How Does Drinking Alcohol Effect Your Arthritis?


Quick Answer

Drinking alcohol doesn't necessarily affect rheumatoid arthritis, but it does negatively interact with arthritis medications, states WebMD. Mixing rheumatoid arthritis medications with alcohol can lead to issues with the liver. There are also studies, however, that indicate moderate drinking could help the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

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Full Answer

Though there is evidence that drinking alcohol can slow the onset of rheumatoid arthritis and lower the severity, there are still health concerns associated with drinking alcohol, explains WebMD. The type of alcohol that works best in alleviating rheumatoid arthritis symptoms is not known, but mixing it with medications such as methotrexate and Arava can be dangerous.

Some patients with rheumatoid arthritis continue to drink alcohol when not on medications that interact with it, according to WebMD. However, these patients often substitute those medications with over-the-counter pain relievers. Too many pain relievers mixed with alcohol are damaging to the liver. The solution for those who have rheumatoid arthritis and wish to drink is to talk to a doctor. Some rheumatologists advise patients to refrain from alcohol completely, but others may suggest drinking alcohol in moderation. It may come down to drawing blood for a liver enzyme test and determining what is appropriate for a particular patient. If in doubt, however, experts recommend that patients with rheumatoid arthritis not drink until they speak with their doctor.

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