Sober living

Does Alcohol Weaken the Immune System?

Alcohol makes people vomit, and it is very easy to accidentally inhale some of this vomit. Vomit that is inhaled into the lungs often contains bacteria. When combined with a suppressed immune system, does alcohol weaken your immune system this can be the perfect storm for a bad case of pneumonia. Yeah, I was, I was just gonna say that, um, what’s going on in that situation that you described, Justin, is we are at loose ends.

does drinking alcohol weaken your immune system

Heavy drinkers often report more frequent cases of pneumonia due to the immune system’s inability to fight off infections within the lungs. It’s a sad truth that excessive alcohol consumption affects many in their lifetime. At any one time, over 7% of American adults suffer from alcohol addiction.

Does Binge Drinking Suppress Your Immune System More?

Have you noticed any trends with your excessive bouts of drinking lately? For example, you may get a cold or the flu after binge drinking. No, this doesn’t mean that alcohol causes a virus to enter your body. But what it does mean is your drinking can leave your immune system vulnerable.

Alcohol has a variety of effects on the immune system and can make people more susceptible to infections and other health conditions, including COVID-19. Moreover, some people shouldn’t drink at all, according to the Dietary Guidelines.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Immune System

Ensure that after your recovery finishes, you stay away from drugs and alcohol altogether. In that case, there’s a good chance people will give you gifts at your leaving party and even think it’s OK for you to drink alcohol during the day due to celebrations. If you aren’t addicted, remember that alcohol in moderation is medical advice that you should obey. At the least, you should work towards minimizing your intake to the recommended number of units a week and sticking to drinks that are proven to have health benefits. Not only that, but those who drink alcohol to excess may feel more inclined to engage in unsafe social activity, irrelevant of any laws that already exist where they live. Whether it’s at the local bar or in an outdoor space, one’s inhibitions decrease when intoxicated.

  • There’s um, sometimes uh, mistakenly believes that, Oh yeah, it veers, you know, low percentage.
  • The sudden volume of alcohol can shock the system and suppress the immune system function for some time.
  • It is important to uncover how drinking affects your body’s ability to fight diseases.
  • These changes are complex, occurring at a chemical and cellular level and involving relationships between different tissues and organs inside the body, often leading to serious health effects.
  • Generally, when someone begins drinking, the first effects imposed on the body start in the gut and other vital parts of the digestive system.

Curiously, there is also evidence that light to moderate amounts of alcohol—particularly wine and beer—may increase the amount of white blood cells in some people. In fact, there do seem to be some health benefits to small amounts of alcohol. However, these vary greatly by age, body mass, sex, and type of alcohol. All in all, if you choose to drink, your best bet is moderation. Even if you don’t have an alcohol use disorder, or are a light-to-moderate drinker, alcohol can still affect your body’s ability to fight off infections and viruses.

What Alcohol Does To Your Brain

During graduate school, Benedette investigated the dermatotoxicity of mechlorethamine and bendamustine; two nitrogen mustard alkylating agents that are used in anticancer therapy. Several studies have demonstrated the dose-dependent effect that alcohol has on preventing both monocytes and macrophages from binding to the bacterial cell wall component lipopolysaccharide .

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