How Does Alcohol Consumption Affect the Immune System?

However, alcohol can also weaken the immune system, cause serious health conditions and make the body more vulnerable to infections and viruses. Alcohol immunosuppression can cause someone to catch a simple cold easier than other people or develop a more serious condition such as cancer or septicemia. 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. It’s well-documented that such addiction can lead to liver failure and heart problems, amongst numerous mental health issues.

does your immune system weaken if you drink alcohol

Heavy drinking can cause increased fat and inflammation in the liver. Over time, this can cause irreversible damage and scarring of liver tissue, called cirrhosis. If left untreated, advanced cirrhosis can develop into liver failure, a life-threatening condition. The complex interaction between alcohol, immunity, and disease is particularly relevant to HIV infection. HIV attacks the immune system by destroying a type of T cell vital to fighting infections. The destruction of these cells leaves people with HIV vulnerable to other infections, diseases, and complications.

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According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is considered a mental health disorder in which the drug causes lasting changes in the brain’s functioning. These changes make continued use and relapse more likely in the future. Because symptoms can range from mild to severe in intensity, alcoholism can create numerous effects on someone’s mental, physical, social and spiritual health.

How can I drink without getting sick?

  1. Don't Go Overboard Mixing Your Drinks. Play It Smart!
  2. Don't Mix Energy Drinks With Alcohol.
  3. Take Antacids Half An Hour Before You Start Drinking.
  4. Ginger And Elaichi Kill Nausea In No Time.
  5. Eat Before You Head Out.
  6. Milk To The Rescue.
  7. Ice Cubes Are Important In A Drink.
  8. Don't Let Your Body Dehydrate.

Usually, HIV and Hepatitis C are contracted through unprotected sex or contaminated needles. Since alcohol lowers a person’s inhibitions and judgment, a person is at risk for contracting these conditions. To make matters worse, drinking alcohol can dampen the body’s immune system. Under these conditions, a person’s risk of contracting these diseases heightens dramatically.

things that can weaken your immune system

Being under the influence of alcohol greatly increases the risk of injury to yourself as well as to others. This can be in the form of motor vehicle crashes while driving under the influence, which can also harm other drivers and passengers. The risk of personal injuries due to falls, burns, and even drowning are also much higher.

Your immune system produces this protein in response to an infection or virus. But to understand the relationship between these two, understanding the broader relationship between alcohol and the immune system will answer many of those questions. So let’s take a look at what excessive alcohol consumption does to make you more susceptible to COVID-19. Overall, avoid drinking more than moderate amounts if you want your immune system in good shape, says Favini. And if you feel like you’re coming down with something or are sick, do not drink.

Q: Is alcohol good for heart health?

When the balance is disrupted, it becomes difficult for the good bacteria in the gut to overcome the bad bacteria. Also, excess alcohol weakens the stomach’s lining, which allows dangerous microorganisms to enter other parts of the body. Drinking alcohol is a major does alcohol weaken your immune system factor in the disruption of the digestive system. As a result, a person experiences gastrointestinal challenges that lower immunity. This condition occurs when bacteria enter the chest cavity’s pleural space, typically due to pneumonia or a post-surgery infection.