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alcohol gastritis...

Old 03-30-2013, 10:12 AM
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alcohol gastritis...

So, gastritis is sort of a generic term - from what I understand - but it's what is making my hangovers so awful and giving me one more reason to quit. Alcohol gastritis is diagnosed to those who binge drink and have the symptoms I do.

My hangovers are to the point my stomach aches. Aches to the point I can't sleep for the wretched pain in my abdomen. Usually right under my sternum but sometimes lower. I vomit the mornings after a binge. I used to never vomit. No amount of hydration or vitamin supplements cure the hangover. It's there for days. It's full of drinking the pepto straight from the bottle - on top of endless tums. Like I said, I can't sleep for the pain at night. The lack of sleep prolongs my hangovers and really messes with my mood. Vicious cycle.

I've apparently started the process of eating violently into my stomach lining. It can't process the alcohol like it used to and the years and days on end of binges never allow or allowed it to recover. Now just a couple of day binges start the process of eating into that stomach lining... creating all of the pain associated with my hangovers.

Not just the headache... but the burning, aching, heart attack sensations that lead to the panic attacks. It's all related. And it's all my body telling me...

Enough.

The bad news is the only cure for this is time and if I continue down this path I'll ultimately have ulcers (if I don't already have a small one that can heal), permanent destruction of the stomach lining, and eventually throat or stomach cancer from the acid running rampant and working it's way up my esophagus. This is also why my tongue was white the two days after my binge... an offset in balances of the right vitamins, chemicals, and too much bacteria in my stomach.

The good news is there is a cure. Time. And, enough time will reverse the damage I've done and my body will heal.

I just wanted to post this for anyone thinking of quitting as possible motivation. And, to offer a reminder to those who did quit why they did - and motivation to stay there.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for the reminder of how destructive alcohol is on our bodies.

Like you, at the end of my drinking career I suffered from severe abdominal pain. My body stopped absorbing food and I went through a significant and scary weight loss.

I went through the medical process with a GI doctor being poked and prodded to find a solution. I refused to believe the alcohol was the culprit. I weighed 82 lbs. at that time and was continuing to lose weight. Of course, I never mentioned my alcoholism to the GI doctor.

I also started vomiting bile several times during the night and could no longer brush my teeth without triggering more vomiting. Eating was torture. The pain was unbearable and was followed by horrific bathroom experiences.

Our bodies can only sustain so much abuse. I believe these symptoms are our bodies way of begging us to stop the madness.

The great news is that when we stop pouring alcohol down our throat, our bodies begin to heal. For me, it took 6 months of sobriety for my GI to really settle down. Now I can enjoy a meal without pain.

Thanks again for the reminder. I never want to go back to that insanity!
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:34 AM
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As I put some time and distance between me and the last horror-binge I need to be reminded of just how bad I was.

Thanks in a funny sort of way.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:34 AM
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Thank you for reminding me.
I still have visible signs of my intestinal inflammation. It is better but it's still there. I did it to myself. It only gets worse Paddler.
The sooner you quit the easier recovering form the physical assault will be.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:36 AM
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Paddler - if you can, see a Dr and be very honest about your drinking. While the best outcome of not drinking is your stomach and digestive system going back to normal, some of the symptoms you describe are very similar to ones my Dr asked me about in November when I came clean about how much I drink -er drank (that still sounds and feels good!). He was leaning more toward liver issues as opposed to digestive tract stuff going on, but your symptoms could be similar, especially if you are prone to having a sensitive system anyways drinking or not.
My liver labs came back 3X worse than 'normal' and that was the day I stopped 11/13/12 (as did my husband in support and of course his liver - after his labs were done too, is just peachy, but he still does not drink).
This sounds stupid to me now, but I was not aware that ones liver sits fairly high up in the body on the right side, kind of behind the lungs. While I never had pain there, I would have thought it would have been lower in my body.
Oddly enough, when drinking I also had eating anxiety and got the majority of my calories from box wine. When I stopped, I lost what is now a lot of weight and I wasn't that heavy to begin with. I eat what I want and don't have the fear of choking etc I had when drinking. Booze and drugs in general really mess with your mind in ways you can't even imagine.
Take care of yourself and keep us posted!
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:41 AM
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Good reminder, Paddler. I am still paying for my stupidity. I have an ulcer & can't take painkillers when I really need them. The combination of alcohol and aspirin for a hangover took it's toll on my stomach.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:44 AM
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Yes, thanks for the reminder.

I really hope that you feel better.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:46 AM
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thanks noan.

He was leaning towards the gastritis and severe inflammation after describing my drinking. When asked if on the 12 - 14 days or so of sobriety I've had luck with if the symptoms go away... I said yes. They do. They are actually even better today than they were Wednesday.

Blood tests are next and will tell the tell of my liver. I'm pretty scared. I just turned 33. When I was 30, and still drinking, my 30 year physical showed no signs of damage. In fact, that doctor said "keep doing what you're doing..." lol.

But, it's taken it's toll. I hope and pray I am just temporarily damaged and it all normalizes.

I am dead seat on sobriety today. Today... I hope it holds. I have written all the damage I'm experience emotionally, physically, etc... for a reminder next time I want to drink.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:38 PM
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I too got stomach aches a lot, refused to realize it was the drinking at fault. No more stomach aches now that I quit drinking, well, almost none. Now I get them from too much coffee!
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for the reminder.

I too suffered with inflammation of the stomach lining, and the production of excess acid and vomiting has left me with lesions on my oesophagus and a hiatus hernia. I am on a restricted diet and medication for this now.

I don't miss the pain I suffered the day after drinking. I don't miss the heartburn or the anxious panicky feelings.

With a little sober time, those memories are easily forgotten.

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Old 03-30-2013, 01:00 PM
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Thanks, Jeni... for the motivation that it all subsides.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:26 PM
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Damn that's a powerful reminder. Thanks. When I go days without drinking, one of my favorite sensations is to lie in bed when I first wake up and just "feel" my body healing . . . noticing how much less pain I'm in . . . imagining the good, healthy foods I've eaten making their way through my system.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:31 PM
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Igor was able to tolerate spicy foods by month 3 of sobriety! My stomach acted up so much, I named it Igor.

Igor is well at this point in time, so for some of us, our bodies do heal well.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:08 PM
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I too was suffering horrible stomach pains, acid reflux and unpleasant digestive issues. These have ALL been resolved through alcohol abstinence (since 02/06/13) and a focus on healthy dietary changes/supplements. Aloe Vera juice (available OTC at health food stores) helped tremendously in the first couple of weeks; very soothing and healing for the stomach and intestinal lining. I even pulled out and dusted off my Nutribullet and use that to mix up a nutritious smoothie for breakfast.

I hope you are feeling better soon!
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:18 AM
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Hey Paddler, want to add my thanks for the reminder.

This was, by far, the worst physical aspect of drinking for me. It is actually what got me to stop "the first time." I remember last summer having a friend stay with me for a week or so and being in my car one day when I took a swig of some antacid without even thinking about it. She looked at me and said, "You do realize you have about fifteen bottles of this stuff all over your house at 'stations' and there are two bottles in your car that I have seen. What the 'f' is wrong with you and shouldn't you be going to the Dr.?!!" Nevermind the Tums in my purse and the heartburn medicine stashed elsewhere. It had gotten so 'normal' for me to be in constant agony because of my stomach that I just kept compensating for it by ingesting antacid all day so I could drink all night. Long story short: I ended up in the hospital intensive care unit on Thanksgiving last year after I started vomiting after a long binge and couldn't stop. I eventually passed out from the pain and exhaustion and woke up on the bathroom floor in such agony I thought I was dying. Five days in the hospital (and a $18,000 bill later which insurance only covered about 2/3rds of), I knew I was in serious trouble.

I was/am lucky. My bloodwork was still fine although I had signs of the beginning of a fatty liver. I was, however, developing a ulcer in my esophagus which the doctor told me bluntly would basically end up with me having to eat via tube eventually if I didn't stop drinking and allow it to heal. That scared the crap out of me...but not enough to stop until six weeks later. The inability to drink "much" after that hospital stay because of the pain, however, convinced me that I could stop if I wanted to. Still, though, I drank that wine with all of its horrible burning going down until the fourth or fifth glass when the pain was numbed.

So, yeah, long story short, thank you so much for that reminder. I forget now, six weeks out and feeling great, how awful that part of alcoholism became for me. I love food and come from a family of chefs so the thought of never being able to eat solid food again or enjoy their wonderful creations is too horrible to contemplate. And a feeding tube in my 30s? Um, no...not how I pictured it at all...

But I was forgetting until I read this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you again.

((Hugs))
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:17 AM
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you're welcome.

Day 4 from my latest binge... I'm feeling a little better. Ate a lot yesterday. Still a little screwed up. Haven't had a tums today...

But, long way from normal. =( I'll get there... Thank you!!! Ptc for being my crystal ball into where I could go.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:03 AM
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Yes, our bodies do heal. However I say that with a 'caution' attached.

By about 6 months into my sobriety my whole gastronomic system was doing really good, rarely had heartburn any more or had to use a Rolaids or Tums.

That lasted until about 10 years ago, when everything went to hell in a hand basket. I was diagnosed with GERD. They found new lesions on my esophagus and said I now had 'Barretts Esophagus' which is a precursor to Cancer and that my stomach looked 'terrible' (doctors words not mine). I also now have a hiltal hernia, which is the 'acid' has and is burning away the muscle where the esophagus meets the stomach.

So the sooner one stops the better. Me I was not so smart, drank for 24 years, 22 of that alcoholically and really really did some bad damage. Damage that I thought had healed with my ongoing sobriety, only to be 'rudely awakened' years later that my body was not holding up as well as I though it was.

About 70% of my health issues today can be traced back to my years of abusing alcohol.

The sooner anyone reading this takes abstinence seriously the better their life will remain 'down the road'!!!!!!

J M H O

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:39 AM
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This descibes me to a T. The morning barf after a deep cough with no food in my stomach before a pull from the vodka bottle and then a vodka barf was the worst part of the hangover. Holy run-on sentence. I don't care. This sucked donkey b**** and I don't want to go back.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:41 PM
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5 months ago I was diagnosed with alcoholic gastritis, GERD and a hiatal hernia as well as early signs of liver disease. Just had a follow up with the Dr and my liver levels are back to normal and no longer enlarged. I've been on meds for all of the stomach issues but everything is on the mend. Stop drinking, Go see a dr., be honest about your drinking, get on meds and you can get better.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:53 PM
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Thank you for sharing this paddler. I actually did forget the agonizing stomach pain when I was drinking. I used to vomit in the morning & not eat all day. Then vomit the first glass of wine I had upon getting home from work. And still drank... A dr I saw last year told me he never saw a 32 year old w such bad gastritis. I still didn't quit. Thank you for reminding me because I had truly forgotten how awful I felt every single moment of the day while drinking. I stayed on protonix for a few months but need it no longer. Since I've quit drinking & now eat properly I don't feel that burning pain. Adding this to my gratitude list
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