Alcohol Inhibits or Slows Down Gastric Ulcer Healing
While it is true that alcohol can cause irritation to our stomach lining if consumed, the prolonged consumption in itself can cause Gastric ulcer. It has also emerged that alcohol does not stop there; it also interferes with the healing process of an already formed ulcer. Let us see how.
Wound healing is a very complex process in humans and is not understood fully. Gastric ulcer as we all know is indeed a wound, an internal wound to be precise. And so ulcer healing is a wound healing basically. Alcohol has a profoundly negative impact in the ulcer healing process.
- Exposure to alcohol has shown in clinical trials that alcohol increases the incidence of infection and thereby inhibits wound healing. The alcohol content reduced the macrophages (the white blood cells that are known to fight the pathogens) and hence the surge in infection.
- Wound healing has many stages like re-epithelialization (stomach lining), angiogenesis, collagen production, and wound closure. All these processes have been shown to be affected when alcohol (ethanol) was exposed.
- Among these processes, angiogenesis (the process where new blood vessels form from the existing vessels on the wounded surface) is the most severely affected wound healing process. Clinical trials have shown that over 60% of the process is affected due to alcohol exposure or consumption.
- Stress level can also induce a patient to abnormal or binge drinking and smoking and hence stress can also play an important role indirectly causing to taking up drinking that can be detrimental to ulcer healing.
Usually alcohol is accompanied by spicy food which can worsen the wound healing process.
Dr Maran is an experienced Surgeon in the field of Gastro-enterology. He specializes in Advanced laparoscopic Surgery procedures of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tracts. Dr. Maran is also a leading Bariatric Surgeon in Chennai and has a penchant for addressing problems concerning Obesity.