Is it fine to drink alcohol when you have IBS?

IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common functional bowel disorders. But still, there are a lot of doubts and questions related to this medical condition. The global prevalence of IBS is hard to find as it varies from country to country. According to, 5-10% of the worldwide population is suffering from IBS. Though the exact cause is still unknown, IBS can be triggered by many factors.

People suffering from IBS have to take care of their lifestyle to keep their medical condition in control. When we talk about lifestyle, diet, exercise, and stress are the common components that are included in this term. But today’s question is whether alcohol can worsen your condition (IBS) or not. Let’s try to answer this question.


Should you drink alcohol if you have IBS?

According to a study performed to observe the relationship between the patterns of alcohol consumption & gastrointestinal symptoms among patients, binge drinking can lead to the next day’s gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, indigestion, etc. The prevalence of this pattern is stronger in women. To understand the reason behind this pattern, we need to understand the reaction of alcohol to digestion.


Effect of alcohol on digestion

Alcohol can weaken the muscular bands present at the top and bottom of the food pipe and this situation can eventually lead to acid reflux. Moreover, alcohol can increase the secretion of acid in the stomach and cause symptoms like nausea and vomiting. As the alcohol further passes from the small intestine, it reduces its capability to absorb nutrients and movement of carbohydrates like  FODMAPs which can further lead to gastrointestinal problems. Also, drinking alcohol can affect your mental health which can further exaggerate your health issues including digestive disorders.


Relationship between FODMAPs and IBS

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. Poor absorption of FODMAPs is linked with many gastrointestinal symptoms and can worsen the medical condition of an IBS patient. It is recommended to avoid high FODMAP drinks like tomato juice, cranberry juice, rum, sweet dessert wine, etc, and choose alternatives to get relief from IBS symptoms. Due to some reasons, even if you have to consume a high-FODMAP drink, then keep the quality in check, make sure that you drink enough water, and exercise every day to reduce its side effects on your condition.



Though there is no strong evidence proving that alcohol can trigger your IBS condition, heavy drinking can definitely trigger IBS symptoms. Moreover, alcohol can affect the overall digestive system which is surely not good for your overall health. So in any case, alcohol should be avoided and one must focus on their lifestyle. GSB Fit offers holistic treatment for IBS patients. They analyze the condition and offer a wellness plan that can help them control the condition naturally within a few weeks.