How Alcohol Impacts Your Immune System

View of two glasses of an alcoholic beverage.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 30 million people in the U.S. struggled with alcohol use disorder in 2022. This staggering statistic highlights just how common alcohol addiction is. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse can negatively impact your physical health in more ways than one. One significant impact of alcohol abuse is its negative impact on your immune system. In this article, you’ll learn more about how alcohol impacts your immune system. 

Hammocks on the Edisto is a leading women’s drug rehab in South Carolina that is here to help you overcome addiction and achieve a healthier, happier quality life. Addiction can be a very isolating disease. That’s why our women’s substance abuse treatment programs offer a comprehensive range of addiction treatment options to ensure you receive the best possible care to achieve long-term sobriety. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you start your recovery journey.

4 Ways Alcohol Negatively Impacts Your Immune System

Alcohol abuse interferes with your physical and mental health in several ways. Keep reading to learn how alcohol impacts your immune system. 

1. Alcohol Can Impair Immune Cell Function

The first way alcohol impacts your immune system is by impairing your immune cell function. Your immune system plays an important role in fighting off infections and diseases. It also helps heal your body from any damage. When you drink alcohol, it impairs your body’s immune cells from doing their primary functions: healing and protecting your body against harmful infections and diseases. This is why many people who drink excessively may seem to get sick more easily compared to individuals who do not drink.

2. Alcohol Can Trigger Inflammation

Next, alcohol consumption can trigger inflammation in your body, specifically your gut. This is because alcohol kills healthy bacteria that exist in your gut which can not only result in inflammation but put you at an increased risk of developing an infection. Healthy bacteria are meant to ward off infections and toxins; however, alcohol can again kill off these bacteria and put your gut health at risk.

3. Alcohol Can Slow Down Your Overall Healing Process

One of the primary functions of the immune system is to support your body’s healing process. If you catch a cold, your immune system’s job is to fight off your cold so you can effectively heal. However, if you consume alcohol, this can slow down the rate at which your immune system can heal your body from certain colds, infections, wounds, and other damage to the body. 

4. Excessive Drinking Affects Lung Health

Research has found a connection between excessive drinking and pulmonary diseases such as tuberculosis. Among other ways alcohol affects the lungs, it impairs immune cell function in the lungs, which can lead to more severe lung diseases in those who drink excessively than those who don’t.

Break Free From Addiction Today

Now you know more about how alcohol impacts your immune system. From interfering with your body’s ability to fight off disease to hurting your body’s ability to heal itself, there are a number of ways in which alcohol impacts your immune system function for the worse. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, it’s critical you seek help to overcome it. 

At Hammocks on the Edisto, our team of compassionate addiction specialists provides highly personalized, women-specific care to meet women where they’re at on their recovery journey. You should not feel ashamed or afraid to ask for help in finding a better quality of life. 

Ready to break free of your addiction once and for all? Contact our South Carolina women’s addiction treatment center today!

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