Does Alcohol Cause Inflammation?

6 min to read

May 14, 2023

Fred Bass

Yes, alcohol can cause inflammation. When consumed in excess, alcohol disrupts the body's immune response, leading to inflammation. This can affect multiple organs and systems, particularly the liver, where it can lead to alcoholic liver disease. Chronic consumption can also result in inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and even the brain. Additionally, alcohol's impact on the body's ability to regulate inflammation through various immune cells contributes to systemic inflammatory responses. Moderate to heavy drinking, therefore, significantly raises the risk of chronic inflammation and related health issues.

A lesser-known health detriment caused by drinking is the link between alcohol and inflammation caused in other parts of the body.

When doctors cite health problems associated with drinking, the relationship between alcohol and swelling from inflammation is among the most rarely spoken of. Knowing the harmful connection between alcohol and inflammation, or swelling, is important to comprehend the gravity of its effects on your life’s longevity.

If you are struggling with alcohol, observing the informative facts that we are about to provide you throughout this article will save, preserve, and extend your life. These bodily harms may be the only incentive you need to kick the unhealthy habit of abusing alcohol permanently from your life.

woman drinking wine

What is Inflammation?

Put simply, inflammation is the body’s chemical response to fighting what it perceives as a foreign invader. The immune system’s response is your body’s defense against all these infections and foreign agents.

Alcoholic substances are recognized as harmful pathogens to the body. Sometimes this causes your immune system to attack the presence of alcohol and swelling that may infect the general vicinity.

When a mass of white blood cells, or immunity T cells are released, the affected region can become inflamed and swell. This inflammation is a collective result of increased blood flow funneling these immune cell proteins and infection-fighting cells to the designated area. When this occurs, the surrounding tissue can become irritated, thus the swelling and inflammatory sensation.

Inflammation in itself may seem like nothing more than a minor issue to you, but it could very well be the body communicating with you. That is to say that our body speaks to us by feelings, instincts, and visible factors. Don’t ignore the inflammatory warning signs your body is trying to reveal to you. Only when you look into the details of what inflammation is exactly, you begin to understand why this bodily response is not to be taken lightly.

What Are the Symptoms of Inflammation?

Inflammation symptoms can often conceal themselves beneath other seemingly minor pains. For this reason alone, it’s important to know many of these signs as they may require immediate medical attention to assess the cause. If you have experienced or are experiencing any of the following inflammatory symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance for treatment.

The coinciding impacts of alcohol and inflammation that may result from alcohol consumption require professional treatment. Thankfully most forms of inflammation are treatable and preventable with prescription medications. Prescription medications, however, are only a short-term solution to the much bigger need for severe alcohol rehab.  Understanding inflammation symptoms and what they mean is a big key to resolving such discomforts.

Any discernible redness, however slight it may be, could be an indication of inflammation caused by alcohol. Even if the rash is unaccompanied by pain, any redness or rash-like legion should be looked at by a doctor. If the redness does not alleviate and expands with time, it is especially crucial to get these symptoms checked. A rash could be a visible characteristic of more life-threatening conditions and deficiencies.

Alcohol and swelling are often coinciding and a result of non-coincidental indulgences and consequences. If you observe swollen, expanded, or larger than normal regions, could be a visible indicator of tissue damage or infection. In some cases, swelling can be a byproduct of internal bleeding from diseases, infections, or even alcohol irritation.

When evident swelling occurs, it requires immediate treatment for diagnosis and treatment. Pushing off a doctor's visit when experiencing these often treatable characteristics of inflammation can be a lethal ignorance.

If you feel warm or burning sensations in any region beyond that of a fleeting pain, you may have alcohol-related inflammation. Continued alcohol consumption only exacerbates these conditions, making them more recurring than even your drinking habit.

Alcohol and inflammation symptoms are indicative of a burning type of sensation that requires medical attention. If untreated, such sensations could spread and infect other surrounding tissue. Request medical observation to know the cause of these burning sensations and how to treat it.

How Does Alcohol Cause Inflammation?

In due time, alcohol and inflammation forces an unhealthy reshaping and realigning of your stomach and colon. Unfortunately, this is one of the main reasons alcohol and swelling eventually progress into severe underlying conditions.

The body’s persistent exposure to alcohol can trigger a premature imbalance of your body’s vital blood balance system. Since drinking irritates the stomach lining, to begin with, this can compound the associated inflammatory symptoms.

Too much inflammation due to chronic alcohol consumption, in turn, can cause rashes and internal hemorrhaging. If not consumed in strict moderation, alcohol and swelling can become synonymous and a nuisance in your life.

What are the Health Consequences of Alcohol-Related Inflammation?

Numerous health consequences can emerge from chronic alcohol use. The trickle-down effects alcohol has on your vital functions make drinking an imminent threat to your life. Once the progress of alcohol and inflammation has transpired, there are permanent bodily consequences that cannot be altered when developed. Equipped with the knowledge of these life-threatening conditions will show you what removing alcohol from your life can prevent.

Cell Damage and Bruising to Vital Organs

Alcohol contains a chemical called ethanol that’s known to kill healthy cells, especially in essential organs. Cell damage is the root cause for a majority, if not all, life-threatening health problems.

When cell damage occurs in the heart, kidneys, or liver, it can facilitate an eventual breakdown in these vital functions of the body. These breakdowns mostly occur when the harmful sequence of drinking alcohol and swelling has brought the body to its inflammatory breaking point.

After such inflammation has set in, it’s often too late to reverse its health repercussions. However, you still have the opportunity to significantly minimize your current conditions while adding back years to your life by quitting drinking now.

According to authorized medical sources, persistent drinking can automatically double, and in some cases, triple your chances of developing cancer. Any portion of the body is at risk of carcinogenic exposure brought about by alcohol.

Continued alcohol use even opens the door for further cell damage, resulting in cancer cells that have the potential to replicate at an alarming rate. Because alcohol contains high traces of these poisonous carcinogens, consumption immediately exposes you to several types of cancers.

Sadly, unbeknownst to many consumers, many gamble with their lives daily by overindulging in alcohol use. You may not feel it now, but the long-term consequences of chronic alcohol abuse could shorten your life more than you realize. Your body can only take so much abuse before it succumbs to the mortalities realized by malignant tumors.

Alcohol consumption also causes a drastic and unhealthy shift in blood sugar levels. Depending on the individual and volume of intake, blood sugar can significantly raise or drastically fall to unhealthy norms. These effects result in either too much sugar in the blood or damage the way blood sugar is processed. The latter of which is known as type-2 diabetes.

Even moderate drinking can contribute to these same conditions over time. Ironically enough, what you drink could end up determining what you can and can’t eat. Alcohol cessation can stop these conditions in their tracts before they develop into a health issue that’s too late to reverse.

The destruction of brain cells initiated by alcohol can trigger a progressive deterioration of your memory known as Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer's is an incurable disease that attacks the memory and cognitive storage centers of the brain. In time, brain cells responsible for storing remembrances of loved ones, memories, and even natural breathing impulses can be forgotten. Seeking help for your alcohol struggles can breathe new, positive things into your middle-aged and preserve your long-term health.

How Do You Reduce Inflammation

Thankfully, the solution to some of these pains can be a simple doctor’s visit. Many short-term effects in association with alcohol and inflammation in the body can at least be treated and in some cases reversed.

With a simple prescription or antibiotic from a medical professional, you can keep inflammation at bay or at least contained. Bear in mind though, that the extent of your inflammation reduction depends on whether or not you quit drinking along with it. Treatments and other remedies are only a short-term solution to a much bigger problem. The only long-term solution to reducing inflammation and the health problems that coincide with it is quitting drinking for good.

The Choice is Yours

Ultimately you hold the key to starting your life over again and Tulua Health is the door. All you have to do is walk through it. Don’t squander the opportunity you’ve been given at this moment to get sober. Heed the voice deep down that tells you that this is your chance because it is your chance! It’s your chance to pick yourself back up. Your chance to turn a new page.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. This is the one decision that can and will turn the tide in your life.

While we do not treat addiction, we understand that alcoholism is often accompanied by mental health disorders. Tulua Health has the resources to help you start your life anew once more. Medical professionals are standing by, waiting for the one call that will lift the burden of mental health challenges off your shoulders.

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