Continued alcohol use in large amounts is associated with innumerable health problems. While the impact of drinking on various organs of the body is gradual, its effect on the immune system is almost immediate and long lasting. Studies have shown that high doses of alcohol can suppress the immune response, thereby, making the body a host to a number of infectious diseases.
Binge drinking is a maladaptive pattern of alcohol consumption in which a person loses account of the number of drinks that he or she has had. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a person is said to cross the levels of moderate drinking when his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 g/dL. Though the effect of the blood alcohol concentration in the individual and the way it affects the person varies according to age, sex, tolerance levels and genetics, it is generally seen that when the BAC reaches the 0.08 g/dL limit, the person becomes incapable of driving or working on things that require increased concentration levels.
Alcoholism suppresses the body’s ability to fight infections
When consumed in excessive amounts, alcohol affects a person’s resistance to infections. Studies have shown that when white blood cells, which are involved in the body’s defense mechanism, were exposed to alcohol, they were deprived of functioning normally, exposing the body to a wide variety of infectious diseases. It is seen that the body loses its capability to fight infections after alcohol consumption. In teenagers, who have indulged in long binge drinking sessions, alcohol not only lowers their inhibitions but also makes them more vulnerable to the onslaught of germs and pathogens.
Listed below are some of the diseases that affect binge drinkers more than anyone else:
- Pneumonia: People who abuse alcohol are more likely to catch the cough, cold and flu virus.
- Tuberculosis: The incidence of tuberculosis is high in chronic alcohol abusers. Moreover, a high prevalence of HIV in alcohol abusers increases the risk of developing pulmonary tuberculosis.
- Alcoholic hepatitis: This disease is characterized by acute inflammation in the liver, as well as cell death. Caused due to an excessive alcohol consumption over a prolonged period, the condition is associated with a high risk of mortality.
- HIV: People who abuse alcohol have higher risks of being infected by HIV than non-abusers because they are more likely to indulge in reckless and irresponsible behavior after a drinking episode. Previous studies have shown that alcohol abusers have more abnormalities in the T-lymphocytes than nonusers, or light and moderate drinkers.
- Urinary tract infections: Urinary tract infections (UTIs), which cause a significant deterioration in renal function, are common in people with a history of excessive alcohol use.
Road to recovery
While alcohol addiction is definitely a curse, it is not easy for the users to leave behind the habit. Apart from withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, headache, sweating, etc., many people get emotionally attached to drinking. As a result, people continue drinking whenever they feel mentally stressed. However, alcohol addiction can be treated by seeking professional help. By overindulging in drinking, people are likely to witness life-disruptive problems on a daily basis. Therefore, it is essential to undergo a comprehensive treatment program to ensure recovery from alcoholism.
If you or any of your loved one is addicted to alcohol, contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to know more about the alcohol addiction treatment centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online to connect to the best alcohol treatment centers in California where the majority of cases related to alcoholism have been successfully treated.Continue reading