MS and alcohol tend not to mix very well, due to the effects both have on the human body. The combination of Multiple Sclerosis and alcohol intake can cause symptoms to become exaggerated to the point of being dangerous. Symptoms of MS include slurred speech, a lack of coordination, poor judgment, impaired thinking, and a loss of balance. Alcohol can have the same effect on a perfectly healthy person. When these symptoms are already present in an individual with MS, exacerbating them by consuming alcohol is only part of the problem. Multiple Sclerosis and alcohol consumption can also cause trouble with a number of medications used to treat MS.
Individuals taking clonazepam, diazepam, baclofen, and certain antidepressant drugs should avoid alcohol. Excessive drinking can also lead to damaged organs, which is simply another problem MS patients can do without. For individuals with MS who like to enjoy an occasional drink, discussing current meds and how they react to alcohol is wise.
Smoking with MS and alcohol consumption
Smoking tobacco products has been connected to serious health issues over the years. The Surgeon General posts warnings on packages of cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco-related items for people to heed. Excessive smoking has been linked to lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and low birth weight in infants. Adding the possibilities of having any of these types of ailments occur isn’t something a person with MS desires to happen.
Tobacco products could also be somewhat of a fire hazard for an individual with MS. An MS patient who continues to be an avid smoker might get to the point when successfully managing a lit cigarette or cigar becomes difficult. It’s possible for hot ashes to fall and burn the individual or set fire to a surrounding area if the person has severely limited mobility or has lost a large amount of coordination over the course of time.
A study in Norway reported that smokers actually had an increased risk of developing MS at some point in life. Information to support this claim was published in a journal in 2005. The only thing smoking doesn’t seem to do is contribute to the impairment a person with MS is already experiencing. However, an individual who mixes MS and alcohol with smoking could be greatly increasing the chances of experiencing bodily harm. Multiple Sclerosis and alcohol should definitely be discussed with a physician before any consumption takes place.