A healthy gut is one of the best indicators of overall health. The body’s ability to digest food and break down nutrients is a critical function. Understanding the signs of an unhealthy gut and what is causing it can help you avoid any further, more serious complications. Of course, heavy drinking can cause all sorts of health problems, but did you know it can also cause an imbalance in the gut microbiota? According to The American Journal of Gastroenterology, alcohol changes the composition of the gut microbiota and disrupt the intestinal environment. 1
Excessive consumption of alcohol can stimulate the growth of bad bacteria in the gut. This can simultaneously kill off the healthy bacteria living there. But the good news is that the damage caused by over-consumption of alcohol may not be permanent. Reducing the amount you drink will allow the body to recover and replace any healthy gut bacteria that was lost.
Some common digestive side effects of alcohol consumption include feeling bloated, loss of appetite, nausea, or a persistent feeling of weakness. Alcohol can also make your intestines more permeable, making your body more susceptible to illnesses.
The health of your gut is crucial to the overall health of your body. Doing everything you can to keep this important system operating at its peak will help you maintain your general well-being. If you experience one or more of the symptoms discussed after you consume alcohol, it may be time to cut back.
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1Bajaj JS, Hylemon PB, Younossi Z. The Intestinal Microbiota and Liver Disease. Am J Gastroenterol (2012) 1:9–14; doi:10.1038/ajgsup.2012.3.