What Are the Dangers of Drinking on an Empty Stomach?

According to a 2018 CDC report, more than 50% of US adults reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.

Most people will have had a drink on an empty stomach at some point. Whether that’s a couple of beers before dinner or a cocktail while you wait for your order at a restaurant, drinking on an empty stomach affects your body differently.

If you often drink before eating, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with some of the associated dangers. That way, you’ll be able to make the right decision when it comes to your health.

Read on for everything you need to know about the dangers of drinking on an empty stomach.

What Happens When You Drink on an Empty Stomach?

It is harmful to consume alcohol on an empty stomach. It has an impact on how your body absorbs alcohol.

While having one or two alcoholic drinks may not affect you, binge drinking alcohol on an empty stomach elevates your blood alcohol level considerably. This has the potential for unpleasant and perhaps toxic adverse effects.

An alcohol use disorder is a significant medical problem. It refers to a reduced ability to reduce or manage alcohol use. People who suffer from alcohol addiction are more likely to consume alcohol on an empty stomach and therefore suffer ill health.

Risk of Alcohol Poisoning

Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can lead to acute alcohol poisoning. Because alcohol is entering your bloodstream at an increased rate, it can quickly build to intolerable and toxic levels.

In this case, your body does not have time to absorb and break down alcohol as fast as you ingest it. Some of the common signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Severe nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Mental stupor
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Seizure
  • Low body temperature
  • Pale and clammy skin
  • Difficulty remaining conscious
  • Lack of gag reflex
  • Severe confusion or delirium

Alcohol poisoning is a serious condition that can lead to death. If you suspect that you or someone else is suffering from alcohol toxicity, you should seek immediate medical help.

How to Drink Safely

As per the reasons listed above, you should avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach if possible.

Try to have a square meal at least 1 hour before your first drink. This will give your body a chance to process alcohol faster.

If you take medication, be sure to read the provided information before drinking alcohol. Some medicines can have adverse effects when mixed with alcohol. Read on here for more details.

Drinking on an Empty Stomach – What You Need to Know

So, that’s the 101 on the dangers of drinking on an empty stomach. 

Being aware of your drinking habits and making sure to eat beforehand will help ensure your short and long-term health. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, please seek help today.

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