Negative effects of alcohol on the body are not that new to many, however, there are many who do not really know the dangerous effect this abused drug has on their bodies. It is one thing knowing the general effects and it is another knowing how damaging it is on the body and how it can terminate your life so fast.
While drinking alcohol often leads to good times filled with fun moments, do not be deceived for it can also lead to the usual hangovers in the short-term.
More serious health issues in the long-term are inevitable. That’s because ethanol, the active ingredient in boozy beverages, is toxic to the human body, the organs, and the cells.
The pain you feel when you’re hungover comes not only from dehydration, but the fact that you poisoned every cell in your body the night before. Indirectly, alcohol poisons the beautiful strong body, internally and externally, and soon, the damages taking place within your body will manifest outwardly.
Negative Effects of Alcohol on the Body
Let’s take a look at some of the negative effects of alcohol on the body so that, you are better informed as to how to why you must win your self from the self-destruction path you have taken with alcohol.
1. Sleep Disruption Leads to Fatigue
Insomnia is a sleep disorder and one of the effects of alcohol on the body. It prevents you from sleeping well and it can also be a short term or long term (chronic) effect on you. You might think it’s a good idea to drink a glass of wine before bed, but when the alcohol wears off in the middle of the night, it can disrupt your sleep cycle. For some people, it’s as serious as waking up at 3 am and not being able to go back to sleep for an hour or so. For others, it could be as mild as not completing a REM cycle or not being able to go into a deep sleep. If you’re looking for ways to relax before you go to bed, you’ll be better off trying meditation or calming music instead of that glass of wine.
2. The Burden on the Liver
Your liver is the organ that breaks down alcohol. However, the effects of alcohol on the body include burdening the liver with a lot of work. Every time you drink, your liver goes to work producing enzymes to neutralize the poison you’ve ingested. This is why OTC drugs such as Tylenol should never be taken with booze. The added burden on your liver can lead to liver failure. People who drink excessively over many years may suffer from decreased liver function, liver scarring or even liver failure.
3. Dehydrates You
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it pulls water out of your body. One of the reasons you wake up with a dry mouth and a headache the morning after a party is because you’re dehydrated. Over time, excessive dehydration can damage your skin and kidneys. Along with water, alcohol consumption will also cause you to lose electrolytes. That’s why many hangover “cures” include Pedialyte or Gatorade to help replenish the liquids and ions in your body.
4. Interferes with Memory
As alcohol seeps into your brain, it slowly impairs brain function. First, you lose the ability to make good judgments, then your senses are affected (blurred vision, usually), then you lose motor control (stumbling around), and finally, you lose the ability to create memories. This last part is what’s often known as “blacking out.” Long-term alcohol use has been shown to shrink the brain; one of the main reasons why binge drinking is highly discouraged and extremely dangerous.
5. Increases Risk of Cancer
Imagine exposing your cells to poison over and over again, every day, for years. Your cells eventually mutate to the point where they turn cancerous. Long-term, excessive alcohol use can lead to mouth, throat, esophageal, pancreatic, liver or colon cancer. If you think that drinking red wine is better, I have some bad news for you. You can reap the benefits of red wine by either exercising or eating grapes with the skin still on them.
6. Gastrointestinal Issues
Alcohol disrupts both your small and large intestine function, as well as your microbiome. You’ve probably noticed that you’re particularly flatulent and may experience diarrhea after a night of drinking. While probiotics may help in the short-term, reducing the amount of alcohol you consume every day is a better long-term solution to better gut health.
7. Mood/Behavior Changes
Since alcohol affects your brain, it also plays a role in changing your mood and behavior. You may feel more depressed, irritable, and angry the day after drinking. Imagine what happens to your brain if you drink heavily over time. Those temporary mood changes can become permanent behavior changes; a symptom of alcohol damage to the brain.
Now that you know the negative implications of keeping alcohol as your best companion, you have a choice to make whether to keep the friendship going and stand the risk of all the health implications discussed or to gradually or immediately walk away and save your self from the dangers. The choice lies in your power.