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AlcoholScience, Policy and Public Health$
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Peter Boyle, Paolo Boffetta, Albert B. Lowenfels, Harry Burns, Otis Brawley, Witold Zatonski, and Jürgen Rehm

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655786.001.0001

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Benign diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

Benign diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

Chapter:
(p.262) Chapter 32 Benign diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
Source:
Alcohol
Author(s):

Julia B. Greer

Dhiraj Yadav

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655786.003.0032

This chapter discusses the effects of alcohol consumption on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Alcohol lowers oesophageal sphincter pressure, reduces acid clearance, and alters oesophageal epithelial function, contributing to an increased incidence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Dyspepsia, chronic atrophic gastritis, and delayed gastric emptying are characteristic of chronic alcoholics. Upper GI bleeding in heavy drinkers is more commonly a consequence of variceal bleeding due to portal hypertension than to gastritis, while peptic ulcer disease and H. pylori infection have been shown to have a lower incidence in individuals who consume alcohol than abstainers. Finally, malnutrition in heavy drinkers is common and is due to the combined effects of diminished intake, decreased digestion, bacterial overgrowth and bile salt diarrhoea. Immunological effects of heavy alcohol consumption, such as delayed or deficient healing from colorectal surgery, should also be a major concern for health care providers.

Keywords:   alcohol consumption, alcohol intake, stomach, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, dyspepsia, gastritis

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