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Drinking and the Immune System

Could Your Drinking Affect Your Immune System?

People have been drinking more in self isolation but this could be affecting their immune systems.  Ironically, consuming more alcohol to cope with lockdown could make you more susceptible to covid-19. This could have consequences as we head back out as restrictions ease.

We all know that people have been ordered to stay at home as much as possible. We have seen bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs close in the wake of the crisis. However, people in the UK have been having plenty to drink at home. Going by recent figures, alcohol consumption has gone up since the outbreak began.  In the UK, alcohol purchases from supermarkets rose by more than 22%.  In the USA sales rose a whopping 55%.

Alcohol affects immune cells

Generally, under normal circumstances, Scottish people drink around 5 million pints at home a week, based on findings from the British Beer and Pub Association. They could pick up their provisions at off-licenses or supermarkets. The rate of people drinking at home looks to have skyrocketed. And now the pubs have reopened that may increase further.alcohol and illness

It is understandable that, during a national emergency, some may turn to alcohol. After all, there are a lot of anxious, frightened, people out there.  However, you should not drink if you already feel ill and drinking to excess can make illness more likely. This is because alcohol affects immune cells that help fight infections. Chronic consumption is even worse.  If you think you need help with alcohol rehab call us.

Booze consumption increasing during Covid-19 outbreak

In these strange times, some people panic bought and stocked up on alcohol, making sure they didn’t run out. We are now seeing drinkers return to pubs and people are still ramping up in-house drinking, increasing their alcohol intake further.

Lockdown also saw the rise of a new phenomenon known as the virtual pub. This is where friends who cannot see each other in person are connecting on-line and sharing a drink. Most people consider this as a way of keeping their spirits up, bringing the community together and maintaining communication with friends and family. All these things have helped cause a rise in alcohol consumption. People are drinking about eight million pints a week, a growth of three million, since the crisis started.

 Health professionals urge moderation

There is nothing wrong with having a drink now and then or enjoying in moderation. But various experts feel, in these exceptional circumstances, it is not advisable to drink to excess, as it could have an adverse effect on you physical or mental health…and, importantly, your immune system.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) have cautioned against drinking too much during the pandemic.

It can leave you with a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to infections, with a higher chance of catching a cold or developing a cough. It may also increase the possibility of contracting more serious conditions such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and respiratory distress syndrome, which can be particularly hazardous in the current medical crisis.  You don’t want to be calling on the NHS or your GP at this time.

This is a time when we all must be on our guard and watch out for ourselves and others. The government is advising us to practice social distancing, self-isolation and telling us to wash our hands. But we should also be aware of what we are eating and drinking and how it may affect our wellbeing. We may tell ourselves it is just a harmless drink, but when does it reach the point when it could put our health in jeopardy?


Sources: Does Alcohol Weaken the Immune System?

WHO says excess alcohol may increase covid-19 risk