• Healthy Immune System: Binge Drinking Depresses

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    unnamedAlcohol depresses your central nervous system. In some people, the initial reaction may be stimulation. But as you continue to drink, you become sedated. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and affects your thoughts, emotions and judgment.

    Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination and vital centers of your brain. A heavy drinking binge may even cause a life-threatening coma or death.

    Binge drinking in young, healthy adults significantly disrupts the immune system, according to a study led by a researcher now at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

    Depending on their weight, study participants drank four or five shots of vodka. Twenty minutes after reaching peak intoxication, their immune systems revved up. But when measured again, at two hours and five hours after peak intoxication, their immune systems had become less active than when sober.

    In addition to increasing the risk of traumatic injuries, binge drinking impairs the body's ability to recover from such injuries. Previous studies have found, for example, that binge drinking delays wound healing, increases blood loss and makes patients more prone to pneumonia and infections from catheters. Binge drinkers also are more likely to die from traumatic injuries. The study led by Dr. Afshar illustrates another potentially harmful effect of binge drinking

    Drinkers generally understand how binge drinking alters …

    This is dangerous for a couple of reasons: Not only will your body be less capable of fighting an incoming infection (like when someone sneezes on you) or one you’re already battling, but you’ll also have a tougher time healing if you get hurt while drunk (like tripping in heels and skinning your knee). For more details on how exactly vodka, tequila, etc., trip up your immune system, see Ask the Diet Doctor: Alcohol and Immunity. Start 2015 healthy and keep it (somewhat) moderate tomorrow night—a previous study in animals found that a little bit of alcohol may actually give your immunity a boost.

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