Alcohol can erode the stomach lining, which may eventually lead to ulceration. Alcohol consumption may also worsen the symptoms of current stomach ulcers, such as pain, bloating, and vomiting.

Stomach ulcers are open sores in the stomach lining. Although they may cause no symptoms in some people, alcohol can worsen symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and a feeling of fullness.

Doctors may recommend that people avoid alcohol if they are undergoing treatment for stomach ulcers.

This article explains the link between stomach ulcers and alcohol consumption, including risk factors, symptoms, and treatment for stomach ulcers. It will also discuss when to seek medical advice.

A person with a stomach ulcer holding a glass of wine.-1Share on Pinterest
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According to a 2020 animal study, overconsuming alcohol can cause gastric erosion, which may contribute to the development of stomach ulcers.

However, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) states that the evidence that alcohol causes stomach ulcers is weak. Instead, the NHS suggests that lifestyle factors, such as drinking alcohol, may worsen symptoms of preexisting stomach ulcers.

Alcohol consumption may also lead to a recurrence of ulcers in people who have had effective treatment for peptic ulcer disease.

Risk factors for stomach ulcers indicate that someone has a higher risk than average for developing them. The following factors may increase someone’s risk of getting stomach ulcers:

Research does not list alcohol consumption as a risk factor for developing stomach ulcers. However, alcohol can damage the stomach lining, which can eventually lead to erosion and the development of ulcers.

Having the above risk factors does not mean someone will definitely develop stomach ulcers.

People with stomach ulcers may experience the following symptoms:

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD), many people with stomach ulcers will not have any symptoms. Individuals may also experience worsened symptoms after drinking alcohol.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a common stomach ulcer treatment. These medications reduce the amount of stomach acid, which can help stomach ulcers to heal.

If PPI therapy is ineffective, doctors may recommend surgical interventions, which may involve removing parts of the stomach. Depending on which parts surgeons remove, the stomach may produce less acid.

Doctors can also recommend surgery if someone has serious stomach ulcer complications, such as perforated ulcers or uncontrolled bleeding.

Anyone with symptoms of stomach ulcers needs to speak with a doctor. Additionally, the NIDDKD states that people with symptoms of stomach ulcer complications should seek immediate medical advice. These symptoms include:

If an individual is concerned about their alcohol consumption, they can also seek a doctor’s advice on how to quit or cut back on drinking.

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about ulcers and alcohol.

Is it safe to drink alcohol with a stomach ulcer?

Alcohol damages the stomach lining, which can lead to gastric erosion. Drinking alcohol may worsen stomach ulcer symptoms, including abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and bloating.

People with stomach ulcers can speak with their doctor about the healthiest drinking habits to maintain until their ulcer heals.

Can alcohol cause mouth ulcers?

Further research is necessary to understand whether alcohol can cause or increase the risk of mouth ulcers.

However, some research suggests that drinking alcohol or using products that contain alcohol, such as mouthwash, could cause pain in people with mouth ulcers.

Stomach ulcers are open sores of the stomach lining. Although current research does not list alcohol as a cause of ulcers, alcohol can lead to gastric erosion, which may develop into ulceration.

Drinking alcohol may also worsen the symptoms of stomach ulcers and mouth ulcers. Symptoms of stomach ulcers may include nausea, abdominal fullness, and pain or discomfort.

The main form of treatment for stomach ulcers is PPI therapy. When this is ineffective, or if there are severe stomach ulcer complications, doctors may instead recommend surgery.