According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women die from alcohol-related causes every year. Even though occasional drinking is good for your health, but excess consumption of it can far outweigh the benefits. This blog gives an insight about how alcohol consumption and take a toll on your overall health. Read on to find out...
Affects your brain
Not only alcohol has an immediate after effect on your brain where your reflexes slow down and you lose balance, but drinking for a long period of time also has a permanently damaging effect as well. Excess alcohol consumption causes your brain to shrink that can reduce your ability to think, learn and remember things in later years of life.
Increases the risk of ulcers
Alcohol can irritate the lining of your stomach, and lead to secretion of excessive digestive acids. Too much alcohol causes excess secretion of the acid and you feel nauseated and end throwing up. Over the years, these acids can completely erode your stomach lining and you can develop sores and ulcers.
Certain hormones released from brain prevents the kidney from creating too much urine. Drinking alcohol can disrupt the brain function that inhibits the secretion of this hormone. As a result, the kidney produces excess urine, that exerts pressure on the nephrons. Over the years, the toxic gets accumulated in the body and can even lead to permanent kidney damage.
Affects your Liver
Known to be the largest gland in the body, the liver is associated with breaking down of alcohol and removing a lot of toxins from the body. Excess pressure caused on the liver causes a fatty layer to develop on the liver that interrupts the normal blood flow. Eventually, the liver cells start damaging and gives rise to liver cirrhosis.
Affects your pancreas
Disrupting the normal function of the pancreas alcohol jams the process of insulin secretion and inhibits the conversion of glucose to glycogen. This causes excess glucose level in blood, leading to diabetes mellitus. Drinking too much alcohol can permanently stop the pancreas function that can cause pancreatitis and even death.
Excess consumption of alcohol can disrupt the normal rhythm of the heart and can cause skip beats and arrhythmia. Alcohol can actually completely wear out your heart, making the muscles weak and droop. As a result, they fail to pump blood properly and cause severe strokes and heart attacks.
Weakens the immune system
Long-term drinking weakens body’s immune system and makes the person more to illness. People who are heavy drinkers tend to be more victims of pneumonia and tuberculosis compared to people who don't.
However, according to The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, occasional or moderate drinking is beneficial for the body, and that includes 1 drink per day for a woman and 2 drinks per day for men. Binge drinking of more than 4 drinks per day increases the blood alcohol concentration, that brings the onset of various complication in the body.
The amount for 1 drink for different alcoholic beverages are:
Beer: 355 ml | Wine: 148 ml | Other distilled spirits: 44 ml