Effects Of Alcohol: How Alcohol Affects the Body
It is not uncommon to have a drink or two at dinner or to imbibe after a difficult day on the job. Many people use alcohol daily as a way to be social or a way to wind down after a long work week. What many people do not take into consideration are the effects of alcohol, even if it is an occasional drink. While studies do show that a drink a day can bring about many health benefits, drinking more than that for longer periods of time can do some damage. Just one sip of beer, wine, or whiskey remains in the human body for about two hours. During that time it reaches every major organ via the bloodstream. This can ultimately lead to all different types of complications.
Alcohol effects the brain in a few major ways. It impairs the cerebellum which is the area of the brain that controls balance and coordination. It also impairs the cerebral cortex which effects thinking, memory, and learning. Lastly it effects the amygdala, which effects fear and anger. Alcohol effecting this last area of the brain is what many people commonly refer to as “liquid courage.”
Skin can also negatively be effected by consuming alcohol. It dilates pores, makes an already red complexion appear more “ruddy” (what is commonly known as rosacea), and makes eyes appear blood shot. It effects muscles by making it difficult to repair damaged proteins and build up new muscles.
Consuming two drinks a day can increase risk of atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm) by nearly 17 percent thus increasing your risk of stroke, heart failure, and dementia. Excessive or binge drinking can also effect your stomach. An increase in gut permeability can cause harmful bacteria and toxins to leak into your bloodstream. It also can increase acidity and relax esophageal muscles, thus increasing heartburn and acid reflux. For men it can effect your sexual health. It can cause a lower sperm count by affecting testosterone levels. Men who suffer from alcohol dependence also have other sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
In addition to the obvious physical effects of alcohol on the body there is also the effect it has on impairing driving. It slows reaction time, impairs the ability to see clearly, and it is possible to black out or pass out while driving resulting in potentially fatal accidents. If you are going to imbibe, do so responsibly. Remember how alcohol can directly effect your health and if you are going to drink, do not drive. Call a taxi, use a designated driver, or if all else fails walk to your next destination. It could save your life and the lives of countless others. If you or someone you know suffers from alcohol dependency seek help and call us now.