Few things are as enjoyable to many people as having a beer after a hard day’s work or when they’re out socializing with friends. But for some people, enjoying an ice-cold beer can wreck havoc on their digestive system. As wonderful as beer may taste, not all the ingredients in beer are friendly to people suffering from digestive disorders. You may know from personal experience that beer can cause heartburn, but can it also aggravate gastritis?
Unfortunately for beer lovers, the answer to this question is yes. Producing beer requires fermentation and carbonic acid: two things that are not good to put into a healthy stomach, let alone one that’s inflamed. The carbonation and fermentation products in beer irritate the mucosal linings of the stomach and the intestines, making gastritis worse.
That isn’t the only way beer can aggravate gastritis. Beer stimulates the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid. If there is food in the stomach, this is not as bad of a problem, because the acid will help to digest the food along with the beer. But if the stomach is empty, this acid will cause the stomach to begin digesting itself, which is bad for anyone but especially someone suffering from gastritis.
If the stomach starts digesting itself, the first thing that happens is the protective lining gets eroded further, which causes even more inflammation. The alcohol in beer only serves to exacerbate the problem further. The result for an empty or full stomach is that beer will increase the inflammation and can cause pain, nausea, or even vomiting if too much beer is consumed.
If you are currently suffering from gastritis, the best solution is to abstain from drinking beer until your stomach has healed. Once the lining of your stomach is no longer inflamed or infected, it will be safe to drink beer again. Beer will still have the same acid-producing, irritating effects, however, so if you are prone to bouts of gastritis consider cutting down on the amount of beer you consume.