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booze-am I self-medicating?

643 Views 19 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Sage Hen
This is a totally serious question,with some sort of medical theory behind it,I'm sure8) Anyway,I have noticed that if I drink small amunts of alcohol I definitely feel better.I have less joint pain and my fatigue isn't as bad.I have heard that alcohol depresses the immune system so I wondered if anyone else had noticed the same?Well,that's my theory and I'm sticking to it:rotfl:
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Booze makes people feel better period, unless they drink to excess of course ;)

I rather doubt that drinking a little, here and there, can depress the immune system enough to actually *treat* SLE or any other autoimmune disorder. If you drink frequently, the nights you go without it may be some sort of "withdrawal" period which makes you feel worse.

Along the same lines, eating sugar depresses the immune system as well. Yet I've never noticed anything but my mood being a bit happier from eating chocolate! And if I eat a lot of sugar, I actually find myself feeling worse than better...
I think anything in moderation which we enjoy makes us feel better..

You of course have to be careful with meds etc....
but as my mum always says,a bit of what you fancy does you good !
I admit to enjoying a glass of wine with my dinner but not if I'm taking alot of painkillers etc. Yes it does make me feel better, helps the muscle pain and I fall asleep easier. I suppose in a way it numbs the nerve endings.

However, and I'm not trying to put a dampner on things this is only my experience. I did go through a phase early last year when outwardly everyone (including my friends here) thought I was doing fine but inwardly I just wasn't coping with my diagnosis and what was happening to my body. I told people I was fine but in my head I wasn't so my means of escape was a bottle of wine once or twice a week.

Thankfully it didn't last long and I knocked it on the head. When I started to feel well around May last year I realised how stupid I'd been and what it could have led to. My mum has a drink problem and it's always in the back of my mind. When I think back it was probably a form of depression. I can imagine that it must be so easy to slide down such a slippery slope when suffering from a chronic illness.

Wow! That was cleansing :calm:


Pam xxx
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You really need to talk to your physician about drinking alcohol while being on prescription meds. Sometimes they interfere with the medications and sometimes those interferences can be dangerous.

You mentioned that you are/were depressed. Have you spoke with your physician about your depression? There are so many different medications out there on the market that there is no reason that you should suffer thru this without anything.

Of course as the others have mentioned everything in mderation. If your physician says that it is ok to drink with your meds, then again please do not over indulge yourself. Do also talk to your doc about the alcoholism in your family, it is important that he be aware. My brother is an alcohol and it seems that all the medical forms these days ask about alot of family history as it is important for them to know how to properly treat.

I do wish you the best and know that we are always here for you. We have all been there done that and are so willing to help our extended family members as well.

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Hi Nancy I think your reply was to me rather than Julsie :)

I think my post sounded more serious than I meant it. I am only talking about having no more than 2 glasses of wine with my dinner occasionally at the weekend not every single day. I am currently only taking Plaq and I don't believe there is any issues with that. When I was taking NSAID's regularly I didn't drink at all and as my meds are about to change significantly the strongest thing I'll have is an espresso (I'm a bit of a scaredy cat anyway :unsure: )

The period I went through last year lasted around 6 weeks and yes I probably should have spoken to someone but that is not something that comes naturally to me. I did have the support of my hubby and we got through it.

Thanks for your concern Nancy, it is appreciated. :foryou:

Hugz, :hug:

Pam xxx
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Your post has helped me, I'm currently on a low and one a couple of glasses of wine a night and know this is not the answer. Like you I'm not good at talking to people but I've made an appt to see my doc as I want to stop the bad habit

Thanks again
Good for you Rachel! I stay away from all alcohol because of all the meds I take, but I think for all of us, with the Lupus tending to cause depression, that alcohol can be a slippery slope. Believe me, there's a lot of times I wish I could have a good rum punch. :) I have a friend who has alcoholics in the family and it is very normal for her to ALWAYS have 1 - 3 drinks to relax when she feels uptight. Yet since she doesn't do it daily she feels she is okay.
Hi Julsie,

I'm like you, afte taking my evening meds and waiting a couple of hours i realize in order to get to sleep i need something to take the edge off.

Since i refuse to take any narcotics (i don't like the way they make me feel) and don't take any Nsaids, i get my glass of rum to ease the pain and to relax me.

I take it around 11pm when i know i'm headed for bed.

My liver and kidney have been tested twice this year and everything is fine.

With all the blood work both of my doctors have taken from me i'm sure they see the alcohol in my system but no one has ever said anything to me about it in 2 yrs.

Like any narcotic it can be additive,,, you can also over dose if you are not careful. Plus if you take narcotics the addition of alcohol can be deadly.

Since us lupies pay a lot of attention to what our bodies are telling us we should be able to determine when enough is enough.

In short, i'll take a glass of rum over any vicodin or hydrocodone any day.

This is personal information i chose to share with all of you. This is not in any way advice or suggestions on drinking alcohol.

Alcohol and painkillers are a deadly mix.

Please be safe in taking you meds.
Consult your physician on any issues concerning this matter.

Take Care
Good Luck
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I suppose I'm lucky in the way that I have not been diagnosed yet but unlucky in the way that because of that I don't have any painkillers/meds.I can only tolerate one or two glasses of wine now or I feel ill.I'm such a 'go lightly',I used to be able to drink anyone under the table:rotfl:
Maia,I have wondered if it is a withdrawal effect when I don't have a drink,the pain in my hands is excruciating if I don't have a small drink.So anyway,I drink most nights but not every night and it helps the pain and fatigue so I think I will have to force myself to carry on:)

I was doing the same as Pam until I understood what was wrong with me. It helped me not care about the aches and pains and it helped me to sleep. It also served as a treat.

After diagnosis and medication I rarely drink any alcohol at all. It was definitely the diagnosis and all the meds that stopped me, but I was beginning to gain weight too! There are more than one or two calories in a bottle of red!

This now means that if I do have more than 1 glass of wine (only drink red) I get the most horrendous hang over the next day, despite having a better than average night's sleep, and the hang over seems to have a nasty habit of turning into a headache that can linger for days. It really does leave me feeling poisoned.

It seemed mad to continue since I now take medication daily to prevent migraine. It was a 'no brainer' to stop quick sharp.

If I did not get these 'side effects' I would see nothing wrong with having a small glass each night when Ii don't really need my pain killers. But i would miss odd nights to make sure i was not becoming dependent on the stuff to get to sleep.

The problem is, it is getting very difficult to buy 'small glasses' - they all seem to hold at least half a bottle or even more these days!
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Your right alwin,, the calories from a glass of wine will have you gaining tons of weight before you know it. Thatis why i drink rum,, no calories and a diet coke with no calories makes a good mix.

Again consult your doctor before drinking any alcohol
Really?is that true?crikey,rum here I come!:rotfl:

I've never tasted rum in my life, but i've a sneaking suspicion i'd be flat on my back after even one!

Apparently, vodka, lime and soda is only 1 point in the weight watcher diets.

In my opinion it's 'orrible!
I used to be able to drink alcohol, now it is not possible with my meds and my new dx's.
I think in moderation it is okay. If it is okay with your meds then I say go for it. I think if it becomes where you can't go without then you may have a problem. I think wine is best for you overall. Vodka is calorie free, but rum has calories. Rum is yummy, and if you drink with caffeine free diet coke then it would be okay I think. You don't want to do the "hard stuff". It is harder on the body. I used to love my tequila and Margaritas on Friday nights, but it did not love my Gerd:lol: I would have such bad heartburn from the acidicty of it all. I do miss drinking that is for sure, but I now enjoy jelly bellies instead(IN MODERATION of course).
This is a great topic though.

Take Care,
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Howdy Folks

Just to let everyone know that there are calories in all alcoholic drinks, vodka, gin, rum. whiskey, etc.

Slightly away from the point, I know, but there you go!.... Sorry to be the party pooper :p

Luv n stuff
You see - that's my cousin telling me lies about weight watchers.

She clearly wants to lose weight faster than me.


I just wanted to touch on a few things that you mentioned that made me think. You said that your doctors have never said anything to you even though they see the lad results. They won't see your potental alcohol levels as the only way to find that out is thru a special test. It is definately not a common one that is ordered.

The second one is and please do not take this wrong at all. I realize that you take some rum to bed as opposed to narcotics etc and by all means that is your choice. However, if you do this every night before bed your body will become dependent on that "drug" and then eventually it will take a little more and then a little more as your body will come to tolerate it and need more in order for the body to meet that relaxation point that it is used to.

I by NO WAY am trying to be mean or going against your methods. I just want you to be aware and to please inform your physician of your choice of drugs for night time. Again, I do not want to been mean or anything, I just to make sure that you are ok.

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I find that when i have a drink of alcohol i get very red in the face and raised whelts appear. I burn up and feel a bit strange! This does die down but hey what a reaction!!!!
I always, had the same reaction to alcohol as Netty..I guess, some allergic reaction.

:) Sandy
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