Monday, November 9, 2015

Alcohol's risk for the 1 in 5 with IBS, and the 4 in 5 who don't

Alcohol is a triple threat for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Alcohol can cause it if you don't have IBS already. Alcohol will trigger symptoms if you do have IBS, and alcohol is a catalyst for making bad symptoms worse.  (Read the full article and share the YouTube video)

IBS is a functional disorder of the intestine, so it stands to reason introducing a strong toxin to the intestine isn't going to have stellar results. One in five people have to deal with IBS at some point in life. It afflicts twice as many women as men. It's as obnoxious as it sounds: Harsh cramps and bloating can make it feel like there is serious damage to the intestines, but IBS won't actually damage the bowels. In fact it usually passes in days. Sometimes it takes weeks. The symptoms will get worse with even just one drink, regardless of whether it's a beer or something stronger.

Blood tests can reveal IBS and are used to rule out other, more serious conditions. The very same tests can reveal a bit about your drinking. A complete blood count to measure the size of red blood cells and number of white cells – a reduction in either shows the impact of longer stretches of drinking or binges. The level of magnesium is below baseline in those with the disease of alcoholism. High levels of triglycerides – a type of cholesterol – also can be a tip about alcohol-related trouble with the liver. And high-levels of protein and uric acid in the blood also can be indicators of alcohol-related trouble. More about the uric acid in the next Sobriety :60+ segment. Taken individually, these alcohol-use markers may be markers of other ailments, too, but when they all show up in the bloodwork for IBS, blame the alcohol.

Irritable bowel syndrome is not a life-threatening problem, but that doesn't make it any less irritating. There isn't anything a drink didn't make worse.
Visit for a replay of CBS Sports' Power Up Your Health featuring Scott Stevens.  Host Ed Forteau led a discussion on risky myths of about "healthy" drinking.  Lucy Pireel's "All That's Written" included a feature on Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud called "When alcohol doesn't work for you anymore."  Details on the third literary award for Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud also can be fou.nd on, plus the NEW book, Adding Fire to the Fuel, is now available. Download the FREE Alcohology app in the Google PlayStore today