Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can have an impact on many areas of your life, including what you eat and drink. However, have you considered the effects of alcohol consumption on COPD?
Besides the potential interactions that can be caused when alcohol is mixed with your medications, alcohol can have an impact on your COPD symptoms. When you indulge in an alcoholic beverage, it can alter the mucociliary transport – one of the functions of your airways.
Here’s how it works:
- The tissue in the airways of your respiratory system are lined with a layer of mucus.
- To keep your airways clean, tiny hairs called cilia move back and forth quickly to move mucus through your airways.
- Particles you have inhaled, such as dust and dirt, are filtered out through this process.
When you drink, this process is inhibited which means that those particles cannot be cleared, leaving you more susceptible to lung infections. Since your COPD is already limiting your ability to breathe, a lung infection can be dangerous to your health.
Research on the effects of alcohol on COPD is still being done. If you do consume alcohol, it is still best to limit your intake. Not only can alcohol cause adverse reactions with some medications, but also it does not provide any nutritional value that cannot be obtained from other sources.
As always, you should discuss alcohol intake and changes to your diet with your physician.
Source: inhealth.cnn.com, Accessed: 11/21/17