Drink A Lot? You May Not Heal So Well

This probably something you've never thought about but did you ever wonder why wounds don't heal well if you drink, well, a lot?

A new study has found that people who are injured while binge drinking are much slower to heal from wounds suffered in car accidents, shootings, fires, etc.

Newswise.com reports that bingeing on alcohol reduces levels of key components of the immune system involved in healing.

In the United States, alcohol dependence and/or abuse affects 20 percent to 40 percent of hospitalized patients, according to the Web site. Alcohol increases the risk of infections in the hospital, including surgical site infections. Patients with surgical-site infections are hospitalized for twice as long, have a higher rate of re-admission and are twice as likely to die as patients who did not binge drink.
The study showed, for the first time, that binge alcohol exposure reduces the amount of white blood cells that chew up bacteria and debris. This defect, in part, makes the wound more likely to be infected by bacteria, never a good thing.
The study also found that binge alcohol exposure impaired the production of a protein that recruits blood cells to the wound site.
“Together these effects likely contribute to delayed wound closure and enhanced infection severity observed in intoxicated patients,” researchers concluded.
The study involved animals exposed to three days of alcohol consumption, followed by four days without alcohol, followed by three more days of binge alcohol exposure. The binge alcohol exposures were equivalent to roughly twice the legal limit for driving.


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