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Feeling the urge to have a bowel movement and heart pounding after drinking alcohol. What is going on?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 77 Questions
This is something that just started happening about 6 months ago. When I drink alcohol, 3-4 drinks in a few hours, about 3-4 hours after I start drinking I feel the urge to have a bowel movement. Then I feel nauseous and sometimes vomit. I continue to have bowel movements until I am pretty much cleaned out and feel horrible for about 4 hours. Almost like having the stomach flu with my heart pounding. ( this heart pounding isn't every time). Then I am fine. It is every time I drink now but never has happened in the past. I can still have one drink and be okay but this is weird. I am 39 years old. What is going on? What can I do? I am not a big drinker but it is nice to sit down on a nice summer night and have a few drinks with friends once in a while. Or when on vacation.
Posted Fri, 10 Aug 2012 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Rajat Gupta 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

You seem to be suffering from severe gastritis exaggerated by alcohol intake.

Excessive alcohol and snacks intake may also cause severe gastro-colic reflex, which leads to sudden need for bowel movement.

I would advise you certain precautions.

You should decrease your dietary intake along with your drinks.

You can also prolong the time duration of your alcohol intake.

Also, avoid heavy fatty and spicy snacks.

You also should take proton pump inhibitors like pantaprazole, which are available over the counter, on empty stomach before you plan to have alcohol.

Hope all this helps.

Feel free to ask any more questions you have.

Dr. Rajat Gupta
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Feeling the urge to have a bowel movement and heart pounding after drinking alcohol. What is going on? 24 hours later
So this would cause also vomiting and make my heart pound faster too? Last time I went into my doctor for an ear infection, I asked and they said I must have an alcohol intolerance which I thought was strange to start at age 39.
Finding this proton pump inhibitor, this will help all the side affects that I am getting when I drink?
Answered by Dr. Rajat Gupta 7 hours later

Yes, excessive food intake along with drink may cause these symptoms.

Foremost is to take dietary precautions like decreasing amount of snacks, spicy food, prolong duration of alcohol intake. Along with these, taking proton pump inhibitors before meal will also help reducing your symptoms.

Try all this, for some time. I am quite sure, if you take these precautions, you will be better.

Do let me know if you have any more questions.

Dr. Rajat Gupta
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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