Two women, arms around each other, martini glasses with sloshing liquid in their hands, the woman on the left is belting out a song and has an angry flame over her abdomen looking up at her and the drink in hand

Drink Drank Drunk — IBS and Alcohol

I am a social drinker for the most part. I enjoy going out with my friends and having a drink or two. I enjoy pouring myself a glass of wine or making a cocktail at home (my sister and I live together and have quite the bar cart selection). I generally will drink alcohol in moderation knowing that my IBS can toss me over a cliff if I drink too much. Espresso martinis, as much as I love them, are especially dangerous (coffee and alcohol are notorious IBS triggers, after all).

IBS and a night of heavy drinking

Sometimes, though, I do enjoy the feeling of being drunk, really drunk. I like loosening my mind, making my friends watch Taylor Swift's "All Too Well" short film, and screaming about my favorite grocery store (This may or may not have happened the last time I was very drunk).

I was drinking wine, sake, and I think there was a martini and a French 75 somewhere in there. I had friends over and it had been... a week. I very rarely have thrown up while drunk and this time was also not one of those cases. I also very rarely get actually hungover (no headache, no craving greasy foods, no nausea). However, my IBS does act up, big time, when I drink too heavily.

Hangover breakfast? We don't know her

Most people will lay in bed the next day after heavy drinking with a headache and a hankering for an egg and cheese, reaching for ibuprofen and some water. For me, I wake up and go to the bathroom immediately. I will also reach for water as I know I am in for a day. Sometimes, I don't even fall asleep before needing to let something loose, literally. My bathroom visits will be long and drawn out throughout the day.

The other thing that generally happens is that I won't be able to eat until dinner if that. For me, the idea of food entering a digestive system that is still chewing itself out for the abundance of alcohol that I let attack its system is a repulsive one. I generally will feel like a crumb would make me poop my pants immediately.

When this happened the most recent time, I made it out of my house to a family dinner and was able to eat dinner fairly safely. Then, I met up with some friends at a pub. My IBS told me alcohol would not be in my best interest — I had a nice little turn in the bathroom of the pub before the rest of my friends got there as if I didn't know myself I couldn't drink anymore already.

I ended up with lemon tea and water while the rest of my friends drank. Mysteriously enough— shocker of all shockers — I woke up the next morning feeling less bloated than I have felt in a long time—definitely something for me to note about how to not wake up with bloating and little appetite in the morning.

Ending thoughts on IBS and alcohol

I don't want to give up getting drunk when I want to. I know what I am in for when it happens. It was just interesting to me to observe the difference between my friends who don't have IBS having a night of heavy drinking and dealing with the next day and my experience with it.

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