When alcoholics decide to quit drinking, they come to expect to deal with a wide range of symptoms and issues during their detox and recovery. Everything from body aches, mood swings, and psychological conditions have become increasingly common, but what happens to your digestive system?
Most people may associate heavy drinking with liver problems and poor decision-making; however, prolonged alcohol use can affect your digestive tract. The frequency of your drinking, the types of alcohol, and more directly impact your bowel movements. So what happens when you stop drinking completely? Does it cause constipation, and how do you deal with it during detox?
Alcohol’s Effects on Your Digestive System
Alcohol consumption has become a regular part of everyday life for some people. Most focus on how they feel when they’re drunk or allowing it to be the social lubricant they need. However, this substance has a wide range of effects on the human body that can go unnoticed for years — chief among them is what it does to your digestive tract.
As your body becomes more accustomed to and dependent on alcohol to survive, it can lead to severe dehydration. As you continue to consume more, the substance prevents your body from releasing vasopressin — a hormone that helps your body regulate water retention when you urinate. The more you drink, the less you have in your system, and the more fluid you lose. As you become more dehydrated, you are more likely to feel constipated.
Why You Feel Constipated During Detox
However, when you enter our alcohol detox center, you may still feel constipated throughout your outpatient treatment. Why does this happen even though you have consciously decided to stop drinking? You might point to your body needing more time to recover and increase its production of vasopressin to help keep you hydrated. However, it’s often more complicated than that in most drug and alcohol rehab centers.
Often, heavy drinkers see their nutrition take a significant hit while they continue to increase the amount of alcohol they consume. When drinking alcohol, they order foods high in salt content, saturated fats, and rich in empty calories. These dietary choices can throw their entire system out of whack.
Going through detox means your body has started to return to a semblance of normal function that was present before you started drinking. Taking the time to give yourself the right nutrients to help you fight off withdrawal symptoms like constipation can help you navigate this vital time in your recovery. Choosing foods high in fiber — think grains, fruits, and veggies — will help you deal with any feelings of constipation.
Drinking Enough Water
Your loved ones would always remind you to drink plenty of water after a night of binge drinking — the same advice can help you throughout your detox at our rehab facility. Replacing the fluids you have lost during your stay proves vital for staving off feelings of constipation and other adverse side effects.
How much water someone should drink over the course of a day can vary from person to person. The average person should drink half of their body weight in water throughout the day. Some say that drinking a gallon provides the best benefits. Try drinking eight glasses of water to start and see how your body responds. An appropriate water intake can help replace the electrolytes you lose through excessive sweating or convulsions.
Don’t Forget to Incorporate Oils
An area of our dietary needs that often get overlooked comes from oils. Incorporating items like fish, castor, or coconut oil into your diet can help keep your body more regulated. These three types can create a laxative-type effect in your body without causing diarrhea.
Support Your Probiotics
Our digestive system has naturally developing probiotics that help regulate our systems. However, through regular alcohol abuse, poor diets, and nutrition, they often aren’t at the levels they should be. Taking a supplement can help restore your stores and help restore your digestive function to its full potential.
Trust Silver Pines Treatment Center With Your Alcohol Detox
Dealing with the side effects of any substance or alcohol detox on your own presents a unique set of challenges. Without the right support system in place, you can fall victim to relapsing before you ever had a chance to recover. With symptoms such as constipation, body aches, and depression common among people entering detox, going to a facility specializing in medically assisted detox can give you the edge you need.
Silver Pines Treatment Center provides our patients with the support services they need to commit to detoxing from alcohol and enter into a rehab program specially designed for their needs. Contact our team to learn more about our programs and admissions process today!