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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Breath of NON DRINKER smells like alcohol

02/22/2010

Question:

I suffer from GERD and non alcoholic fatty liver. In addition I am pretty sure I have a post nasal drip. I throw up every single morning the moment I raise out of bed. The vomitting will last for about an hour. My fiance has noticed that every time I vomit (or cough hard) my breath smells like alcohol. Again I DO NOT DRINK

Every now and then my vomitting will last well into the evening (6pm) A few months ago during one of these episodes I started vomitting blood. I went to the ER every morning 4 days straight (Mon-thur) Each day I was told the blood was from vomitting so hard. Each time I was released and told to come back if my symptons continued to occur (hense why I went four times) I do not have insurance and each time the hospital would give me some fluids, perscriptions for protonix and basically kick me out. During this week of vomitting episodes the alcohol on my breath was more prevalent than ever.

I have been doing some research and have read that regurgitation alone can cause NATURALLY occuring stomach acetone to give the smell of alcohol on one`s breath and this phenomenon is only aggravated in those who already suffer from GERD. Is it possible that my repeated vomitting and GERD is what is causing this smell?

Answer:

You need to be worked up to make sure that you do not have a hiatal hernia or an esophageal lesion. You will need to see a gastroenterologist for an endoscopy and an upper GI radiograph. You may need surgery if these tests show a hernia.

For more information:

Go to the Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Prakash  Gatta, MD Prakash Gatta, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati