Effect of alcohol on blood and urine tests

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 19.06.2018

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Each of us has to take tests. They surrender for different purposes: someone needs to be prevented, someone - for regular medical examination, for the preparation of certificates and medical books. Someone - for a full diagnosis and determine further treatment. Whatever the purpose of the study, it should not be treated with disdain. We must carefully prepare for analysis, exclude all the moments that can affect the result. In the rhythm of modern life, we often forget about the  effect of alcohol on tests.  Sometimes, after receiving a referral, in the evening we go with friends to relax, relax, where often, we want that or not, but forget about analyzes. The fact that alcohol can affect the tests, many remember only in the morning, on the eve of the test.

Any analysis aims to determine the indices of those basic processes that occur in the body. Thanks to this you can analyze the situation. If the results of the tests are normal - you can not worry, but if the results go beyond the norm, there is the opportunity to deliver a timely diagnosis and take appropriate measures. In any case, the accuracy of the diagnosis depends on the accuracy of the diagnosis, and, accordingly, the success of further treatment. Having received the wrong results, you can miss the pathology, thus launching the disease, making it chronic and severe. Therefore, if there was a noisy party in the evening, or you relaxed and allowed yourself to drink even a small amount of alcohol, it is better to postpone the trip to the laboratory. It is necessary to wait 1-3 days, and only after that to hand over analyzes, being assured of reliability of their results.

How does alcohol affect the tests?

Alcoholic drinks affect the main chemical-biological processes in the body. Accordingly, the results change. In order to obtain correct and reliable results, it is necessary to exclude alcohol in about 2-3 days.

For each type of study, ethanol affects differently. In the first place, blood tests, biological secretions are changing. In general, there is a sharp increase in lactate in the body, various types of metabolism are being broken, in particular, the exchange of vitamins and trace elements. Alcohol dramatically changes the hormonal background, the production of hormones by glands is disrupted. Alcohol affects even the diagnosis of viral and bacterial infections. There may be false-negative and false-positive results.

Serious danger poses both false positive and false negative results. With false positive results, you can miss the disease, do not prescribe the proper treatment when necessary. As a result, serious complications can develop, or the disease will change into a chronic form. False positive results are dangerous because a person can be treated for a long time from a disease that he really does not have. It undermines immunity, changes the hormonal background, can cause numerous undesirable reactions in a healthy body, or lead to the development of this, or concomitant disease. For example, from uncontrolled use of drugs often develops gastritis, ulcers, metabolic processes are disrupted.

On the big surprise, in medical practice certain analyzes are known, which require preliminary intake of a small amount of alcohol. However, they are quite specific, rarely found in everyday practice. If this happens, the doctor will definitely warn you.

The conclusion begs one: in order to avoid the deplorable consequences, and in order not to harm yourself, it is better to refrain from going to the laboratory if you drank alcohol the night before.

How does alcohol affect a blood test?

Alcohol acts individually. Ethanol can improve the blood, in some cases - on the contrary, worsen. Alcohol changes the parameters of red blood cells. Accordingly, changes can also affect hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. The main active substance of alcoholic beverages is ethanol, which acts as a solvent. Under its influence, the erythrocyte membrane dissolves. Their movement becomes chaotic, the cells stick together, which appears in the results as a reduced amount of red blood cells. The amount of hemoglobin, respectively, decreases. A false diagnosis can be made - anemia, decreased blood clotting.

As a result, the blood viscosity increases, blood clots are formed, which can easily penetrate through the capillaries. There is a partial adhesion of platelets, a decrease in their number. Often on these results, an erroneous diagnosis is made - thrombocytopenia. Also significantly increases the amount of cholesterol. The properties of blood plasma deteriorate: the synthesis of plasma lipids is significantly reduced. 

In general, the clinical picture of blood in a person after drinking alcohol is similar to the inflammatory process and acute intoxication. If there were additional additives and impurities, the number of eosinophils and the amount of histamine released could increase. This indicates an allergic process.

All these indicators have an important diagnostic value. They are used in the selection of treatment, to prepare for operations, to determine how the healing process proceeds, wound healing. If a person regularly abuses alcohol, all these indicators give a stable distorted picture.

Effect of alcohol on urinalysis

In most cases, a urine sample is assigned to identify any substances. Under the influence of alcohol, those substances that are of diagnostic importance may not be detected at all. Instead, other substances can be found. In the body, various chemical reactions and transformations can occur, which entails numerous false positive and false negative results.

In general, the analysis performed after drinking alcohol in the evening becomes completely meaningless. The content of uric acid sharply increases, the concentration of lactate increases markedly. The parameters of glucose and triacylglycerides may vary. All the main components are often overestimated, which allows you to put the wrong diagnosis. Most often in this case, an active inflammatory or infectious process is assumed.

The kidneys work intensively, as they are aimed at cleaning the body of harmful and toxic substances, as a result of which many toxic substances will be found in the urine, which allow to conclude an incorrect diagnosis. In addition, intensive kidney work involves fluid loss, resulting in more concentrated urine.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]

HIV and alcohol test

The HIV test is absolutely incompatible with alcohol. You can get a false positive result. Firstly, it is a great stress, a nervous shock to learn such news. Secondly, AIDS therapy involves the use of the strongest medications, which have a powerful effect on the entire immune system. Stimulation of immune cells of a healthy organism will lead to aggression against one's own organism, which results in serious autoimmune reactions and diseases that are aimed at destroying one's own organism. Side effects from antiretroviral therapy are quite serious, for the treatment of a sick organism. And for a healthy, even more so. This "treatment" of a non-existent HIV infection can result in even a fatal outcome.

False negative results on AIDS are no less dangerous. First, the person will be absolutely calm, will not take any measures for timely treatment. But if you take timely therapy, you can significantly prolong life and improve the quality of life. Today, AIDS patients, thanks to timely diagnosis and well-selected antiretroviral therapy, along with symptomatic and supportive treatment, live for 30 years or more, not suffering from the disease at all. Secondly, a person who does not know about his disease is the source of infection, infecting other people.

Most often in the presence of alcohol in the blood receive a false positive result for HIV. This is due to the peculiarities of the immune system, which actively produces antibodies into the blood, which can be reacted by the test system. Also after drinking alcohol, the load on the liver is significantly increased. The liver produces various components and antibodies, which in many ways are similar to those in AIDS. It is they who come into reaction, resulting in a false positive result. After drinking alcohol, there are violations in the endocrine system, which lead to pathological reactions of the immune system, the production of antibodies.

In case of a false negative result, unreliability is primarily due to the fact that the number of white blood cells in AIDS drops sharply in AIDS. After drinking alcohol, they will be even less, as they stick together. Accordingly, the number of antibodies produced with respect to the virus decreases. The antibody can be so small that they simply do not react with the test system, which will enable the doctor to eliminate the disease.

Alcohol before hormone analysis

Alcohol can significantly affect the endocrine system and the synthesis of hormones in the body. The most sensitive to the action of hormones are the adrenal glands, the thyroid gland and the parathyroid glands. The adrenal glands are responsible for the synthesis of "stress hormones" - adrenaline and norepinephrine. Alcohol is stress for the body, the activity of all organs is aimed at eliminating its negative influence, neutralizing toxins. A large number of hormones that are discharged into the blood can be mistaken for dysfunction, hyperfunction, or other pathological condition of the adrenal glands.

Hormones of the thyroid, parathyroid, parathyroid glands also have a significant effect on the metabolism, and one of the first are included in the activity when it becomes necessary to neutralize the negative effect on the body. They directly depend on the functioning of the adrenal glands, and begin to produce their hormones in response to the release of adrenaline into the blood. A large number of hormones can also erroneously take on hyperfunction.

trusted-source[8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15]

How does alcohol affect feces analysis?

In general, alcohol has no significant effect on faeces. Alcohol affects rather the intestinal microflora, on which the consistency of the stool depends. Sometimes under the influence of alcohol, dysbiosis can occur - a phenomenon in which representatives of normal microflora die, and their place in the population is occupied by pathogenic microorganisms. Their living products are released directly into the intestines, irritate the mucous membrane, resulting in a loose stool (diarrhea).

With excessive use of alcohol, chronic alcoholism, blood may appear in the feces. This indicates a variety of pathologies, primarily on the pathological impairment of liver structure and function, including liver cirrhosis. Also, the cause of the appearance of blood in the stool can be an ulcer, ulcerative gastritis, intestinal cancer. This is due to the fact that alcohol is a potent poison, and sometimes a mutagen, which causes irritation of the mucosa, its burn, and sometimes malignant degeneration.

After drinking alcohol in the stool, excessive amounts of mucus may appear. This is due to the intense activity of the gastric glands that produce gastric juice.

Yellow feces, or impurities of this color, may indicate a disruption in the activity of the pancreas and liver, which produce a large amount of bile and enzymes.

Effects of alcohol on the biochemical blood test

The intake of alcohol particularly affects the biochemistry of the blood. First of all, the level of glucose changes. In most cases, it is sharply reduced. The level of lactic acid (lactate) increases sharply. Often such symptoms are mistaken for severe forms of circulatory disorders. They can even put such a diagnosis as heart failure or hemorrhagic shock. Also, under the influence of alcohol, the level of uric acid may increase. This indicator can be mistakenly diagnosed as gout or chronic arthritis.

Alcohol significantly increases the amount of triacylglycerides, which can indicate atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and other similar diseases.

trusted-source[16], [17], [18], [19]

Alcohol and syphilis analysis

After drinking alcohol, you can get false-negative or false-positive results of analysis on RW. Most often receive false positive. The mechanism is similar to that in the analysis for HIV. In the body, in response to syphilis, antibodies are produced that bind to the test system and indicate the presence of the disease. At the use of alcohol the immune system starts to stimulate synthesis of antibodies against toxins of alcohol. They can erratically link to the test system, and point to the development of a disease such as syphilis.

trusted-source[20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27], [28]

Alcohol affects the smear analysis

The results of smears can be influenced by many factors, including alcohol. The most significant effect of the smear is on the results of smears from the throat and nose. This is due to the fact that alcohol passes through the mucous throat, nose, and has a bactericidal effect. Thus, some bacteria can die under the influence of alcohol, and thus, the result will be erroneous, since it will show a lower degree of bacterial contamination than there is in fact. Dysbacteriosis can also develop. In this case, the normal microflora is replaced pathogenic, the bacteria can be replaced by fungi, which significantly changes the real picture of the pathology.

With regard to smears from the mucous urethra or vagina, it is also possible to change the ratio of microorganisms. Their quantitative and qualitative composition also changes. This is due to the fact that during excrement, alcohol can promote irritation of the urethra, and, accordingly, changes in the composition of microflora, quantity. In addition, the composition of the nutrient medium for microflora changes, since in the natural secretions that serve as the medium, alcohol appears. It helps to reduce the number of microflora, because it has a bactericidal effect.

In addition, with microscopy, the doctor can detect a large amount of mucus, white blood cells and red blood cells. Occasionally, a squashed epithelium may appear. This can be mistaken for an inflammatory process.

trusted-source[29], [30], [31], [32], [33], [34], [35], [36], [37], [38]

Pregnancy test after alcohol

Alcohol does not affect the results of a pregnancy test, because it reacts to the content in the urine of hCG, and has nothing to do with alcohol. If there is a pregnancy, then no matter how much alcohol was drunk, the test will still show a positive result. In the absence of pregnancy, the result will still be negative, regardless of alcohol.

Does alcohol affect the drug test?

The effect of alcohol on drug tests is not fully understood. Theoretically, alcohol does not affect the test result for narcotic substances. There are separate tests for alcohol, which are designed to detect the alcohol content in the blood. Narcotic substances and alcohol are substances of different origin, they are investigated by different methods and no cross reactions are observed.

trusted-source[39], [40], [41]

It is important to know!

A number of human diseases are accompanied by a variety of disorders of the blood system, the clinical manifestations of which often completely coincide with the symptoms of the actual blood diseases, specifically studied by hematologists. These signs reflect the violation of erythropoiesis (accompanied by a decrease in the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin), leukopoiesis, thrombocytopoiesis.

Read more..

Found an error? Select it and press Ctrl + Enter.
You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.