Alcohol And Health
Chronic inflammation has been getting a lot of attention lately, thanks to the fact that it seems to be a common denominator for a lot of diseases. Scientific studies have been diving into this phenomenon and coming back with scary results.
For example, one trial showed that chronic inflammation could be the underlying trigger for heart attacks and strokes.
By now, there’s little doubt that inflammation damages the body. But does alcohol trigger inflammation?
If you drink regularly, it’s a good idea to think about whether booze might be to blame for any inflammatory conditions.
Spoiler alert: It probably is.
Ready to find out how alcohol and inflammation work? Keep reading to learn more about alcoholism and inflammation, what the dangers are, and what you can do.
How Does Alcohol Cause Inflammation?
If you’re wondering “Does alcohol cause inflammation on the body?” the short answer is yes.
But how does alcohol cause inflammation exactly?
Alcohol can trigger inflammation in a variety of ways. Regular drinking can throw out the balance of bacteria in your gut. If too many of the “good guys” die off, more bad guy bacteria will take their place, which results in higher levels of endotoxins.
Endotoxins activate the immune cells and proteins involved in inflammation.
Alcohol can also weaken the walls of the gut, making them more permeable. When this happens, endotoxins can leach out of the gut, causing even more inflammation.
To make things worse, alcohol also impairs your immune system. When something is out of balance, such as an inflammatory response, the immune system is responsible for bringing it back in line.
The final cherry on top is that alcohol can also impact organ function and interaction. Organs like the liver and kidneys play a frontline role in dealing with things like endotoxins. If they’re not functioning at full capacity, you’ve got yourself a recipe for runaway inflammation.
In short, too much alcohol can not only leave you with inflammatory problems, but it can also mess up your body’s ability to reverse them.
Why Inflammation Is Bad
It’s pretty clear that the answer to “does alcohol cause inflammation in the body” is yes. But why is inflammation so dangerous?
Research has established links between inflammation and a variety of chronic diseases.
Previously, many medical authorities put this down to the fact that these diseases trigger inflammatory responses. Recently, however, evidence is coming out that suggests it could work the other way around as well.
Currently, study findings indicate that chronic inflammation could increase the risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Weight gain
- IBS flareups
- Kidney disease
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders
The takeaway? Chronic inflammation could be lethal. At best it can aggravate existing health issues.
How to Stop Inflammation From Alcohol
There’s no doubt that regular or heavy drinking is a surefire way to increase inflammation in the body. So what can one do about it?
Here are some of the most impactful things you can do to combat inflammation from alcohol.
One of the first steps you can take to reduce inflammation is to eat a heavy diet that is fresh produce heavy. Fresh fruits and vegetables do a great job of combatting inflammation. Most anti-inflammatory diets advise consuming high amounts of fruit and vegetables, particularly leafy greens, which are a rich source of antioxidants and polyphenols.
Besides this, you can also cut down your intake of processed foods and drinks.
Avoid Sugary Mixers
Besides the dangers of alcohol, many boozy beverages come with another hidden health hazard—sugar-filled mixers.
If you’re in the habit of drinking cocktails, or hard liquor mixed with soda, this will exacerbate the inflammatory effect of the alcohol.
Sugar is another top trigger for chronic inflammation, as it releases pro-inflammatory substances into the body. Juices and sodas contain an average of 20–26 grams of sugar per 240 ml, almost maxing out the average person’s daily sugar intake.
Alcohol is unhealthy enough. Don’t make it even worse by kicking it back with sugar-laden sodas or fruit juices.
Another important step you can take to lower inflammation is to establish an exercise routine. Exercise plays a key role in inflammation control.
It’s common knowledge that exercise can significantly affect health, from reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease to controlling weight and triggering endorphins.
However, research has revealed that inflammation reduction is perhaps the most powerful benefit, and the underlying explainer of the positive effects of exercise.
Now it’s time to address the elephant in the room.
If you’re drinking too much, the number one way you can reduce inflammation is by quitting alcohol.
Eating healthy, exercising, and avoiding sugar-laden mixers is a good start, but if heavy drinking is the root cause of your inflammation, then cutting back or eliminating alcohol is the best way to address it.
For some people, it might be easy to stop drinking for a few weeks or reduce alcohol intake to a minimum. For others, this might not be a sustainable solution.
If you are struggling with alcohol addiction symptoms, cutting back isn’t usually possible. Most people who have battled alcohol addictions will agree that one drink is all it takes to make you want more.
Where other people might be more than happy to stick to one drink here and there, one drink is usually just the start for a heavy drinker.
Are you struggling to keep your drinking under control and experiencing alcoholism symptoms? Do you know it’s affecting your health, but still drink more than you mean to night after night?
If so, it’s time to get support. I was in exactly the same position not too long ago. I know how hard the idea of not drinking can feel, so I have created a program for others like me.
Need Help Ditching the Drink and the Damaging Inflammation It Causes?
For some people, reducing alcohol-induced inflammation might be a case of skipping that Friday night glass of wine or that mimosa on Sunday. For others, it might mean tackling a multi-headed monster — aka alcohol dependence.
If your alcohol consumption is not what you want it to be, and you’re having trouble controlling it, I can help.
I have lived through alcohol addiction. I have also figured out how to send it packing for good.
If you’re ready to start taking back control over your life, I urge you to check out my free seminar, where I share how you can stop drinking without willpower.