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Alcohol Use & Arthritis - How Alcohol Use Affects Arthritis Patients

Alcohol use is a known gout risk factor, can increase risk of osteoporosis (bone loss), and may add to weight gain. Learn more about how alcohol use may affect arthritis patients. Alcohol use is contraindicated for many medications, herbal remedies, and over-the-counter drugs. Talk to your doctor about alcohol use and your medications.
  1. A - Z: Arthritis Drugs
  2. A - Z: Diet / Exercise
  3. Drug Side Effects
  4. Gout
  5. Health Effects of Alcohol
  6. Herbal Remedies
  7. Osteoporosis
  8. Weight Control

Alcohol and Arthritis Medications
The labels on prescription medication bottles offer important warnings - medications and alcohol should not be mixed.

Doctor's Advice About Drinking Alcohol When Taking Arthritis Drugs
Alcohol may interact with arthritis medications. Prescription labels warn against the mix.

Alcohol Health Risks For Women: Greater Risks Than Male Counterparts
Women who abuse alcohol, or even occassionally drink to excess, face greater risks to their health than their male counterparts. Alcohol increases a woman's risk of developing serious illnesses and an increased risk of heart disease, liver disease, ulcers, reproductive problems, osteoporosis, pancreatitis, memory loss, and other illnesses.

Heavy Drinking Can Contribute to Bone Disease
Chronic and heavy drinking can inhibit the formation of new bone cells called osteoblast decreasing bone formation and leading to low bone mass.

Alcohol-Medication Interactions
Many medications can interact with alcohol, leading to increased risk of illness, injury, or death. For example, it is estimated that alcohol-medication interactions may be a factor in at least 25 percent of all emergency room admissions.

Alcohol and Pain Pills: Using Alcohol to Stop Pain Can Be Dangerous
The use of alcohol to lessen pain can cause problems, if the amount of alcohol used becomes "excessive" and, if it is used in conjunction with other pain-killing drugs. One problem is the body begins to build up a tolerance to the effects of alcohol.

Alcohol and Aging
Health care providers should discuss alcohol use with their older patients as a part of routine care. Advice to older patients should include the medical conditions common to older people, such as high blood pressure and ulcers, that can be worsened by drinking and over-the-counter and prescription drugs that can be dangerous, or fatal, when mixed with alcohol.

Drinkers Use Pain-Killers Despite Interactions
Despite warnings about interactions between alcohol and narcotic pain relievers, a study suggests many people taking these drugs continue to drink, in some cases heavily.

Alcohol and Sleep
Alcohol consumption can induce sleep disorders by disrupting the sequence and duration of sleep states and by altering total sleep time as well as the time required to fall asleep (i.e., sleep latency).

Study: Drinking Alcohol Associated with Obesity
The authors suggest several possible reasons why alcohol affects weight.

Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol With Medicines
Mixing alcohol with certain medicines (including over–the–counter drugs and herbal remedies) can cause nausea; vomiting; headaches; drowsiness; fainting; loss of coordination; and put you at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and breathing difficulties. Alcohol can decrease the effectiveness of a medicine or make it totally ineffective, from NIAAA.

Alcohol and Gout: The Clinical Bottom Line
Compared with people without gout, those who do have gout drink more alcohol. Alcohol consumption in regular users increases serum uric acid concentrations. People with gout should probably avoid alcohol, from Bandolier.

Alcohol and Other Factors Affecting Osteoporosis Risk in Women
There is evidence that moderate alcohol consumption may protect bone. But studies clearly indicate that chronic heavy drinking, particularly during adolescence and the young adult years, can dramatically compromise bone quality and may increase osteoporosis risk. Research shows that the effects of heavy alcohol use on bone cannot be reversed, even if alcohol consumption is stopped, from NIAAA.

Effects of Alcohol Use and Estrogen on Bone
In marked contrast with men who drink, women who drink alcohol are found, as a group, to have higher bone mass compared with women who abstain. The apparent beneficial effects of alcohol use are more apparent in postmenopausal women than women of reproductive age, suggesting that there might be an interaction between alcohol and estrogen, from NIAAA.

Alcohol May Protect Against Rheumatoid Arthritis
Further studies are needed to assess the role of alcohol in various rheumatoid diseases, but a study investigating alcohol-related deaths among patients with rheumatoid arthritis with encouraging results, from Aim-Digest.

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