Alcohol and its effects on human body
Alcohol consumption can have long lasting mental and physical impacts. Let’s have a look.
It does not matter whether you consume alcohol occasionally or you drink every day, alcohol starts affecting your body and mind from the moment you take your first sip! Let’s analyze how alcohol affects physical and mental health of an individual while drinking, the day after drinking, and also in the long run.
Physical effects of alcohol consumption
Alcohol doesn’t get digested as it enters the body. Instead, it moves quickly into the bloodstream. Alcohol intake affects the stomach and brain, then It travels to the kidneys and liver .
Drinking a small amount of alcohol tends to increase appetite as it increases the flow of liquids in the stomach. However, drinking too much alcohol can reduce appetite. Infact, the combination of stomach acid and alcohol might even lead to ulcers.
The next stop of alcohol is the brain. It just takes thirty seconds for the first sip of alcohol to race to your brain. It tends to slow down the chemicals and pathways which help your brain in sending messages. This in turn slows down your reflexes, reducing the ability to balance. The physical coordination and the speed of reflexes continue to lower with more intake of alcohol.
People usually tend to experience word slurring, blurry vision and a lack of coordination after a number of drinks.
The next destination is the kidneys. Since alcohol is diuretic, it tends to increase urine production. While drinking alcohol, you might have to urinate more often. This leads to thirst and dehydration.
Alcohol can have short-term effects on the liver. 95 percent of the alcohol consumed is oxidized by the liver. It converts alcohol into water and carbon monoxide. The liver usually oxidizes one standard alcoholic drink per hour, so drinking too much is equal to over burdening it.
Alcohol can influence your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Alcohol tends to suppress the part of the brain associated with inhibition, this is the reason why several people feel more relaxed after a drink or so. Alcohol distorts the balance of the brain, normal thoughts and emotions become rather scattered!
Drinking affects the mental health of people in varied ways. Excessive drinking can lead to negative emotions such as anger, aggression, anxiety, and depression.
Does it give good sleep?
Alcohol intake might make you feel drowsy and groggy, but it does not assure you a great sleep. Infact, it affects the quality of your sleep, even though it might feel like you’re falling asleep faster and for longer.
Drinking dampens the chances for a good REM sleep and people are more likely to experience nightmares or vivid dreams.
The Next Day
The effects of alcohol can be felt the next day after heavy consumption – it is called a “hangover.” The set of unpleasant symptoms include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, poor concentration, thirst, headache, muscle aches, diarrhea and nausea.
Excessive consumption of alcohol affects the body very badly. This includes dehydration, lessening of blood sugar, and expansion of blood vessels.
Never drink! It is said that some people experience hangovers just after one drink!
Alcohol acts as a depressant. It affects the production of dopamine and serotonin in the body. Alcohol can be the main reason for depression or anxiety in many people’s lives.
Studies suggest that reducing alcohol consumption will help in making a person high-spirited and make him/her feel ‘happier’.
The Long Term
‘Alcohol’ can have long-term physical effects on the human body. So think before you take your first sip!!
Alcohol can affect your brain. Excessive consumption will result in the shrinking of the frontal lobes of your brain, which are primarily responsible for voluntary movement, emotional expression, memory etc ..
Heavy alcohol consumption may lead to cardiovascular diseases.
Excessive alcohol consumption results in chronic pancreatitis and hyperglycemia.
Drinking too much can damage your intestines, leading to diarrhea. It may also cause bloating and painful ulcers.
‘Alcoholism’ may lead to infertility in women and sexual dysfunction in men. If a woman drinks during pregnancy, it might put the baby at risk. The offspring can suffer from birth defects and mental development issues.
Alcohol affects the nerve-chemical systems which are vital in regulating an individual’s mood.In addition, long-term heavy drinking causes alcohol dependency
Factors which increase the risk of alcohol dependency include drinking at an early age, genetics and family history.
Is alcohol healthy in moderation?
Drinking alcohol in moderation may prove beneficial. It means one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men are permissible. Examples of one drink include specified fluid ounces of beer, wine and distilled spirits.
Moderate alcohol consumption has a few health benefits. Red wine is said to be good for health. The antioxidants in red wine protect blood vessels in the heart. ‘Resveratrol’ in red wine prevents damage to blood vessels, helps in reducing bad cholesterol, and also prevents blood clots.
For that matter, drinking any alcohol in moderation is said to reduce heart disease by raising good cholesterol, reducing blood clots, and preventing artery damage.
On the contrary, alcoholism increases the risk of heart disease and other major health complications.
Alcohol Abuse Disorder
It is a medical condition in which an individual finds it difficult to stop or control consumption of alcohol, despite experiencing adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.
‘Reach out for help in dire situations’. In such circumstances, this helps a person understand his body and mind better, and decide the steps for recovery.
Prolonged use of alcohol can result in long-term mental and physical stress. This includes hallucinations, liver damage, and severe depression. Comprehensive and personalized treatment methods are available for treating alcoholism.
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Check your knowledge
Answer) Alcohol acts as a depressant. It affects the production of dopamine and serotonin in the body. Alcohol can be the main reason for depression or anxiety in many people’s lives.
Answer) It is a medical condition in which an individual finds it difficult to stop or control consumption of alcohol, despite experiencing adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.