A Glass of Wine With COPD

Last updated: November 2020

Do you enjoy a glass of wine with COPD? When mom was diagnosed with pulmonary disease, her first goal was to reduce the inflammation in her lungs and then make some lifestyle changes. It was going well, and then one day I showed up at her house only to find that she was more than a little tipsy. I wasn’t sure what to think. No one had never seen her drink before. She said that her doctor had given the go-ahead to have a glass of wine with COPD, assuring me that her primary care provider knew all about it. I let it go. Later on, I dug deeper.

It may be good for her cholesterol

Of course, my first line of action was to call the siblings. My middle sis was fully aware and affirmed that her doctor suggested it may be good for her cholesterol. Being the bossy, older sister, I questioned the wisdom of it. I learned that it was okay for her to have a small glass of red in the evening. As time went on, there was more discussion, and a look at the reasons supporting mom’s evening imbibe.


It wasn’t easy to find information that held up to my instincts for her not to drink. The internet was fairly new, and there was no research. Even as recent as today, I dug deep and could find nothing to support fear regarding drinking wine with COPD. There are no ongoing studies, so it seems to me that it’s up to the individual “taste” as you might say.


I found no evidence that a glass of wine would hurt mom. Reaching out to her pulmonary doctor, we learned that a nightly glass would not interfere with her albuterol. There were times when she had infections, or had to take increased treatments, and she reduced her consumption. She would also sometimes go for weeks without even thinking about it.


See, mom had never really drank and had no addictions to alcohol, so that was never a concern. She thought that a glass of wine with COPD could help her relax, and shake off the need for a cigarette. She reasoned that she was not trading one addiction for another. She never drank hard alcohol, which might pose problems. We talked about the link between addiction to smoking and alcohol use, and respected her awareness of the potential risk.

Personal taste

Hanging out with mom while she sipped her wine was fun. I could visibly watch her relax. She smiled more easily, and we also got pretty silly watching old movies together or listening to music. I never drank with her. My dad had been an alcoholic, and it was actually mom who put the fear of drinking deep in my conscience. She liked a nice bottle of red with certain meals. Sometimes, she enjoyed a dry white. Mostly, it was her budget that kept her filling a glass from an inexpensive box of zinfadel. She sipped wine many times over the years after her diagnosis, and never had a problem with it. Let’s raise a glass and offer a toast to Tootsie: Cheers to all who enjoy a glass of wine with COPD!

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