Autoimmune Disorders and Alcohol Addiction

Autoimmune Disorders and Alcohol AddictionAlcoholism is the compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages in spite of negative consequences. Signs of alcoholism include having withdrawal symptoms when someone goes long enough without a drink, being preoccupied with drinking, having to drink more to get the same effect and continuing to use alcohol in spite of financial difficulties. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the least appreciated medical complications of alcohol abuse is how it affects the immune system. Autoimmune disorders make the body attack its own tissues, and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia are all examples of these diseases. Both autoimmune disorders and alcohol-related diseases decrease the body’s ability to heal, but treatment can help people recover.

How Alcohol Affects the Immune System

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver disease and failure. It can also increase the likelihood of death from infectious diseases: the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes that physicians regard this increase in death as alcohol-related immunodeficiency. Some diseases that are directly linked to alcohol-related immunodeficiency include the following examples:

  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C and B
  • Septicemia

Alcohol consumption directly affects the immune system by hindering specialized immune cells that protect the body from disease. In other words, the more someone drinks the less his body can repair itself from sickness or injury.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Despite these hardships, alcoholics can get help through alcohol rehab, even if they suffer from an autoimmune disorder. Rehab gives the body a chance to detox from alcohol, and it allows the immune system to begin functioning normally. Although alcohol can devastate the body’s organs, abstaining from alcohol abuse can heal some conditions. When alcoholics get a proper diagnosis of their underlying mental conditions, they can begin getting the help they need. By following a treatment plan of detox, individual and group therapy and ongoing support, alcoholics with autoimmune disorders can live free from the control of alcohol and any alcohol-related diseases. Seek help now to begin your recovery.

Help for Alcoholism and Autoimmune Disorders

Alcohol can increase the risk for certain diseases associated with immunodeficiency, but ending alcohol abuse and adopting a healthy lifestyle can reverse the effects of many of these conditions. If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol addiction and an autoimmune disorder, we can help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about treatment options and recovery.