Alcohol and Arthritis?


Hi all. I’m wondering what experiences people have had of cutting out alcohol on their arthritis pain? I admit I have begun to drink too much this past year, often to ‘cheer me up’ because of my arthritis but of course this isn’t the answer.

Is there any evidence to show that alcohol is bad for arthritis even in moderate amounts?

Any views most welcome!


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742

    From what I've found most advice for diet and arthritis is just to eat healthily, and keep your weight down as best you can. I've never seen advice that advocates any specific foods or supplements that are "good" or "bad" for arthritis, other than anecdotal comments from individual sufferers who have found some things that work for them, or people peddling "miracle cures".

    My greater concern with alcohol was its effect on the drugs we take. There are too many stories of rock stars who inadvertently died from a toxic mix of alcohol and prescription pain killers. It's likely it happens to us mere mortals too, it just doesn't make the national news.

    I had a quick google (NHS site) and they say moderate alcohol intake is ok for over the counter pain relief (eg paracetamol) but if on prescription pain killers, as I am, it will make the drowsiness worse, which is a problem in itself. I also read that it increases the risk of bleeds if on anti-inflammatories. So I basically stopped drinking when my problems kicked off at the start of the pandemic. Just one or two glasses a week now at the most, but oddly I find I've lost the taste for it and no longer enjoy it anyway. I've never been a heavy drinker (one glass a day?) but despite doing almost no exercise over the last 12 months, I lost over a stone this way along with reducing other empty calories such as sweets and snacks. Sadly I put it all back on again when I went back to work, and now realise I comfort eat when I'm stressed!

    Another issue may be you drink to the point that it affects your balance, (which tbh any level of alcohol has the potential to do) and we can ill afford falls when our joints are ruined anyway.

    If not drinking at all is too horrible to contemplate, moderate it as much as possible, but from what I've read it doesn't make the arthritis better or worse.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I am on Morphine so I have not had an alcoholic drink since 2005, apparently mixing the two can kill, there was even an Agatha Christie novel where someone was murdered by mixing morphine with alcohol!!

  • Sandman33
    Sandman33 Member Posts: 13

    Thanks both for your comments and input. I agree with you both particularly as I am on Morphine and Codeine painkillers. How I get round the issue is another matter.

    I was in the RAF for a v long time and have spent 6 months away in the Middle Eadt without a drop of alcohol so I do know it’s easily done where you have to/want to and I also lost a good 1.5 stone without trying...

    I think for me it’s trying to stay positive when things appear to be disappearing because of arthritis. But for now I will try and moderate my intake.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742

    It is hard letting go of things you feel make you who you are, or that give so much pleasure. There will be a grieving process along with that, but for everything you give up, try to find something new to replace it. It can really help x

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,487

    Moderation is good @Sandman33

    I totally agree and so much better for our health and waistlines!!hehe!

    Other than that you hear such conflicting stories in the has anti-inflammatory wine is good for your heart etc etc...I think a little of what you enjoy is probably ok unless it says not to on your medication leaflets🙂

    Oh yes and if you have gout I think it's a problem with gout.

    Post lockdown beer bellies need to go😁