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“Alcohol numbs all kinds of pain,” “Alcohol makes you forget everything and relax.” You might have heard these kinds of benefits of alcohol from alcoholics. Of course, anyone practicing alcoholism will only say such positive things about it. Although it is true to some extent that it makes you feel no pain, it is not a permanent solution to get addicted to.

Even if it is an occasional sip or alcohol abuse, gulping down this cultured liquid can do a lot of damage to our body, slowly without even our notice. So let’s understand the effects of alcohol on the human body and what are its effects on joints especially.

What exactly does alcohol do to our body?

Alcohol acts as nothing but an analgesic drug in our body. It simply decreases the activity of nerves within the brain which makes us sleepy. Excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, mental health problems and even cancer.

How alcohol contributes to joint pain?

We all know that alcohol consumption affects the liver, kidney, nervous and cardiovascular systems but very few know about its contribution to joint pain. Alcohol numbs the sensation of pain coming from the joints giving relief for a short period of time.

With our joints being used constantly, its cartilages are wearing away day by day and with the consumption of alcohol, the cartilages become thin and start disappearing in no time. Also, alcohol causes dehydration and lack of fluid between joints cause stiffness which makes the symptoms of arthritis even worse.

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Alcohol multiplies the pain, inflammation or swelling that occur in joint-related conditions like;

  • celiac disease
  • fibromyalgia
  • gout
  • lupus
  • musculoskeletal conditions
  • non-celiac gluten sensitivity
  • osteoarthritis (OA)
  • other types of arthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Effects of alcohol on human health

  • There are certain components or chemicals present in alcohol which when mixed with medications can cause heart attack, rise in blood pressure, shortness of breath, dizziness etc.
  • Alcohol impairs the immune system making it more difficult for the body to heal itself, which is why people with joint pain due to any injuries, sprain or fall, take longer to heal.
  • Lack of sleep, improper eating due to alcohol abuse cause deficiency of nutrients in the body, amplifying the joint pain.
  • Alcohol abuse over the course of several years can cause the death of the bone tissue where the lack of blood supply causes the bone tissue to die off causing the bone to collapse.
  • Alcohol gives birth to depression, anxiety, which are very harmful to people living with joint pain because the mind plays a major role in it.
  • Alcohol is full of carbohydrates and empty calories which means weight gain. The more the weight on your knees, the more the chances are of developing chronic knee joint pain.

Alcohol is not just bad for your joints but overall health. Cutting the habit of it permanently from your life is something one must do even if not suffering from any joint-related condition as to why trigger something which is not there?