When you increase your alcohol consumption, you will increase your exposure to various diseases, especially respiratory ailments like COVID-19. Therefore, if you suffer from some chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, you should stop immediately and continue reading alcohol and immune system.
Cut back alcohol
This is why the World Health Organization (WHO)advised that people reduce drinking, as alcohol in particular harms the immune system by damaging the lungs and intestines and weakening the cells responsible for immune function in the body, which increases the risk of harmful health outcomes and this increases the risk of complications from COVID-19.
Does drinking weaken immune system?
It does not mean that you have a strong immune system that you will not be infected with viruses or diseases, but rather it means that your body will be able to face this epidemic and get rid of it smoothly and quickly, and this is what we call an immune response.
Does alcohol harm immune system? for you and your family
Excessive drinking of alcohol exceeds the external harmful effects, but it may extend to the rest of the body and may threaten the continuation of life, as well as it may threaten your family and your children.
This is why we have included the harmful effects of alcohol on immunity in the following axes:
Alcohol in lungs
If you drink alcohol more than 15 times during one week, you will harm the immunity of the lungs, as it destroys immune cells, disrupting the ciliary function in the upper airways and fine hair, which removes pathogens from the airway, making it easier for many diseases to reach the respiratory system, especially COVID-19.
By drinking alcohol, you damage the lungs, as the intestinal mucosa. This weakness can lead to pneumonia, which results in adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), tuberculosis, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which are complications of severe alcoholism.
Effects of alcohol on digestive system
The harmful effects extend beyond the digestive system, causing infections in the digestive system as a result of the destruction of the microorganisms that live in the intestine and the beneficial organisms that maintain the health of the immune system in the digestive system.
The gut system is the first stop for alcohol as it is absorbed into the bloodstream. This is why alcohol alters the numbers of microbes in the gut microbiome, so alcohol disrupts the communication between these organisms and the intestinal immune system.
Excessive consumption of alcohol damages the epithelial cells, T cells, and neutrophils in the gut system, then disrupts the intestinal barrier function and facilitates the leakage of unwanted microbes and substances into the circulation, due to increasing autoimmune diseases.
Effect of alcohol on liver
When you take a sip of alcohol, all of your vital body organs are on high alert for disposal. There is no place to store alcohol in the body, so it causes severe fatigue to the liver, keeping the body constantly busy instead of fighting viruses and infection.
Leakage of bacterial products from the intestine activates the innate immune system in the liver, which leads to the inflammation that underlies ALD, as well as the infection with viral hepatitis that speeds the progression of ALD.
ALD is the leading cause of liver transplantation in the United States. Because of the harmful effect of alcohol consumption on the liver’s antiviral immunity
Types of liver disease caused by alcohol include:
liver failure and death.
Fatty liver (steatosis).
Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis).
Acute alcoholic hepatitis
Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
Fatty liver: When fat builds up in the liver stops the liver from working properly.
Alcohol effects on behavior
The mental and physical effects of alcoholic beverages will put you at greater risk. Therefore studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption reduces the hours of sleep available to the body. This leads directly to the common cold and many diseases that affect the body’s ability to recover.
Immune signaling in the brain may contribute to alcohol use disorder that manifests itself in nerve dysfunction and thus aggressive and sometimes risky decision-making, as well as decreased behavioral flexibility.
Short term effect of alcohol on the brain
- poor judgment
- decreased coordination
- increased blood pressure
- decreased body temperature
- mood swings
- slowed reaction time
- blurred or double vision
- difficulty concentrating
- blacking out
Due to the many harmful effects of alcohol on vital organs in the body such as the liver, the kidneys, the digestive system, and the respiratory system, so infections increase in the body because of this imbalance, which leads to the oxidation of many cells.
Cancers of the mouth, throat.
Colon and rectal cancer.
Can pregnant women drink alcohol ?
Alcohol affects the fetus of a pregnant woman, which increases the risk of newborn babies contracting infections and diseases. Additional evidence suggests that the harmful effects of alcohol on developing immunity continue into adulthood.
If you are a pregnant woman, alcohol will pass from your blood through the placenta to your baby, this will greatly affect the liver of the child, which does not mature until the late stages of pregnancy.
Your baby’s growth will be affected if his liver cannot handle alcohol adequately and thus increases the risk of miscarriage, premature labor, and your baby’s low birth weight.
The emergence of a condition called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is also possible, and the symptoms include:
- Poor growth
- Distinctive facial features
- Learning and behavior problems
So, stop drinking alcohol
Does alcohol weaken the immune system?
It disrupts immune pathways in complex seemingly paradoxical ways, leading to organ damage associated with alcohol consumption. This affects both innate and adaptive immunity, significantly weakening the host’s defenses, making alcohol drinkers chronic for a wide range of health problems.
The more alcohol you drink, the hormone cortisol is secreted in the body, which normally acts as an anti-inflammatory. then the body becomes immune to this hormone so the immune system becomes more disordered, which greatly increases the likelihood of HIV transmission and development.
Can you die from drinking too much alcohol?
Studies examining the number of alcoholic drinks that people consume shown drinking more than 100 grams of alcohol – about seven standard glasses of wine or beer – per week is associated with a risk of death from all causes.
When does the damage begin?
It is not clear and what is the appropriate amount for drinking, but the wonderful health rule is that prevention of falling into the disease is better than treatment than it so the immune system in the body is not weakened.
If you drink more than 14 drinks a week, the immune system may be suppressed, which causes an increased risk of infectious diseases, so we recommend that you do not drink alcohol more than twice a week.