Alcohol Consumption & Immune System Disruption

7 min read

alcohol consumption
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The immune system of our body helps to maintain metabolism and fight against bacterial and viral infections as well as protects our body. Adverse alcohol consumption and the disruption of the immune system are interrelated. The more you drink alcohol; the more the immune system of the body becomes weak.

The disorders which can occur through more alcohol consumption are Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cancer, liver problems, physical trauma, etc. The alcohol first affects the Gastrointestinal system of the body because basically it is the starting point of contact with alcohol. The alcohol enters into the bloodstreams from the Gastrointestinal tract. 

Effects of Alcohol Consumption On The Immune System:

Alcohol Effect On GI TRACT

The major effect of alcohol is on the structure of the GI system. The alcohol disrupts the functioning of the immune system, all the cells like T-cells, epithelial cells, etc., in the GI tract, metabolism of the body and liver. Due to certain cancers like liver cancer, lung cancer, and more development in the body of the human being.

This does not mean that only adverse and chronic alcohol consumption affects the immune system. A small amount of alcohol also affects the immune system. The immune system disrupts means the immunity of the body destroys which can lead to more disease and infections. 

  • There is an immunological shield made by the parts of our body for protecting us from infections but due to excessive alcohol consumption that shield destroys. 
  • The alcohol does not produce any bacteria or virus in the body but it destroys the immune systems which fight against these infectious bacteria and viruses.
  • Due to daily or binge consumption of alcohol creates long-term or short-term problems in the immune system. 
  • A good quantity of white blood cells destroys the immune system if you drink regular alcohol for one month. 
  • Alcohol consumption decreases the overall efficiency of the body as well. 

Immunity VS Chronic Alcoholism

Living in the times of pandemic such as COVID-19 has made everyone around the globe understand the importance of our immune system. As stated by Charles Darwin “Survival of the fittest” wherein the term fittest supposedly relates to our immune system. The current situation has emphasized the necessity of a strong and healthy immune system.

This further leads us to the thought of enhancing our immunity. In the process of improving our immunity, initially, it is essential to look into our habits and classify them into the ones that boost immunity and the ones that deteriorate it.     

High on Alcohol, Low on Immunity

Do you love alcoholic beverages? Do you think that you are drinking it very often? How would you rate yourself as an alcoholic beverage lover? Are you afraid that you are nearing the level of getting addicted? Being cautious is the indication that you care. It is the first step to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Here is a bit of caution for you, a red alert for your health.

Chronic alcoholism affects immunity. Being pretty much sure of other ill-effects, we don’t have enough understanding as to how it affects our immunity. We are here, peeling the layers for you to know it better.

A chronic alcohol drinker seems to be more prone to more microbial infections when compared to a normal person. Let us analyze and decode the reasons as to what happens inside our body on continuous exposure to alcohol. Consider a situation in which a man, a chronic drinker, just like any other day, consumes his intake of alcohol.

Our journey inside his body begins now, alongside alcohol. We are about to witness a war-like situation in which his kingdom (his body) is in a fragile situation, a situation where there is a higher probability of losing, just because of what’s alongside us.

alcohol consumption

Gut & Immune System

There is a link between gut health and immune system efficiency. There are many disorders that are developed in people who are drinking alcohol like pneumonia, tuberculosis and respiratory infections. The alcohol will also attack the respiratory system of the body. The alcohol-addicted people are more prone to these diseases.

Most of the people are not aware of the disadvantages of alcohol to the body. The immunoglobulins blood level is increased in an alcoholic person. Alcohol consumption can affect the brain as well. It will destroy the proper functioning of the brain. The body movement and balance are affected. 

  • The body is not having any special part of storing alcohol like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
  • When you drink alcohol it has to go either in the bloodstream or metabolizing part of the body.
  • The liver is the only part in the body that can remove alcohol from the body. 
  • Due to excessive consumption of alcohol, it damages the liver because of which various infections and diseases like cancer develop in the body. 
  • While you drink alcohol, you will not be able to work properly.
  • The addition of alcohol is that you will not be able to control your brain movements. 

Effects Of Excessive Alcohol On The Body

The excessive consumption of alcohol damages the functioning of heart and cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart attack chances increase in the body. The heartbeat pattern disturbs. If you frequently come in contact with cold and flu, then it is a sign that you heavily consume alcohol and your immune system damages properly.

You may become more conscious and body temperature becomes low. You will find difficulty in breathing. One by one every organ of the body destroys due to heavy and adverse consumption of alcohol. The digestive system stops working and you will be prone to many diseases that are deadly.

Cause on Digestive Parts

  • Excessive alcohol consumption disrupts the digestive system parts like the small and large intestines. 
  • This will develop the disease diarrhea and severe major problems. 
  • The muscular contraction also occurs in the small and large intestine parts. 
  • The parts of the body which absorb nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, etc., start absorbing alcohol and the body becomes weak as there is no absorption of healthy stuff in the body. 
  • The other digestive system organs like the liver also become prone to damage due to alcohol consumption. 
  • The liver secretes healthy juices in the body which maintains energy in the body. 
  • Due to damage from alcohol, it will cause fatty liver diseases. 

In the study, it is known that 5.5% of new cases of cancer are due to excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol is not only linked to liver cancer but it also causes breast cancer in women, neck cancer, oesophageal cancer, etc. Light or heavy every type of alcohol consumption leads to the disease in the body.

People think that alcohol consumption stresses out the body and makes them feel relaxed but it does just the opposite of this. When you are addicted to alcohol it takes you to the darker side of emotions, continuously change your mood, make you feel angry, and many more. 

Alcohol Consumption – Problem With Brain Movements

The immune system when damaged after too much alcohol consumption it will stop sending signals to the brain due to which the brain will not function properly. The body will not be able to control your mind and you will get the signals and feeling of more alcohol drinking.

The behavior of your body becomes so flexible that it will promote you for heavy consumption of alcohol. Day by day the functioning of the immune system becomes complex. The normal functioning of the immune system connects the brain and the immune system together. 

Destruction Due to Excessive Alcohol to the Body

  • All the cells of the intestines are destroyed by alcohol. 
  • The pathogens make their way easier to pass through in the bloodstream. 
  • Binge drinking or moderate drinking both harm your body, health and immune system equally. 
  • The people who consume alcohol and become ill regularly have the immune system to work harder for controlling the infection or disease which makes the immune system weak. 
  • The women who are pregnant and if she drinks alcohol there are very many chances of losing the child. 
  • It is very harmful to both the baby and the mother. 

Can Wine Affect Immunity?

Now, comes the most common misconception that people have; drinking wine with dinner is good for health. The credit goes to the media to make people in this but in real moderate to chronic consumption of any liquor can affect your immune system.

Though a limited amount can be beneficial too. It is to always keep in mind the amount of drink you are having. Moderate drinking does not affect the immune system but it is always better to be careful than to be sorry.

Everyone knows that alcohol damages the body but many people still live with a lot of misconceptions. With this article, hopefully, you get the awareness of alcohol affecting your immune system. You can easily get into the addiction of binge drinking. So, it becomes quite important to understand the impact of it on your health. 

It is not easy to quit in a day, but many have successfully left drinking and now are leaving a peaceful and healthy life. Heavy drinking can lead to dying early but leaving all at once is not healthy, start with moderation. So, if you are a heavy drinker or know someone who has developed the addiction, now is the right time to change and bring the change in your life. Through accountability and commitment, everything is possible.

alcohol consumption

How Alcohol Affects the Liver?

The liver is the biggest organ of the human body. It performs nearly 500 tasks in our body. One of its major functions is to filter blood from the digestive system and produce bile juice.  Continuous intake of these alcoholic drinks causes inflammation of its outer walls. This condition is called fatty liver. This is the first stage of damage.

If someone continues to drink after this the liver gets brutally damaged which results in liver cirrhosis. In this disease the liver becomes vulnerable and it can merely perform its functions. The body of the patient becomes protein deficient and the immune system collapses. In severe cases swelling starts on different body parts. Often bleeding in the food pipe, stomach and rectum can also occur.

Can Alcohol Liver Damage be Reversed?

According to doctors, depending on the stage in very early stages, the liver can heal itself if someone quits drinking and adopts a healthy lifestyle. In the last stages like liver cirrhosis it becomes really tough for the patient to recover. The body becomes vulnerable to infections. The only option left would be liver transplant. But the body tends to reject this in many cases which ultimately results in death. Even if the surgery becomes successful the patients have to quit alcohol for the rest of their lives.

How Can Alcohol Affect the Heart?

Heart is the most vital organ of the human body. Its main function is to pump the blood for the circulation throughout our body. Excessive consumption of alcohol may lead to the enlargement of the heart and thus decreases its ability to circulate blood in the body. People often feel their heart pumping fast when they consume any alcoholic drink due to a feeling of excitement.

alcohol consumption

Will Drinking Alcohol Affect Pregnancy?

The foetus receives all the nutrition from the mother’s body. At the time of pregnancy the female body is most likely to get affected by any infection. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is not only harmful for the mother but it is more dangerous for the foetus. The baby inside the body may undergo disproportionate mutations and may develop defective body parts. It is best to say away from alcohol during pregnancy. 

Knock Out Addiction!

How are you feeling on our journey inside the chronic alcohol drinker? What makes the cute little cells of immunity lose? It is chronic alcoholism. In times of increased need for a healthy immune system, would you still risk being healthy for a mere addiction? Try overcoming the addiction. Seek help. Let us take a step forward in becoming a healthier version of ourselves.

The excessive and heavy alcohol consumption majorly affects the immune system. Try to avoid alcohol and make your body healthy and safe from all the infections and chronic diseases.