The Science Behind Explosive Hangover Poops
To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.
- Save Story
To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.
Ah, the New Year. A time for resolutions, for self-betterment, for dumping out the old and bringing in the new. Unfortunately, if you celebrate New Year’s Eve with champagne and shots, chances are you may spend the first day of the new year on the toilet.
Scientists dont entirely understand what causes hangovers, but every over-imbiber knows its effects: puffy skin, headaches, nausea, the feeling when you drink water that you just straight-up guzzled acid. And any regular drinker knows the agony and the ecstasy of the hangover poo. It can feel like the only way to relief: the unfortunate, unavoidable end of any excruciating hangover. The morning after the WIRED holiday party—which started with cocktails at a classy bar and devolved, as is tradition, into late-night scream-singing with buckets of beers at a local karaoke joint—saw the shared office bathroom morph into a toxic warzone.
Next-day diarrhea isnt universal and, for some, alcohol actually causes constipation. But its common enough that it has some well-known, and rather unendearing, nicknamesbeer shits, day-after-drinking shits , rum bum, after-grog bog, and so on. Anyone whos dealt with it knows it can be rough.
But why does it happen?
The New York TimesThe AtlanticQueen Mobs Tea House
When To See A Doctor
Diarrhea after drinking should not last for longer than 48 hours. Once the body metabolizes alcohol, it should not continue to affect the body.
If diarrhea lasts longer than 48 hours, it can cause dehydration and other potential health problems. A person may wish to seek medical advice and treatment. They might need an oral rehydration solution to replace lost salts and electrolytes.
For constipation, a person should drink plenty of water, eat high fiber foods, and engage in physical exercise. If constipation is persistent, a pharmacist can usually recommend a mild laxative.
It is important to see a doctor if there is dark blood in the stool or bright red blood that continues to appear over a couple of days. These signs could indicate a more serious medical problem.
A person may wish to seek advice from a doctor if alcohol is adversely affecting their life. Signs of a potential problem with alcohol include drinking more than intended, risk-taking behavior, and being unable to cut down on alcohol.
And Hey Sometimes Alcohol Doesn’t Cause Any Poop Problems So It Really Depends On The Person
Everyone’s gastrointestinal process and digestion speed is a little different, says Ganjhu. Alcohol doesn’t necessarily cause diarrhea on it’s own, but it can cause it in some people depending on what they drink and how it impacts their stomach.
“It’s actually a bit cryptic how alcohol affects the gastrointestinal tract, and we’re still researching how it works,” says Keshavarzian. For example, new research shows that intestinal damage from alcohol may be worse if your circadian rhythm is disrupted â like in people who have jet lag, work graveyard shifts, or pull all nighters.
If you’re someone who can drink all night without any disruption of your poop schedule, you may just have some intestinal advantage scientists haven’t fully figured out yet. Also, you’re #blessed.
Also Check: Does Banana Cause Bloating And Gas
Can You Drink Too Much Water
You don’t need to guzzle your water in huge quantities. Go ahead and take;your first waking hour to drink 3 to 4 cups of water.;Because;actually, it can be dangerous to drink too much water at once. Here’s what could happen:
if you drink too much water, the sodium levels in your blood may drop to dangerously low levels, causing hyponatremia a condition in which your cells swell with too much water. While most of your body’s cells can handle this swelling, your brain cells cannot, and most of the symptoms are caused by brain swelling. This condition is most common among athletes, although anyone can be affected by drinking excessive amounts of water.
So take your time . Some sources say about a quart an hour is an amount that a normal body can handle well.
Your water can come in the form of plain water, water with flavors or ingredients added, tea, or the water that’s naturally part of foods like fruits, vegetables, and broth. It’s all water your body can use.
Did you notice my jar of water in the picture? It’s not plain water, is it? It’s actually my lemonade water.
I;have a hard time drinking plain water first thing in the morning. Even though we have good, clean well water, it doesn’t taste good to me at that time of day. I can take a sip or two, but I can’t drink a glass;without feeling like gagging.
- 2 to 3dropsliquimins
- 3 to 4dropsliquid stevia extract
Related: 6 Secrets Of People Who Poop Perfectly
Pharmacy shelves are packed to the gills with different types of laxatives. At first glance, they might seem like the magic wand you need to make your poop-less bathroom visits disappear. But not all of these meds are created equal, and depending on them too much for relief can do more harm than good. “Your body can get used to relying on stimulant laxatives, like Dulcolax and Senna, in order to have a bowel movement if these types of laxatives are used on a long-term basis, as your colon can lose the ability to contract on its own,” says Shah. This is just one of a host of side effects associated with prolonged laxative use, which include electrolyte imbalances, seizures, heart arrhythmias, muscle aches, and more.;
To be on the safe side, follow the dosing instructions on the box, and don’t use any type of laxative for more than a week or two without telling your doctor first. They might recommend that you take a different type of laxative or fiber-bulking agents instead. According to James-Stevenson, these are “considered safe for short- and long-term treatment of constipation symptoms.” Regular probiotic use can safely stave off difficult dumps, too.
If altering your diet or activity isn’t solving your poop problems at the end of the day, don’t wave it off: “A change in your bowel habits can sometimes be a sign of something more ominous occurring with your health, such as colorectal cancer,” says Chen. “If you notice a consistent change, inform your doctor.”;
Also Check: Bananas Gas Bloating
What Is The Definition Of Constipation
Constipation is a common problem where people find it difficult to have bowel movements. Constipation medically is defined as less than three bowel movements per week. If a person has less than one bowel movement per week, they are considered to have severe constipation. Symptoms of bloating, gas, or pain passing bowel movements may accompany constipation.
Bsf Scale: Form Follows Dysfunction
Alcohol inhibits digestion, causes dehydration, depresses glucose metabolism, and compromises the functioning of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The cumulative impact of these factors is behind chronic constipation related to alcohol abuse.
Oh, boy, do I need a drink to answer that oneâ¦ You see, boozing yourself up until amnesiac is still a national pastime in my country of origin, so this Russian-American knows the hard truth, and it is, indeed, very hardâ¦
Here are the primary reasons why it does:
So, if you cant say no to one too many Martinis or Manhattans, visit this page to learn how to mop up after your youthful indiscretions and mature indulgencesâ¦
Cheers and good luck!
You already know without my council that it is best not to drink yourself into a stupor extending all the way down to the gut! So, I’ll skip moralizing on the merits and demerits of alcohol consumption, and, instead, will give you some practical and gut-saving advice:
All of the above recommendations will also reduce the drunkenness, the severity of the hangover, long-term health damage, and, of course, the risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, and colorectal cancer. What can be worse than the indignity of having a hangover and constipation all at the same time?
Recommended Reading: Does Baking Soda Help Heartburn
Milk And Dairy Products
Dairy appears to be another common cause of constipation, at least for some people.
Infants, toddlers, and children appear particularly at risk, possibly due to a sensitivity to the proteins found in cows milk .
A review of studies conducted over a 26-year period found that some children with chronic constipation experienced improvements when they stopped consuming cows milk .
In a recent study, children aged 112 with chronic constipation drank cows milk for a period of time. The cows milk was then replaced by soy milk for a subsequent period of time.
Nine of the 13 children in the study experienced constipation relief when cows milk was replaced by soy milk .
There are many anecdotal reports of similar experiences in adults. However, little scientific support could be found, since most studies examining these effects are focused on children, not older populations.
Its worth noting that those who are lactose intolerant may experience diarrhea, rather than constipation, after consuming dairy.
Dairy products may cause constipation in some individuals. This effect is most common in those who are sensitive to the proteins found in cows milk.
Red meat may worsen constipation for three main reasons.
First, it contains little fiber, which adds bulk to stools and helps them move along.
Second, red meat may also indirectly reduce a persons total daily fiber intake by taking the place of higher-fiber options in the diet.
What Are The Complications Of Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol hallucinosis, withdrawal seizures, and delirium are among the most typical complications of alcohol withdrawal. Other complications include:,,,
- This can be a short-term result of high treatment doses
- This is quite rare if adequate treatment is obtained
Other complications due to chronic alcohol use disorder
If you think that you might have alcohol withdrawal, you can try using Ada to find out more about your symptoms.
Read Also: Can Vitamin B12 Cause Diarrhea
Certain Types Of Beer May Be Better For Gut Health
Because there are so many variables that go into the production of beerfrom the type of yeast, wheat, and barley used to varying fermentation timesresearch on which beers might be better for your gut is limited at this time, says Sonpal. However, it stands to reason that beers that are higher in polyphenols might be easier on the gut, due to the potential prebiotic perks they provide: The;general trend is for hoppier, more bitter beers to have higher concentrations of polyphenols, says Bulsiewicz.
This is because the hops themselvesthe plants used to add bitterness and flavor to beer during the brewing processare driving both the bitterness and the polyphenol content. To find out how hoppy your go-to brew is, check out the IBU number on the label, which stands for International Bitterness Unitsthe higher the number , the hoppier the beer.
Clark also recommends opting for beers that are lower in alcohol to help minimize potential gut wreckage. And take note: Light beers arent necessarily lighter in alcoholmany have almost as much alcohol as regular beer, according to the;National Institutes of Health, so make sure to check the label.
Related: 7 Totally Not
While you might need an early-morning coffee fix or a nightly wine-and-dine for your sanity, swigging excess caffeine and alcohol could rob your body of the hydration it needs to have a proper bowel movement. “Drinking alcohol inhibits anti-diuretic hormone , and in doing this it causes diuresis, or urination,” says Bhavesh Shah, M.D., medical director of interventional gastroenterology at Memorial Medical Center in Long Beach. “More diuresis can lead to dehydration, which can make the symptoms of constipation worse. Likewise, caffeine is a stimulant that can cause the opposite effect of diarrhea in some individuals.”
Water might not exactly be a beverage that’ll turn your mood around on a dime, but it’s the best thing to pour in your glass when you’re feeling stopped up. “Adequate daily fluid intake is essential, and the average healthy woman should try to consume at least 91 ounces of water daily,” says James-Stevenson. If you like to have options in terms of flavor, prune juice is the go-to alternative to the clear stuff for constipation relief.
This easy water bottle hack will help you stay properly hydrated every single day:
For those of us who can’t get by without our Greek yogurt, the good news is that not all dairy has to be off-limits: “Good alternatives with lower amounts of lactose include lactose-free milk; sherbets; ‘hard’ cheeses, like Swiss, parmesan and blue; and yogurt,” says James-Stevenson.
Don’t Miss: How To Know If Your Microbiome Is Healthy
How Can I Tell If Alcohol Is One Of My Ibs Triggers
Its important to keep track of what you eat and drink, and the amounts, so you can clearly understand what foods or beverages worsen your symptoms.
If you’re not sure if alcohol bothers you,;eliminate;it completely and;see if your symptoms subside. Once your symptoms are stable, try one drink to see if it triggers your IBS symptoms. You can try this same technique with different types of alcohol to see if some are more tolerable than others. Of course, it’s recommended that you drink alcohol in moderationno more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
Although IBS can cause some discomfort, most people are able to manage their symptoms by controlling diet and managing stress. However, you should talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing severe symptoms that affect your quality of life. ;
To make an appointment with a Virtua gastroenterologist call 888-847-8823.;
Foods That Make You Constipated
Constipation can occur for a number of reasons: A lack of exercise, ignoring the urge to go, and certain medications and supplements can be to blame. However, your diet is typically the primary culpritand certain foods are harder on the body than others. To help you keep things moving on the reg, we’ve tracked down common foods that make you constipated. And to cover all our bases, we’ve also included a number of eats that will worsen your symptoms if you’re already backed up.
Read Also: What Can You Take For Diarrhea While Pregnant
Or You Spend The Entire Morning After On The Toilet
Either way, alcohol poops are no fun. To get to the bottom of this, BuzzFeed Health reached out to two experts: Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, gastroenterologist at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, and Dr. Ali Keshavarzian, director of digestive diseases at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and grantee of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism .
So, here’s why booze can be a literal shitshow sometimes:
Beer And Constipation Reduction
So even with its high fiber content, beer often goes hand in hand with constipation. However, there are several ways in which the likelihood of beer leading to constipation can be reduced.
Drink in moderation
Consuming beer in moderation will reduce the likelihood of experiencing constipation. This is of particular importance for individuals who are gluten intolerant.
Since beer is a beverage, many forget that it is derived from grainswhich exacerbate the symptoms of gluten intolerance.
If there is a party, sports event, or day in which beer will be the primary celebratory beverageensure to hydrate in between beverages. This can be accomplished by drinking water and electrolyte filled dropper bottle beverages in between, and in conjunction with beer.
Nourish from the inside out
The body is designed to self-heal and self-regulate, as long as we provide it with the nourishment it needs to effectively do its job. This is why many turn to a daily magnesium supplement to help.Only 20% of the American population consumes enough magnesium each day
This lack of magnesium significantly increases the odds of having constipation problems. Magnesium mineral supplements can be used on a daily basis to provide the body with gentle, yet effective constipation relief.
Also Check: Can Probiotics Make Me Constipated
What Causes Bloating In The Stomach
So, you now know how to tell whether you are bloated or just too full from eating copious amounts of delicious food.
Knowing what causes bloating in the stomach, will help you to get rid of belly bloat entirely.
The reasons for stomach bloating vary from person to person but the following are the common causes of bloating.
It’s Worth Noting That Severe Diarrhea Lasting For More Than A Day After Drinking Is Not Normal So You Might Want To See A Doctor For That
Some looser-than-normal stools or bloating after drinking isn’t usually a big deal, but the experts agree that debilitating poop problems aren’t normal. “If you have profuse diarrhea, such as 10 to 15 bouts in a day, and it doesn’t get better in a day or two â you might want to visit your doctor,” says Ganjhu.
Don’t Miss: How To Tell The Difference Between Ibs And Ovarian Cancer
Vitamin And Mineral Deficiency
Another side effect of drinking alcohol that you may find surprising is the potential for deficiencies in certain vitamins like vitamin D and minerals like zinc. Alcoholics are often deficient in both. Whether that’s caused by high alcohol consumption or a poor diet isn’t fully understood, but rodent studies have found a relationship between zinc deficiency and alcohol-induced gut leakiness.
What You Eat And Drink Ahead Of Time Matters
Theres another factor that could be affecting your number two: what you eat and drink before a night of boozing.
You should counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol by staying hydrated before, during, and after drinking, says Vojdani.
Before you drink, both experts also recommend eating.
Having food in your stomach can reduce the irritation in your intestines, especially if you eat a balanced meal with fiber-filled food, says Vojdani
If you dont have time for a full meal, Vojdani says that taking a soluble fiber supplement or two tablespoons of chia seeds the afternoon before a night out drinking can help to enhance your hydration.
Its possible that what you eat during your night out is also to thank for your prolific pooping. While food usually acts a protective mechanism by slowing the emptying process, some foods actually speed up digestion and irritate the GI tract.
You May Like: Does Sourdough Bread Have Probiotics