Why when I drink alcohol my belly swells


Have you noticed that when you drink alcohol your belly swells? It is something that seduces sometimes and that can be very annoying, since the clothes begin to bother you, you look inflated, you have more and more desire to urinate and, even, you may begin to feel bad and need to go to the bathroom as soon as possible. But why does it happen? and is there a way around it?

Why when I drink alcohol my belly swells

If you are wondering why when I drink alcohol my belly swells, keep reading this article because in we give you the answer to this question and we tell you what you can do to avoid it.

Why my belly swells when I drink alcohol

Drinking alcohol when we celebrate something or go out partying affects us in many more ways than belly inflammation, such as swelling of the face, dizziness, belly pain, makes it easier for us to disinhibit ourselves, among other effects. All of them are produced due to how alcohol affects our body and, therefore, also how it is digested.

In the case of inflammation of the belly there are certain aspects, which are part of the reasons why this happens, that we can take into account to reduce the problem or even avoid it. Thus, it is convenient to know the reasons why this happens. Among the main causes of belly swelling when drinking alcohol

  • Alcohol causes gas and accelerates digestion: on the one hand, the body has some difficulty in digesting alcohol since there are many toxins that must be processed and eliminated, and this difficulty usually produces gases that swell the belly. On the other hand, alcohol increases muscle spasms, especially in the colon, which causes digestion to accelerate, irritate and inflame the intestines and feces to be expelled earlier.
  • Little food before drinking: having an empty stomach and drinking alcohol is a mistake, because if there is no food to accompany digestion this is much more difficult and irritating for the digestive system, causing inflammation of the belly. In addition, the absorption of alcohol is done faster and causes more problems, such as vomiting and, therefore, a drunkenness and a hangover difficult to forget because of how bad it can happen.
  • Mixture of different types of alcohol and carbonated beverages: it is very common to drink combinations, cocktails or vats in which a couple of different distilled alcohols are joined, or it is also common to drink both distilled and fermented alcohol, for example drinking whiskey and wine or beer. It is also usual to mix alcohol with a sparkling soft drink, such as lemonade or cola. Actually, mixing in these ways the alcohol that is taken is very harmful since in digestion several problems arise, which are usually in the intake of alcohol but that worsen when having mixed. These cause swelling, aches and even diarrhea and vomiting, apart from the effects on the head and important organs, such as the liver.
  • The amount of alcohol you drink: Of course, the more alcohol you drink, even if you don't mix, the worse the effects it has on the body, and between them it causes more inflammation.

As you can see, there are several reasons for the relationship between alcohol and inflammation of the belly. In addition, drinking regularly has another consequence that goes beyond temporary inflammation, and is the well-known “beer belly”, that is, there is also a relationship between alcohol and prolonged abdominal distension or increase in the belly, since alcohol taken regularly without taking certain measures makes you fat, especially if it is accompanied by poor diet and lack of exercise.

Find out in this other article What are the consequences of drinking alcohol.

How alcohol is digested

Alcohol begins to be digested in the stomach and intestines becoming etanal or acetaldehyde, a substance very toxic to our body and that quickly passes to metabolize in the liver. The liver converts acetaldehyde into acetate and then metabolizes it into carbon dioxide and water, which are absorbed into the bloodstream. For this reason, the liver is one of the organs most negatively affected by the alcohol we ingest.

Thus, the toxins of cetaldehyde and acetate damage the body and, therefore and due to the difficulty of digestion, especially when it is not accompanied with food or alcohol is mixed, there are problems such as swelling the belly or other parts, such as the face, since alcohol swells the body, or that there is dizziness, nausea and clumsiness, among other effects.

How to keep your belly from swelling when you drink alcohol

To prevent alcohol from swelling your belly, as well as other unwanted effects, it is important to follow some tips such as those we give you below:

  • Eat well before drinking alcohol: it is not necessary to overeat, but remember that an empty stomach along with alcohol produce digestive problems and gas, apart from a lower tolerance to their effects on the brain and other organs. In case of overeating, the effects can also be negative.
  • Avoid foods that produce gas: to have less belly inflammation when drinking it is necessary to have eaten well before, but it is equally important to avoid foods that produce flatulence such as cabbage, broccoli or certain cereals.
  • Do not drink excessively: it is better to drink less and spend better times, than to spend drinking and end up not remembering anything after a short time, also having more health problems.
  • Drink non-alcoholic drinks: you can choose to party or celebrate something without drinking alcohol, for example you can drink soft drinks or non-alcoholic beers. But if you decide to drink alcoholic beverages, we recommend that between drinks you rest a little and drink other things such as soft drinks alone, beers 0% or water. In addition, water will help you lower the swelling of the belly by drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid chewing gum: obviously you do not have to chew gum if at the same time you drink, but we mean that if you are ingesting alcoholic beverages while you last the digestion of these non-chewing gum or chewing gums, the only thing they will do is worsen your abdominal swelling because, in addition, it is easy to swallow air.
  • Walk: to prevent alcohol from affecting you a lot as well as to prevent and lower the inflammation of the belly, it is advisable to walk. Aside from taking in the air, getting some gentle exercise helps metabolize alcohol faster.


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