bacteria. This is a serious problem as having too many of the bad bacteria can further impair your intestines’ ability to absorb water. Moreover, too much alcohol can also stimulate the production of acid in your stomach, which is yet another fluid mixed in with the stool.
It is however also possible that it is not only the alcohol content in your gut that’s causing your diarrhoea. Other components of the alcoholic beverage you consumed, may also be responsible. For instance, if you have gluten sensitivity or problems absorbing carbohydrates, alcoholic drinks such as beer or sugary cocktails may further irritate your gut, making the symptoms of diarrhoea even worse.
Some people may also experience gut distress with artificial sweeteners, that are more often than not, found in sugar-free mixers.
If you are keen on avoiding u want to avoid the drinking diarrhoea when you consume alcoholic drinks, you may want to start by keeping your consumption in check. Stick to the daily recommended limit of not more than two drinks a day. Know that the more you drink, the worse the post-drink diarrhoea will be.
Make sure that you alternate each drink with plain water, too. Try as much as possible to stay hydrated when you drink. This can help dilute the alcohol in your system, making its effects less pronounced. And if you notice you have digestive distress with drinks that have high carbohydrates, switch to a drink that has low-sugar like a single malt instead.