Alcoholism and Immunity

The pandemics of the past few years have raised questions about our lifestyles and diets as far as our immunity is concerned. Given the global movement around becoming more aware of our food and how what we put in our mouths affects our bodies, it might be a worthwhile endeavor to learn about the effect that excessive alcohol use could have on a person’s immune system, given that drinking and the COVID are huge parts of our social consideration.

Alcohol Abuse is rampant

Alcoholism is a disease that is recognized by the American Psychiatrist Association for rendering those affected with an inability to regulate or control the consumption of alcohol.

It is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, causing close to 95,000 deaths a year. Most of these deaths are caused by alcohol-related illnesses, such as cirrhosis. Although nearly 70 percent of the U.S population drinks, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, close to 26 percent of those aged over 18 in 2019 engaged in binge drinking. This is described as consuming more than 5 drinks in a single social or within a short period of time. Only 7.2 percent of those surveyed joined a support program, like a detox Austin.

Alcohol and the Immune System

The Immune System is our body’s defense mechanism and is composed of parts from many different systems that work in tandem to prevent infection and repair injuries.  It can be split into the innate immune system, which includes all the general immunity that you are born with and gets from your parents, and the adaptive immune system, which includes all the immune responses you acquire from fighting infection throughout your life.

Your body uses inflammation as a primary response to infection, to prevent it from spreading. Excessive alcohol use affects this immune response by decreasing the ability of immuno-response cells to travel to the sites of infection, thereby decreasing your body’s ability to fight infection effectively, leading to a person becoming sick more than usual.

Alcohol also affects the gut, as this is where alcohol is absorbed. Alcohol in large amounts can affect your gut health and the size of molecules absorbed, leading to an increased risk of alcoholic liver disease.

Alcohol affects the lungs by decreasing the ability of mucous removal in the lung, leading to an increased risk of infection.

This is not to say that alcohol is bad for your health. There is a consensus that minor alcohol use can actually have a more beneficial effect on immunity and health than abstinence. However, excessive alcohol use always decreases your ability to fight infection.

What to do if someone is using alcohol excessively?

Providing them with a safe place to admit their problem is the most important step. Most addicts are discouraged from seeking help because of the extreme social stigma that exists around alcoholism. Alcohol rehab Austin is a program that specializes in treating addiction disorders, with the goal of long-term sobriety.

Alternatively, sober living in Austin is a community that takes a more holistic approach to treating drug addiction.

References

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

https://adf.org.au/insights/alcohol-immune-system-covid-19/

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/moderate-alcohol-consumption-and-the-immune-system-a-review/D340A16DDC772F6F2625001BD4AD430B

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590612/

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