With health being top of mind, we found this latest news article to be quite important (especially when you think about those battling addictions). According to research released by the Mayo Clinic, excessive alcohol use may weaken a person’s immune system. Now that is particularly timely in today’s world, as those more prone to getting sick are also more likely to contract COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus).
The latest details come from the website Insider.com. It classifies just how many drinks to watch out for and the types of health risks associated with alcoholism. Those who engage in “heavy booze consumption,” defined as 10 or more drinks per week, are most at risk for a weakened immune system. Binge drinkers should be concerned as well, meaning anyone who consumes four or more drinks in a span of two hours.
The site went on to describe the scientific rationale behind this phenomena. Alcohol, it seems, alters the makeup of people’s gut microbiome (which is home to trillions of microorganisms that protect you from disease). Excessive drinking can cause damage to these cells which line the intestines and, as Insider writer Madeleine Burry describes, “are the first line of defense against bacteria and viruses.”
The Insider article also quoted physician Nate Favini, MD, who broke down the severe damage caused by alcohol.
“By damaging those cells in your intestines, it can make it easier for pathogens to cross into your bloodstream,” Dr. Favini explained. “That is, by drinking too much, you decrease your body’s defensive mechanisms to fight off a cold, virus, or other bacterial or viral infections.”
Now we all know how contagious the COVID-19 virus has become. Strict warnings have been issued for elderly citizens and anyone who may be dealing with a weakened immune system. This puts heavy alcohol drinkers at a severe risk, particularly if they are 50 years or older.
We cannot stress enough how dangerous this current situation is for Americans. The amount of COVID-19 cases (and, tragically, coronavirus deaths) is increasing each day, with no direct antidote available yet. As we previously mentioned, it is also a time when people may be more tempted to drink; with anxiety surrounding social isolation.
Our advice is put health front and center during this critical time. Please obey the city mandates and practice social distancing. Beyond that, please take these warnings about increased alcohol consumption and reach out if help is needed.