- Bobrove AM, 1983, Alcohol-related pain and Hodgkin disease PubMed Central
- Atkinson K et al, 1976, ALCOHOL PAIN IN HODGKIN’S DISEASE Wiley Online Library
- Okany CC et al, 1990, Submandibular chronic sialadenitis presenting with alcohol-induced pain Postgraduate Medical Journal – BMJ
- Urinary tract obstruction Patient.info
- Wehbi M, 2014, Acute Gastritis Clinical Presentation Emedicine
- Stomach ulcer treatment NHS Choices
- Chronic Pancreatitis PubMed Health
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – Symptoms NHS Choices
- Acute pancreatitis Patient.info
- Song LMWK, 2015, Mallory-Weiss Tear Overview of Mallory-Weiss Syndrome Emedicine
- Takizawa A et al, 1984, Variant angina induced by alcohol ingestion PubMed
- Zhang Y et al, 2006, Alcohol consumption as a trigger of recurrent gout attacks PubMed
- Gout Patient.info
- Shao-sua C et al, 2010, Is alcohol consumption associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease? PubMed Central
- Oscar-Berman M, 1997, Impairments of Brain and Behavior; The Neurological Effects of Alcohol National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- Touge T et al, 1998, Painful legs and moving toes” and muscle cramps spreading to the bilateral legs in a patient with alcoholic polyneuropathy PubMed
- Ramachandran TS, 2015, Alcohol (Ethanol) Related Neuropathy Clinical Presentation Emedicine
- 2013, Questions and Answers about Osteonecrosis (Avascular Necrosis) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
- Levine M, 2013, Hip osteonecrosis Emedicine
- Avascular necrosis symptoms Mayo Clinic
- Levine M, 2013, Hip osteonecrosis workup Emedicine
- Froehlich JC, 1997, Opioid peptides National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- Ginaoulakis C, 1993, Endogenous Opioids and Excessive Alcohol Consumption PubMed Central
- Ilgen M, Chronic pain in patients with alcohol or drug use disorders State of Michigan
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- Woodrow KM et al, 1988, Feeling no pain: alcohol as an analgesic PubMed
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Alcohol and Pain
Pain DURING Drinking Alcohol
Pain in the neck, jaw, chest, abdomen, shoulder, upper arm, or lower back pain, cough or itchiness that occurs within few minutes after drinking even small amounts of alcohol and lasts from several minutes to few hours may be the first symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma [1,2].
“Pain in the jaw,” an intense cramping pain below the ears soon after starting drinking during a meal, is probably due to irritation of the parotid gland caused by the back-flow of alcohol through the salivary ducts triggered by chewing food. Pain under the jaw speaks for the irritation or inflammation of the submandibular gland .
Shooting pain in the side (flanks, loin) or “lower back pain” after drinking alcohol or high amount of fluid may be caused by increased urine flow in individuals with the obstruction of the upper urinary tract (kidneys, ureters) due to genetic disorders, such as pelvi-ureteric junction (PUJ) obstruction, kidney inflammation or infection, kidney or other abdominal tumor or other causes .
Upper middle abdominal pain (epigastric pain) triggered by strong alcoholic beverages may occur in individuals with acute gastritis , stomach ulcer  or chronic pancreatitis .
Pain AFTER Drinking Alcohol
Crampy abdominal pain, bloating, belching, constipation or diarrhea after drinking alcohol, especially after carbonated alcoholic beverages (beer) and liqueurs may be symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) .
In alcoholics with chronic pancreatitis, heavy drinking can cause acute pancreatitis with sudden, severe pain in the upper middle abdomen (epigastric pain) and nausea [5,9].
Heartburn (pain behind the breastbone) after drinking may be due to gastro-esophageal reflux .
Sudden pain in the lower middle chest after vigorous vomiting may be caused by a tear in the esophageal mucosal lining (Mallory-Weiss syndrome) .
Severe chest pain that occurs 1.5-17.5 hours after stopping drinking and lasts for 5-30 minutes, may be caused by a spasm in either healthy or atherosclerotic coronary arteries (variant or Prinzmetal angina) .
Alcohol can trigger or worsen pain in patients with gout [12,13].
CHRONIC, RECURRING Alcohol-Related Pain
Upper middle or left abdominal pain, aggravated by alcohol, other fluids or food, which lasts for several hours or is persistent, may be a symptom of chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer .
Burning pain in the soles of the feet (burning feet syndrome) in chronic drinkers may be due to nerve damage caused by vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency (“dry beri-beri”) [15,16,17].
Slowly developing pain in the knees, hips, groin buttocks, thighs, shoulder, upper arm, hands or feet in chronic alcoholics may be due to bone damage (osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis) [18,19,20]. Diagnosis may be confirmed by magnetic resonance (MRI) .
Alcohol as a Painkiller
Alcohol stimulates the release of endogenous opioids in the brain thus causing pain relief and the feeling of well being . Endogenous opioids may reach maximal levels within 30 minutes of alcohol consumption and then start to decline despite persisting high blood alcohol concentrations . Some people with chronic disorders, such as cancer, arthritis or chronic tooth pain, drink alcohol to relieve pain . This may lead to alcohol addiction and — even more pain over the time . People who regularly drink may develop tolerance to the analgesic effect of alcohol, so they need to drink more to achieve the same effect.
- In one 1976 study, whiskey reduced pain in alcoholics, but not in non-alcoholics; this could be due to expectation of the pain-relieving effect by alcoholics, but not non-alcoholics .
- In one 1988 study, the amount of alcohol equivalent to 4 drinks drunk by a 160 lbs [73 kg] man, probably resulting in blood alcohol concentration about 0.1 g/100 mL blood, increased the tolerance to pain to about the same extent as 12 mg of morphine .
- A person with blood alcohol concentration above 0.2 g/100 mL blood may not feel the pain after injury; this could happen when a 160 lbs person would have 9 or more drinks, which is 9 x 12 oz 4% beer, 45 oz [1.35 liter] 12% wine, or 13.5 oz [400 mL] 40% spirit, in one hour on an empty stomach .
- A highly intoxicated person with the blood alcohol concentration above 0.35 g/100 mL blood might have an absent sensitivity for pain and touch (surgical level anesthesia); this could happen when a 160 lbs person would have 15 drinks, which is 15 x 12 oz 4% beer, 75 oz [2.2 liters] 12% wine, or 22 oz [650 mL] 40% spirit or more, on an empty stomach in one hour .
- Alcohol chemical and physical properties
- Alcoholic beverages types (beer, wine, spirits)
- Denatured alcohol
- Alcohol absorption, metabolism, elimination
- Alcohol and body temperature
- Alcohol and the skin
- Alcohol, appetite and digestion
- Neurological effects of alcohol
- Alcohol, hormones and neurotransmitters
- Alcohol and pain
- Alcohol, blood pressure, heart disease and stroke
- Women, pregnancy, children and alcohol
- Alcohol tolerance
- Alcohol, blood glucose and diabetes
- Alcohol intolerance, allergy and headache
- Alcohol and psychological disorders
- Alcohol and vitamin, mineral and protein deficiency
- Alcohol-drug interactions
- Moderate, heavy, binge drinking
- Alcohol intoxication
- Alcohol poisoning
- Alcohol and gastrointestinal tract
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Long-term effects of excessive alcohol drinking
- Alcohol craving and alcoholism
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH)
- Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)
- Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
- Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO)
- Isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO)
- Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS)
- Raffinose, stachyose, verbascose
- SOLUBLE FIBER:
- Acacia (arabic) gum
- Beta mannan
- Carageenan gum
- Carob or locust bean gum
- Fenugreek gum
- Gellan gum
- Glucomannan or konjac gum
- Guar gum
- Karaya gum
- Psyllium husk mucilage
- Resistant starches
- Tara gum
- Tragacanth gum
- Xanthan gum
- INSOLUBLE FIBER:
- Chitin and chitosan
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
- FATTY ACIDS
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Arachidonic acid (AA)
- Linoleic acid
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
- Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)
- Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs)
- Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs)
- Very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs)
- Vitamin A - Retinol and retinal
- Vitamin B1 - Thiamine
- Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin
- Vitamin B3 - Niacin
- Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxine
- Vitamin B7 - Biotin
- Vitamin B9 - Folic acid
- Vitamin B12 - Cobalamin
- Vitamin C - Ascorbic acid
- Vitamin D - Ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol
- Vitamin E - Tocopherol
- Vitamin K - Phylloquinone
- Flavanols: Proanthocyanidins
- Flavanones: Hesperidin
- Flavonols: Quercetin
- Flavones: Diosmin, Luteolin
- Isoflavones: daidzein, genistein
- Caffeic acid
- Chlorogenic acid
- Tannic acid