Imagine you are out with friends, enjoying a round of drinks. Suddenly, you are hit with a heavy head that has you feeling like you should lay down. The next morning comes along, and the hangover makes it all feel even worse. We feel pain like this as a response to our body attempting to process the toxic substance we have ingested. So Clearbrook asks the question: does alcohol cause inflammation?
Why Does Alcohol Cause Inflammation?
The simple answer is yes. Drinking often results in inflammation of the body. This can happen in any area, including your joints, brain, liver, stomach, and even the face. But what causes this to happen?
Well, alcohol itself can be considered a toxin, especially by our body’s natural immune systems. The damage it can cause is at all biological levels, whether it’s the organs, skin, or even cells. There are two kinds of inflammation caused by alcohol: acute and chronic.
Acute vs. Chronic Inflammation
Acute inflammation will take place immediately after consumption. Examples of this response include typical hangover symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and head pounding. Other signs of acute alcohol inflammation may be a puffy face, inflamed feet, and dehydration. Usually, some rest and a good meal will help manage these symptoms until they dissipate on their own. If they do not, it may lead to more chronic issues.
As the name suggests, chronic inflammation takes place when the body catches up to an unhealthy amount of alcohol it has been made to consume over an extended period. At this point, the body’s natural response to inflammation has shifted from trying to resolve the effects to intensify them.
An example of this is in the gut. Typically, an excess of bacteria will begin to form after consistent alcohol abuse. This overflow ends up as more bacterial waste like endotoxins, chemicals the body uses to signal more inflammation, repeating the cycle and worsening the body’s natural responses over time.
How to Treat Inflammation From Alcohol
If the inflammation continues to worsen, it may be a sign that your body is not able to keep up with the amount of alcohol the brain is craving. While drinking is a very popular social pastime, a dependence can very easily be formed, sometimes without the user even realizing it until it is too late. If these issues continue to be ignored, they will almost certainly develop into more severe issues over time. Therefore, treatment and management of these habits are important to start early on. If the craving for a drink persists despite the body’s clear signs it needs a break, it may be a sign of a bigger problem at play.
Our Pennsylvania rehab is equipped with a variety of services for patients at all stages of the recovery process. Before addiction treatment begins, our medical detox in PA is an excellent option for those looking to manage their withdrawal symptoms in a safe and supportive environment.