How Does Alcohol Affect Your Immune System?

When people think about the negative health effects of alcohol use, they tend to picture someone who has been drinking copious amounts of alcohol for years. Unfortunately, the effects of alcohol on the immune system can affect a much wider range of people. Antibiotics are so important as alcohol has essentially put a stop to any chance of the lungs to naturally rid themselves of bacteria. The accidental inhalation of other fluids such as drinks or vomit can increase the severity of pneumonia infections to often life-threatening levels. Long-term impacts to the immune system happen alongside long-term alcohol abuse.

wake forest baptist alsoimpairs the inner lining of the lung, making it harder for the lungs to get rid of bacteria or viruses that could cause pneumonia. Alcohol use can also cause vomiting, and someone who is intoxicated may accidentally inhale their vomit. This makes it even more likely that someone could get pneumonia while drinking. Because alcohol can suppress the immune system, the body may take longer to recognize and respond to a developing infection. This can make infection symptoms last longer and become more intense than they would otherwise. In severe cases, the body’s immune system may not be strong enough to overcome the infection.

Alcohol and COVID-19

So instead of walking by the, the kitchen a few times a day or the, or the liquor cabinet any couple of times a day, we walked past it 50 times a day. It’s just there in a matter of convenience and it’s, it’s maybe just easier access than, than we’re used to in our normal lives. And this is something I do want Laura to jump in on after me, um, because she may have additional resources that I haven’t even gotten, but yeah. This is a really big thing because no physical meetings aren’t happening over most of the country right now. And those support systems, whether it’s AA or in a Alanon for families, Coda for co-dependence on or any of the other sorts of twelves hit meetings that happen that are support systems people. Um, the really wonderful thing, and I’ll probably say this several times, but thank God for the internet.

All of these podcasts that we’re doing will be housed on that side as well and also available wherever does alcohol weaken your immune system, um, find their podcasts, uh, on their mobile or smart device. So, uh, I do want to introduce and bring in our two guests, uh, today. Uh, she is, um, she’s currently, um, part of the addiction research and clinical health program, um, which is through the department of surgery, trauma at the wake forest school of medicine. Though heavy alcohol use has long-term impacts on your immune system and overall health, it is never too late to seek treatment. If you are dependent on or addicted to alcohol and experience withdrawal symptoms when you reduce how much you drink, you may need to complete an addiction treatment program before a planned or non-urgent surgery. Anyone can get pneumonia, however, heavy alcohol use increases your risk.

Can the Use of Alcohol Affect the Immune System?

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.

  • Please note that medical information found on this website is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient and physician/doctor and the medical advice they may provide.
  • There are multiple groups of different cells and proteins within the body that identify and address health threats.
  • Drinking alcohol is a major factor in the disruption of the digestive system.
  • It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia.
  • In cases where an individual has been drinking heavily over a long period of time, they will find that they are sick more often than their peers even if they are otherwise in better shape.
  • Winter can be a challenging time when it comes to our health.