I do my best to avoid alcohol as much as possible but since being in Germany and catching up with family, the situation kinda presents itself that having a glass of wine is a given… James and I got engaged in December last year and everyone has wanted to have a toast to celebrate the event! I am sure you know that alcohol is not great for endometriosis, since it directly affects our liver. BUT… well, it inevitably lands up in a glass and down our throat somehow.
The thing is, my body seems to react quite instantly to alcohol. When I drink it, I seem to feel the affects of it quite quickly, which I figure is a great thing, since I don’t need to drink as much. I feel fine at the time but it is the next day that I seem to feel the effects. I wake up and need to go to the toilet fairly quickly as I get quite sore if I don’t. When I do go, there is this lingering pain on my left side (where my endo was found during my operations). Now I get this pain when I hold wee in for too long too, so I thought this might be interstitial cystitis instead of endo. I feel particularly drained and tired for the next day and seem to need to go to the toilet more the following day. The pain on the left side remains as this dull kinda ache for the whole day.
I have found some great solutions to reduce this pain. I drink bicarbonate of soda on the evening after drinking alcohol and have heaps of dandelion flower/leaf tea (picked fresh from a park somewhere) the next day. Now, having thought about this for a little while, I figured out that the reason these work is two fold.
See, alcohol is acidic to the body and the bladder. If the alcohol sits in the bladder for a longer period of time, it will inflame the bladder lining and any other areas of the body more. By drinking a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in water on the night of drinking, it will create an alkaline environment in the bladder, which thereby reduces the inflammatory effects. I also find that certain types of alcohol seem to affect the pain levels more—white wine is terrible! Pure spirits seem to have less associated pain… strange?
The dandelion flower or the leaves, have a natural diuretic effect on the body. Basically, this means they will encourage the kidneys and bladder to flush out liquids properly. Note: there is a big difference between natural diuretics and coffee or black tea. Natural diuretics will soothe and encourage the flushing out of toxins, whereas coffee and black tea are acid. Coffee also adds to the acid load on the body. I have found that cornsilk or parsley tea have a similar result as they are also natural diuretics.
Thing is, it sounds more like interstitial cystitis pain (read this article to understand what that is). I personally believe that the kidney function and interstitial cystitis might all be related. That is a whole other topic. What is your experience with alcohol and pain levels? Do you get a sharp pain when you drink it or the day after? What has worked in reducing your pain levels with it? Any alcohol types that you find are easier to cope with than others?