What Does Meth Do To Your Stomach?

Crystal meth and other forms of meth can have serious effects on the stomach and the digestive system. Meth use can cause intestinal ischemia, reduced function of the intestines, malnutrition, cramping, and diarrhea, among other issues. However, treatment can help.

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Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth or ice, is a stimulant drug with many serious side effects to the body.

Meth abuse can tamper with your central nervous system and cause irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular problems, hepatitis B and C, and stomach issues.

Unfortunately, meth effects on the stomach may include gastrointestinal issues and ulcers that can lead to vomiting blood or even death.

Yet there are ways to protect your health if you are addicted to meth and want to enter recovery.

Effects Of Methamphetamine On The Stomach

The side effects of meth on the digestive system include:

Intestinal Ischemia

The stomach walls are lined with muscles that contract to break down food, then move into your intestines.

Intestinal ischemia occurs when there’s a loss of blood flow to these muscles due to a clot or an obstruction in one of its vessels. This condition can be caused by meth and other forms of drug use.

Reduced Function Of The Intestine

A healthy intestine absorbs nutrients from food and aids in waste elimination. Meth use can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, resulting in malnutrition and other health issues.

The digestive system may also have trouble eliminating waste, resulting in severe constipation.

Weight Loss

The effects of meth on your stomach can lead to severe weight loss. Meth use may suppress the appetite and reduce your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, resulting in weight loss.

However, it’s important to note that some people who abuse meth may also have an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, which causes them to lose weight.


Chronic use of meth can lead to malnutrition, caused by an improper diet and a lack of nutrients.

Malnutrition can result in many health problems that develop gradually over time, such as fatigue, weakness, and weight loss.

Snorting meth can cause meth mouth, irregular heart rate, and mental health problems, in addition to digestive issues.

Symptoms Of Gastrointestinal Abnormalities From Meth Use

According to The Handbook of Physiology, gastrointestinal abnormalities, including abdominal cramps and hemorrhoids, are common side effects of methamphetamine use.

Other gastrointestinal disturbances associated with methamphetamine abuse include:

Stomach Pain And Ulcers

When you use meth, your body releases neurotransmitters known as epinephrine (adrenaline).

That’s what makes you feel energized. The problem is that epinephrine causes vasoconstriction of blood vessels.

Meth can make your pain worse if it comes in contact with an inflamed or damaged area on your stomach lining.


With meth use, your body doesn’t have time to digest food properly. This causes your stomach to produce more acid than it can handle, which leads to cramping and pain.

Meth can also damage bowel tissue and cause abdominal pain.


Crystal meth use can cause diarrhea. This is because use of the drug leads to a massive increase in intestinal motility and secretion, which contributes to diarrhea.

Meth drug abuse causes extreme dehydration and exacerbates other symptoms, which in turn can cause watery stools.

People who use meth may also engage in cathartic behavior, such as self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse. Both behaviors cause severe dehydration and can lead to diarrhea.


Meth-related nausea is caused by a variety of factors, including dehydration, increased intestinal motility, and inflammation.

This can result in vomiting, which can lead to even more nausea and diarrhea.

Can Effects Of Meth On The Stomach Lead To Long-Term Damage?

Long-term meth use can result in stomach problems such as gastritis and ulcers.

Gastritis is a condition in which the stomach lining becomes inflamed, resulting in pain and possible bleeding from the stomach and esophagus.

While gastritis can be treated in the short-term, this condition can lead to damage to the stomach lining over time.

And stomach issues are not the only long-term effect of meth. Abuse of the drug can also lead to mental health effects, increased risk for heart attack and heart disease, and much more.

Treatment Options For Methamphetamine Addiction

Treatment programs for meth addiction may include medications, detoxification, and cognitive behavioral therapy. All this can be done in an outpatient or inpatient treatment center.

Treatment that focuses on stomach issues due to meth use may include a nutritional focus for weight loss and anti-diarrheal medications.

Your healthcare provider may also prescribe medications for nausea and vomiting. Addiction treatment can also help reduce cravings and detox your body to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Find Drug And Alcohol Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

There are various addiction treatment options available at Bedrock Recovery Center to help you or your loved one overcome stomach issues and other effects of a meth drug addiction.

Call us today for more information on our highly effective addiction treatment programs.

  1. American College of Medical Toxicology https://www.acmt.net/Methamphetamine_FAQ.html
  2. Medicine https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/Fulltext/2018/05040/Methamphetamine_consumption_and_life_threatening.47.aspx
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480589/

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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