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After drinking, if you notice that you have color-changes in your stool, you need to go to the hospital immediately. This could indicate serious underlying diseases that can kill you if you do not do something about it immediately.

Alcohol is a substance that can be fine after a long day of work or something that can elevate holidays or weekends but it is something that you have to be quite careful with to avoid potential complications. [1]. One of these potential complications can manifest as blood in the stool after drinking and this is something that should not be ignored. Any type of blood in the stool is defined as an alarming symptom in medicine and you should seek immediate medical attention if you find yourself having any type of red tone in your stools [2]. 

Potential Abdominal Bleeding 

One of the first distinctions that a physician needs to make when dealing with patients suffering from blood in the stool after drinking is describing the color and the quantity of blood that has been lost.

When patients present with very dark stools that almost look like coal, it is more likely that patients are suffering from some type of abdominal bleeding. Even though we know blood to be red in most cases, due to the acidic environment of the stomach, hydrochloric acid (HCl) from the stomach is able to dissolve some of the enzymes in blood that give it its red color and transform it into a black color. [3]

A large amount of blood pooling in the stomach is possible due to the very alcohol that you may have consumed earlier that night. Long-term alcohol use leads to a condition called gastritis [4]. This means an inflammation of your stomach lining and can predispose patients to develop stomach ulcers. These are basically open wounds that begin to appear on the stomach lining due to the damage this acid has caused and stomach ulcers are an extremely dangerous condition. The reason this happens specifically is that alcohol blocks the production of protective mucous that our stomach normally produces to prevent acid from damaging the stomach lining. To make matters even worse, concurrent smoking during your night of drinking can make this process avalanche into something very severe. Studies indicate that alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking go hand-in-hand so a night of partying can quickly transform into a night to the emergency room. [5]

Another thing that can make gastritis worse would be drinking alcohol and also taking painkillers like Advil and Tylenol at once. These painkillers are already tough for the lining of your stomach to process and when you add additional shots of alcohol into the environment, gastritis can become much worse. Patients not only could present with blood in their stools after drinking alcohol, but also bright red blood through vomiting. [6]

Potential Colorectal Cancer 

While alcohol can directly influence the lining of your stomach, most of the dangerous components of alcohol will be digested by the time it reaches the intestines so it will not lead to the same type of ulcers seen in the stomach. Another consideration to worry about though, is if you have very bright red blood in your stools. This indicates that the bleeding is probably very close to your anus because the blood did not have a chance to turn colors. Most of the bleeding could begin from your distal large intestine or in the colon. This bleeding can be from an undiagnosed colorectal cancer nodule that has begun to bleed. [7]

Studies indicate that there is a positive correlation between the alcohol consumption and the eventual development of colorectal cancer.

Risk studies indicate that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can increase your chances of getting this type of cancer by 13 percent and 37 percent in those who are heavy drinkers [8]. This is one of the deadliest forms of cancer that is possible is responsible for nearly 10 percent of all cancer deaths [9].  

Seek Help Immediately 

As you may have read, most of these conditions are only possible in patients who turn to alcohol for a prolonged period of time and an occasional drink on the weekend is "not going to kill you." Due to its availability, alcohol is one of the most highly abused substances on Earth. Prevalence studies indicate that people have a 14 percent lifetime risk of becoming alcoholics and the definition of an alcoholic is not as extreme as you may think [10]. In current medicine, we use a pretty simple guideline to help identify heavy drinkers. Healthy men between the ages of 18-65 should not average more than 14 12-oz. cans of beer per week while women should not average more than 7 cans of beer. One can of American beer has roughly the same alcoholic content as one 4 oz. shot of heavy alcohol so if you prefer vodka instead, you should not have more than 2 shots of vodka per day. Once an adult passes retirement age, the threshold of alcohol consumption should drop because your kidneys and liver are not able to process the same amount as during your college years so men should have no more than 1 beer per day and women should have no more than half a beer per day.  

You may be lucky and the cause of your bloody stools could be linked hemorrhoids which is also quite bothersome, but has a much better prognosis than the two previous conditions I mentioned. There is a substantial link between chronic alcohol use an the subsequent development of hemorrhoids. Studies show that Americans have a life-time risk of 75 percent when it comes to developing hemorrhoids due to their poor diets [11]. Europeans diets high in meats, carbohydrates, fats and alcohol increase your risk of developing hemorrhoids as well so this is a problem not just localized to Americans. Alcohol can cause fluctuations in blood pressure which could predispose to you having flair ups of hemorrhoids with a noticeable quantity of blood in your stools. Due to the location of these hemorrhages, you will find very bright red blood in your toilet bowl. Hemorrhoids will not necessarily be painful depending on their location. Internal hemorrhoids are painless so you may have bleeding without any other obvious signs of discomfort but can only be diagnosed in the doctor's office. [12]

Binge drinking, the act of drinking numerous alcoholic drinks at one time, is even more dangerous than steady consumption of alcohol. Intensive drinking during the weekend but sobriety during the working week will make your gastritis even worse. The key to remember is if you have any type of blood in your stools after drinking, you can't wait for this to go away. You need to go to the Emergency Room immediately to get to the bottom of what is causing this bleeding to avoid life-threatening conditions. Quitting alcohol is a challenging process and studies indicate that you will fail 9 times before begin completely successful at stopping but the key is to keep fighting. Programs like Alcohol Anonymous (AA) work because you have support from others facing your same challenges so make sure you get control back of your life.