Alcohol and the Gut
Majority of us enjoy having a glass or two every now and again to celebrate, relax and unwind.
From a digestive capacity, alcohol and the gut have a complicated relationship, but knowledge is power so I am here to share a few truths in terms of alcohol and the gut and ways you can still enjoy a few drinks whilst not interrupting your gut significantly!
Alcohol and Gut Truths:
1. Your gut microbiota (gut bacteria) can assist with alcohol metabolism which is one of the reasons we all handle alcohol differently.
- If your gut microbiome is imbalanced, this can impact the way you handle alcohol.
- An excess of alcohol regularly can change the growth of bacteria and the less favourable bacteria have the opportunity to proliferate.
2. In excess, alcohol can reduce your digestive enzymes and acid levels which in turn breaks down the food, impacts the amount of nutrients you absorb and therefore your overall digestion.
- If food is not broken down correctly, this in turn leads to inflammation and fermentation (AKA gas).
3. Excess alcohol, leads to inflammation of the gut which can lead to leaky gut, otherwise known as intestinal permeability, setting off a series of immune responses throughout the body which can lead to a wide range of symptoms.
4. Alcohol is processed through the liver, and an overabundance of alcohol puts strain on the liver and it's ability to detoxify.
This may all sound quite negative but there are a range of ways we can enjoy some drinks and support the gut concurrently!
Our amazing tips for enjoying your drinks:
- Don't drink on an empty stomach, ensure you have had a well balanced meal before you start drinking to line the digestive tract.
- Don't forget about water! If you are feeling thirsty, increase your water consumption and space your alcoholic drinks out with slipping water in between.
- Don't forget to have some alcohol free days to give your digestive system the chance to recover and repair.
- Support your liver by eating foods that support your liver: broccoli, cauliflower, lemon, globe artichoke, green leafy veggies.
You can drink your drinks and have a healthy gut too!
If you are struggling with your digestive health and finding your symptoms worsen with alcohol, please book in a 1:1 consult to have a chat so we can get your digestive symptoms in check!