Is There a Connection Between Alcohol and Anemia

Drinking and the resultant lack of oxygen are particularly harmful to pregnant women whose babies could be born small and deformed, he said. The hemolytic crises prompted by alcoholic binges are poorly understood. Long-term alcohol abuse can introduce serious and even fatal health problems. These include liver disease, cancer, heart failure, stroke, and pancreatitis.

  • Heavy drinking, even when it is not chronic, can lead to defects in red blood cell production and cause anemia.
  • Methods used can include alcohol avoidance, changes in diet, medication, supplements, or surgery.
  • Evidence suggests that alcohol is one of the most common causes of pancreatitis.
  • As a general rule of thumb, men should not regularly drink more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol per day, while women should not regularly drink more than 2 to 3 units.

Stopping alcohol use will be the best way to prevent folic acid deficiency anemia. Acquired CSA often affects people who have myelodysplastic syndrome. People may also develop CSA because they were exposed to metals including lead, minerals including zinc, or take certain medications. People may also develop acquired CSA if something affects their bodies’ ability to use copper. Alcohol abuse creates an internal environment that predisposes individuals to malnutrition.

Early intervention is essential for the best patient outcomes. If you’re going for a mixed drink, you may also want to consider how the added sugar may impact your health. High blood sugar levels have been shown to increase your anemia risk. Chronic alcohol consumption is when someone drinks eco sober house price even when it interferes with their everyday life, according to The Mayo Clinic. Sometimes, those who struggle with alcohol abuse isolate themselves from their family members and friends. They may also become withdrawn from others because of depression and other emotional problems.

Dual diagnosis occurs when an addiction to drugs or alcohol is accompanied by a mental or emotional disorder. As some mental and emotional disorders can hinder a successful recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, seeking help for the disorder is vital to overcoming the addiction. Free by the Sea, we are proud to work with individuals who need help with substance misuse disorders. Our Washington facility provides residential and intensive outpatient treatments after the detox process has been completed. Our calm and relaxing environment makes it easier to deal with alcohol problems.

Getting an alcoholic into treatment and addressing the physical and emotional symptoms of alcoholism is a person’s best bet to reverse the effects of alcohol-related anemia. When people hear the term “heavy drinking”, they may think of someone who is constantly under the influence of alcohol, unable to manage their day-to-day lives. This is sometimes the case in the lives of those who suffer from alcoholism. As a result, the signs of alcoholism or heavy drinking problems may differ from person to person.

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Altered phosphorylation of vitamin B6 in alcoholic patients induced by oral administration of alcohol . Hematologic effects of alcohol in man in the absence of nutritional deficiency. Clinical determination of the sites of red cell sequestration in hemolytic anemias. Reversible megaloblastic and sideroblastic marrow abnormalities in alcoholic patients. Now it should be said that, depending on your iron levels, this could be a good or bad thing. Although it was a short stay at Discovery, I feel I got a lot out of meetings, commitments, feed back, and advice from my family.

This leads to low blood counts including red cells, white cells and platelets. Platelets are the main cells involved in the clotting process. Coupled with the loss of clotting proteins from liver disease, low platelets put liver disease patients at high risk for bleeding. Red cells are the main cells in the blood that carry oxygen from the lungs to the parts of the body, and low red cell count can lead to anemia. White cells are the primary cells involved in fighting infections. About six to 28 percent of American adults engage in risky or unhealthy alcohol use.

The patient was managed with supportive treatment and blood transfusions which improved his anemia. However, given his advanced liver disease, he developed encephalopathy and subsequently severe aspiration pneumonia. Each year, tobacco use is responsible for approximately 8 million deaths worldwide . Tobacco use is known to have effects on haematological parameters such as haemoglobin level and coagulability. It has been found that smokers have a significantly higher level of haemoglobin, haematocrit, MCHC and total and differential leucocyte counts . It has also been shown that the increase in haemoglobin level is correlated positively with the duration of smoking.

We offer alcohol detox and treatment programs to address both the physical and psychological challenges of addiction. Although we offer faith-based recovery programs, our program welcomes people of all faith and non-faith backgrounds. Haematological parameters have been widely studied in population of opioid users. Literature reveals that chronic use of opioids alters the blood homeostasis via effects on the hematologic series . Alcohol also damages the bone marrow, where blood cells are made.

Second, alcohol abuse can damage the digestive system, which makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from food. Finally, heavy alcohol use can also lead to liver damage, which can make it hard for the liver to process nutrients properly. Infants and young children born with sideroblastic anemia may have life-threatening medical issues stemming from iron overload. Adults who develop sideroblastic anemia may develop heart disease or cirrhosis.

Anemic symptoms include:

Low folate levels are the most common cause of low red blood cell count in hospitalized alcoholics. Heavy alcohol drinking is more commonly responsible for macrocytosis. Anemia is another possible physical effect of alcohol abuse and heavy drinking. People who drink excessively may develop this blood cell deficiency. And living with alcoholism and anemia can be very challenging for those who suffer from both of these issues.

Chronic alcohol drinking can increase your risk for developing cancer. The body converts the alcohol you drink into acetaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen . Cancers often found in heavy drinkers include those of the mouth, pharynx , larynx , esophagus, liver, breast, and colorectal region. Many heavy drinkers also smoke, which further increases cancer risk. Many people know that heavy drinking can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and is a leading cause of automobile accidents. But did you know chronic drinking can also lead to cancer and heart attack?

can alcohol cause anemia

Excessive alcohol intake can damage multiple organs, result in the development of chronic conditions, and increase the risk of dangerous accidents. If a person is aware that they have an alcohol dependency problem, they should seek treatment from professional services and contact support groups for additional help. ”But the good news is that damage is transient and reversible,” he said.

Alcohol’s Effect on Red Blood Cells

It has also been linked to cancer of the pancreas, breast, liver, colon, esophagus, head and neck. There is a clear link between heavy alcohol use and many types of cancers. Alcohol can damage the cells in your mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus. It can lead to cancers in your liver, breast, and intestines.

can alcohol cause anemia

Some individuals also experience an irregular heartbeat and cold hands and feet. As families begin to suffer financially because of their loved one’s drinking habits, these individuals also begin to suffer emotionally and mentally. It can be difficult for family members and to understand what their loved ones are experiencing. So, many times, families become emotionally separated because of the negative effects of alcoholism. Sadly, it’s common for those who have alcohol use problems to also suffer financial hardship. Since the body becomes highly dependent on alcohol after continued use, it can be hard for individuals to resist getting ahold of more alcohol in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.


Vitamins C and E as well as the mineral zinc may also help with white blood cell production and immune function. And the rest of those critical components of your blood, like the white blood cells and platelets, are also negatively impacted by too much alcohol. Ferritin, a form of iron stored in the body, can exceed 10,000 milligrams per liter in those who are struggling with alcoholism and alcohol-related conditions, such as hepatitis. Under normal conditions, ferritin levels are below 1,000 milligrams per liter. Alcohol can cause anemia, specifically a type of anemia called alcohol macrocytic anemia.

  • These nutritional deficiencies can result in anemia due to a decrease in the number of red blood cells produced by the body as well as impaired RBC function and metabolism.
  • And, if the body isn’t able to get the iron it needs, the individual may experience symptoms such as exhaustion and fatigue, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
  • Although this may partly be due to poor dietary choices, the inefficient metabolism of nutrients likely also plays a role.
  • The study found that people who abused alcohol were more likely to develop iron deficiency anemia.
  • One way alcohol consumption can affect nutrition status is by displacing healthier foods from the diet.
  • Hyperbilirubinemia in ZS is usually severe as seen in our patient with maximum bilirubin level up to 41.

These drugs can be consumed either by inhalation, injection, or by ingestion. Alcohol and Substance use changes the body functions by influencing endogenous constituents of the bodies . Long-term use of these addictive substances leads to serious damage to the nervous system and internal organs. Moreover, illicit drug uses are commonly linked with aplastic anaemia, bone marrow repression and variety of systemic disorders . Hence, early diagnosis of these disorders and identification of the complications they result in is important.


Let’s say your body’s a warehouse and iron is the packages being carried in and out of it. Hepcidin, in this example, would be the inventory manager keeping track of all the boxes, and one of its jobs is to make sure the warehouse doesn’t get overwhelmed. Call our confidential hotline to speak with an addiction specialist now. When I first arrived at the Discovery Institute I didn’t have gratitude or acceptance.

Heavy alcohol consumption affects iron metabolism, leading to deficiencies. Low iron levels in the bloodstream may increase your risk of developing anemia, a condition that causes extreme fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath, among other symptoms. There are many different types of anemia, each with its own cause. The most common type of anemia is iron-deficiency anemia, which happens when your body doesn’t have enough iron. Iron is a mineral that helps make hemoglobin, a part of red blood cells that carries oxygen. It can be a short-term or a long-term problem, depending on the cause.

Alcohol-related brain damage can mirror some symptoms of dementia, like poor judgment and difficulty in decision-making. Heavy alcohol drinking over a long period of time may result in Korsakoff’s syndrome, a condition in which people may suffer short-term memory loss. In addition, heavy eco sober house cost drinking may result in nutritional deficiencies that can also lead to symptoms of dementia. Nutritional deficiencies are common with excessive alcohol use. Although this may partly be due to poor dietary choices, the inefficient metabolism of nutrients likely also plays a role.