According to the study abstract, data was collected regarding alcohol, caffeine, and cigarette use, and digestive symptoms in women ages 18 to 48. The results did not show any difference in terms of alcohol use between IBS patients and healthy control subjects. However, significant differences were seen between the two groups in terms of symptoms following an alcohol binge, defined as four or more drinks. IBS patients were more likely to experience diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain and indigestion. This group difference was most pronounced in women who have IBS-D as opposed to the other IBS sub-types.
Anyone who has ever experienced a hangover may not be surprised to hear of a relationship between binge drinking and unpleasant GI symptoms. What is notable about this study is that women with IBS had symptoms that were significantly more severe than those lucky women who don't have IBS. Perhaps you can use this study as an incentive to take a good look at your drinking habits to ensure that you are not doing anything that is making your IBS worse. If you find that you need help in reducing your alcohol intake, check out this wonderful resource here at About.com.
Reding, K., et.al. "Relationship Between Patterns of Alcohol Consumption and Gastrointestinal Symptoms Among Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome" The American Journal of Gastroenterology Advance Online Publication January 8, 2013.
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