The Gastrointestinal (GI) tract is one of the most affected systems by alcohol consumption.
Alcohol can affect the esophagus in several ways: induces mucosal inflammation, increases the risk for
Barrett esophagus and esophageal cancer, and also impairs the esophageal motility. Numerous studies
have reported an increased prevalence of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or erosive esophagitis
in alcoholics. Some alcoholics exhibit an abnormality of esophageal motility known as a “nutcracker
esophagus”. Alcohol effect on gastric motility depends on the alcohol concentration. In general,
beverages with high alcohol concentrations (i.e., above 15 percent) appear to inhibit gastric motility and low alcohol
doses (wine and beer) accelerate gastric emptying. Also, acute administration of ethanol inhibits the gastric emptying,
while chronic administration of a large dose of alcohol accelerates gastric motility. The effect of alcohol on small bowel
motility differs according to the type of consumption (acute or chronic). Acute administration of alcohol has been found to
inhibit small bowel transit and chronic administration of a large dose of alcohol accelerates small bowel transit. This article
reviews some of the below findings.