Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 SUE, Community Member, asks

Q: My friend has ms and drinks 6 beers/day at least How does it effect her ms

Does heavy drinking effect ms and how? My best friend is a heavy drinker and claims she only has 6 beers a day. I think she drinks more but she'll never tell the truth. She claims she told her doctor and he says it is ok. I am sure 6 beers a day is not ok with any doctor but who knows I may be wrong? What are the dangers if any with ms . I have noticed a major decrease in her health and have suggested help but she has to do it for herself. So if anyone has any info on this PLEASE LET ME KNOW

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Answers (2)
Merely Me, Health Guide
10/22/08 3:04pm

Hey Sue


Hmm...a doctor who says six beers a day is A-okay huh?  Perhaps he also has doctor friends named Jim Beam or Jack Daniels.  Just kidding.  I just can't imagine a doctor giving the okay for the six beers a day either. sounds like you are very worried about your friend.  You know and I know that the beer drinking is probably not the best thing for her to be doing but I honestly don't think you can scare her or inform her out of her actions.  Mostly likely she is attempting to self medicate her symptoms and/or depression. 


But your question is what does drinking do to a person who has MS.  I didn't have to search long to find a forum thread where people talk about this very thing.  Here is that thread where some people with MS talk about developing an aversion to alcohol as it makes them feel worse.


I also found an article discussing a case study of alcohol abuse in a patient who has MS.


From what I have read, it seems that alcohol does exacerbate MS symptoms.  I already can have issues with gait, balance, speech, and so on and if you add can be dangerous.  I have also heard that it is easier to get drunk faster when you have MS.


I am thinking that if your friend could get a good doctor who would treat her MS symptoms and including any depression if she has it...that she wouldn't need the six beers a day self treatment.  As a friend you can tell her these things and say that you are really concerned about her.  But you are right that it ultimately will be up to her as to what she chooses to do from now on. 


In my humble opinion....she could get hurt or injured if she is intoxicated and has MS symptoms.  I am not drinking and I fall down with my MS (see my latest video post).


You are a good and caring friend.  Let's hope your friend listens to what you have to tell her. 


Good luck and tells us how things go. 

Terry, Community Member
7/19/09 1:22pm

6 beers a day is an awful lot. I do have MS and drink beer also.  Once I have one or two it does make me a little more relaxed.  I would say if I was (and I have) gone as far as drink four or five beers it seems to exagerate the symptoms. Very awkward, stumbling, slurring.  After all both alcohol and MS attack the nervous system.  I can see why your friend enjoys a drink or two but as her friend I would at least suggest she do it in moderation. 

JohnCE, Community Member
12/29/08 2:50am
Merely Me has it correctly. Unless you friend is not coming clean or just loves to drink, I know my late father did, the only reason I have ever heard of a doctor suggesting to drink beer was to flush out the kidneys since she had a history of kidney stones. If drinking helped, I guess I would have never had MS, if it did I would start today...God Bless...John Reply
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By SUE, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/24/14, First Published: 10/22/08