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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Alcohol abuse

05/31/2004

Question:

my husband drinks brandy straight and chases it with a beer 7 days a week from sunup to sundown. Can this cause a bacteria infection. he has swelling in his testicles and pressure in his lower stomach and constantly going to the bathroom to urinate. he went to the doctor, he was told there was a probability that he had chlaymadia, he called the next day for the results and was told that he did not have chalaymadia but that he had a bacteria infection. Can his heavy drinking cause this problem, also, his white cell count was very high. Can the alcohol be contributing to this problem. Thank you for any information you can give me. His drinking problem causes him to be very negative and vulgar, it also seems that he can`t make up his mind on something it seems to change from one second to the next.

Answer:

Alcohol and drugs of abuse weaken the immune system and consequently make the person more vulnerable to acquire infections. However, alcohol, as a substance itself, does not cause infection. I would recommend that this issue be brought to the attention of the physician (s) providing care for your husband.

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Response by:

Omar   Elhaj, MD Omar Elhaj, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University