The surprising benefit of not drinking alcohol may not be surprising after all. My first memory of the “day after reflux” is back in my second year of college I had a heavy night of drinking with some buddies. We had a lot of beer, and redneck mimosas. It’s obvious that orange juice causes reflux, but add beer to that then you have a 2-for-1 punch to the throat! This is really the beginning of my journey with alcohol and reflux.
It hasn’t been easy because I love me a good micro brewed stout, but it is totally worth it. I have also only had about 6 beers over the past 6 months. That is a change from about 3 beers per week before that. When I did have a beer or two over the past 6 months, it hasn’t been nearly as bad as prior to the 6 months.
I can say that when I started connecting the dots about the alcohol and reflux, is when I started trying to drink less. It was not easy because my roommates at the time loved to drink, and I have a hard time saying no (I am getting better with this). I did take a little while to be able to say no even though I knew how uncomfortable I was going to be the next day.
The research that I have read over have all said about the same thing about how the alcohol may affect the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract):
1)alcohol may relax the LES (lower esophageal sphincter that connects the
stomach and esophagus)
2) Cause esophageal lining damage, which may lead to esophageal cancer
3)Effect production of stomach acid
4)Effect the muscles of the stomach, and other parts of the GI tract
5)Cause malabsorption of nutrients in the GI tract
6)Other GI related problems
It has been almost 5 weeks since I have had my last alcoholic beverage (a porter that was made with yeast that was found in a ship wreck at the bottom of the English Channel, that is according to the bartender at World Of Beer). I have never felt better physically, and mentally, even though liquid courage is so good!
That is one step I have taken to have a healthier gut.
My goal is to go two months without an alcoholic beverage! Not getting those “day after reflux” bouts is going to be nice, and has been nice. (They were so enjoyable that I had to stop drinking something that I loved so much.) I am also starting to miss alcohol less and less, which may not be a bad thing.
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