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If you’re someone who likes to polish off a long day with a cold beer or a glass of wine, you may find yourself wondering what impact — if any — this has on your arthritic symptoms. Does drinking cause inflammation, and if so, where is the line drawn?

We’re going to look at two studies that dive into this topic here, and the answer is likely something that you’ve heard before — everything in moderation!

How bad is one glass of wine, anyway?

The thing is, with a quick Google search you can also find plenty of information out there claiming that alcoholic drinks can actually help you in certain ways. Studies have shown that a glass of red wine can actually be good for your heart, for example. Red wine also contains resveratrol, which has been shown to fight joint pain and inflammation.

And even NBC News jumped on the train to report on science-backed studies showing the health benefits of beer (beer does contain nutrients, after all, and might even lower your risk of diabetes. Count us good on the diabetes front).

But what about arthritis and alcohol? Is having a drink now and then something those of us with rheumatoid arthritis should be concerned about, or should we pop the cap and open the hatch? Here’s the lowdown on arthritis and alcohol — including a solid reason to raise a toast.

Alcohol consumption before developing arthritis

We’ll start off on a soft note. Arthritis.org reported that the occasional glass of wine or pint of beer can actually help to stave off the development of rheumatoid arthritis before it’s taken hold. They even got a scientist to back up the claim.

‘“Moderate alcohol consumption…reduces biomarkers of inflammation, including c-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and TNF-alpha receptor 2,” Karen Costenbader, MD, MPH, told the website. Dr. Costenbader is a rheumatologist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Moderation is, of course, important in this instance. If you binged during college, that doesn’t count as extra buffer against arthritis now that you have a few more years behind you. In fact, alcohol in excess will, in fact, make inflammation much worse.

Alcohol consumption after developing arthritis

The picture can be different if you’ve already developed arthritis and alcohol beckons for a post-work session of relaxation. If you have been prescribed medication by your doctor to treat your arthritis or any other condition, it is imperative that you follow the specific directions regarding consuming alcohol with those medications.

Often, prescribed medications work much more effectively when drinking isn’t in the picture at all.

If you aren’t currently taking medication, having one drink in a day likely isn’t a terrible undertaking (provided your doctor gives you the go-ahead, of course). But avoid excessive consumption because of the negative impacts it can have on many different parts of your body — and how that they, in turn, can impact your joint pain and inflammation.

One important factor to remember is how many other unhealthy things you do regularly. Because alcohol can compound negative effects of other substances or bad habits in addition to producing its own, try to keep your vices to a minimum.

It’s no secret that smoking is terrible for your health, and this is incredibly bad for those with arthritis. Some people have a tendency to smoke when drinking, therefore increasing the necessity to keep your drinking to a minimum.

Alcohol and arthritis: conclusion

The US National Library of Medicine published a study conducted on mice which suggested that chronic and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to osteoarthritic-type symptoms. Whether or not you have arthritis currently, adding these symptoms is certainly not the route you want to take. Keep it under control!

The good news is that Green Lipped Mussel Oil, which is an effective treatment for arthritis symptoms, does not come with any type of recommendation to remove beer or wine from your diet. Those of you that are our customers already and raise a toast to this, and if you haven’t given GLX3 a try you may be missing out on one of the most effective and affordable over-the-counter treatments for joint pain and inflammation.
Back to the topic at hand of alcohol and arthritis, the bottom line is moderation. In general, if you exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and keep your body loose, there’s no shame in enjoying a cold one as you settle in for the evening.