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Why Does Alcohol Make You Throw Up

Praying to the porcelain god. Odds are if you haven’t experienced the agony of throwing up from drinking, you have a friend or family member who drank too much, thrown up all night or the next day, and swore off alcohol forever. Or at least they’ve expressed that they’re never going to drink like that again. Unlike other drugs, alcohol is infamous for making even the biggest drinker throw up.

The reasons why alcohol may make you throw up depends on the circumstances. Sometimes, alcohol has simply irritated someone’s stomach, and just like eating something a little funky, the body vomits. More often, throwing up from alcohol is a sign of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can be fatal. An average of 6 people dies every day in the US from alcohol poisoning, contributing to the 88,000 total deaths caused by alcohol every year.

If your alcohol consumption has caused other problems in your life such as poorer job performance, loss of work, deteriorating personal and social relationships, family problems, or isolation, these may be signs of an alcohol abuse disorder. If you are sick and tired of throwing up from drinking, of dealing with the consequences of your drinking, or of wishing you could stop, there’s good news. Boardwalk Recovery has helped all types of people overcome their drinking problems. Call now to speak with an alcohol addiction specialist and start your new life today.

Alcohol Is a Stomach Irritant

Consuming alcohol has many physical side effects, but people often forget about the harmful effects it has on your stomach. One of the more comical side effects of drinking beer is “beer farts.” Because of the yeast, it contains, beer releases carbon dioxide in the stomach, causing those terrible, foul smelling farts.

While beer farts aren’t the end of the world, drinking even a little bit of alcohol can harm our stomachs much more than we realize. Because of the acid produced in our stomachs from drinking, alcohol gastritis (an inflamed stomach lining) can cause intense stomach discomfort, pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. For chronic or severe drinkers, this condition can cause stomach bleeding and ulcers.

Binge Drinking and Alcohol Poisoning

An average of 1,800 college students die from drinking alcohol, and many of those deaths are caused by alcohol poisoning. According to the CDC, alcohol-related deaths account for the third most preventable deaths in the US, behind only tobacco and poor diet with lack of exercise. If you’ve thrown up from drinking alcohol, you’ve probably experienced alcohol poisoning. Throwing up is the body’s attempt to rid itself of a toxic level of alcohol. Throwing up from alcohol is one of the body’s last attempts at living. Other signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Irregular or shallow/slow breathing. Irregular breathing includes hyperventilating (rapid breathing) or less than 8 breaths per minute.
  • Pale or bluish skin. This is a sign that the person’s body is not receiving enough oxygen or that their liver is beginning to shut down.
  • Loss of consciousness. If someone has passed out from drinking, make sure to try to wake them up and don’t leave them alone. Turn them over so that if they do vomit, their airway remains clear. Many people have died because they suffocated on heir vomit while unconscious.
  • Nonresponsive. If you cannot wake or rouse somebody who has been drinking, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Binge drinking is defined as having more than 5 drinks for men and more than 4 drinks for women on the same occasion or within a few hours on at least one day in the last 30 days. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more than 35% of college students and more than 13% of underage people report binge drinking in the last 30 days.

Throwing up from binge drinking can also lead to problems with the esophagus, including heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and even cancer.

Binge drinking has many other side effects. Drunk driving was responsible for more than 10,000 deaths in 2017 alone. Additionally, the CDC reports that binge drinking contributes to increased occurrences of domestic violence, sexual assault, homicide, and suicide. Other public and personal health problems from binge drinking include:

  • Risky sexual behavior and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unintended pregnancy, miscarriages, and stillbirth
  • Chronic diseases (high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease, and stroke)
  • Cognitive problems including learning and memory
  • Alcohol dependence

Throwing up from drinking alcohol may seem commonplace, and even funny sometimes. But vomiting during or after drinking is usually a symptom of binge drinking and alcohol dependence. It is a life-threatening emergency that has been a public health crisis in America for decades. If you or somebody you know is struggling with alcohol addiction or dependence, call Boardwalk Recovery today for more information on how we can help develop a treatment plan that will improve their health and quality of life.

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