With the reality of the coronavirus pandemic apparent in our daily lives, Recovery Road Medical Center and treatment team wish you to stay safe and remind you of the importance of looking at this challenging time as an opportunity to reexamine what’s important to you and your loved ones.
It’s important to remember that we have inner strength and in crises like this, it is the time to be strong and look toward being resilient.
A reminder of simple, important facts
- The most important factor in dealing with the virus is to make sure that your immune system is at the highest level of readiness which can be achieved by sleeping well, being well nourished, and well hydrated. A lot of people in this anxious time might turn to alcohol in order to help ease some of their anxiety but unfortunately alcohol will interfere with sleep which is very important for our immune system. Alcohol is also a diuretic and will reduce your level of hydration and interfere with the body’s immune system.
- Drinking alcohol affects the way health gut microbes interact with the immune system. What happens is that alcohol disrupts the gut barrier, allowing more bacteria to pass into the blood. These rogue bacteria can cause inflammation in the liver and may lead to liver damage.
- Alcohol doesn’t just affect the function of the digestive tract, it also affects the respiratory system. Excessive drinking may impair the function of immune cells in the lungs and upper respiratory system, leading to increased risk for pneumonia, tuberculosis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS. Because the immunity of the mucus is impaired in both the lungs and digestive tract, any disease can become more severe
- Finally, excessive drinking reduces the number and function of three important kinds of cells in your immune system – macrophages, T and C cells. Macrophages are the first line of defense against any disease. They eat anything that’s not supposed to be there, including cancerous cells, and they sound the alarm if pathogens are present.
Alcoholism and addiction won’t disappear during the pandemic or as a product of social distancing. If you or a loved one want to speak with one of our counselors, let us know.