There is usually a bad side to everything or habit that gives you pleasure of false satisfaction.
The habit of drinking alcohol, starting with a few occasional sips, to drinking alone, and gulping it publicly in excess is what actually makes you lose control and end up in alcoholism. It becomes a habit, usually ending in disgraceful moments when you drink yourself to stupor.
Men are more likely than women to drink excessively. Excessive drinking is associated with significant increases in short-term risks to health and safety. The risk increases as the amount of drinking increases. Men are also more likely than women to take other risks (e.g., drive fast or without a safety belt), when combined with excessive drinking, further increasing their risk of injury or death.
Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine. New evidence around the health harms from regular drinking have emerged in recent years.
There is now a better understanding of the link between drinking and some illnesses, including a range of cancers. The previously held position that some level of alcohol was good for the heart has been revised. It is now thought that the evidence on a protective effect from moderate drinking is less strong than previously thought.
Alcohol’s impact on your body starts from the moment you take your first sip. While an occasional glass of wine with dinner isn’t a cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking wine, beer, or spirits can take its toll.
A glass a day may do little damage to your overall health. But if the habit grows or if you find yourself having a hard time stopping after just one glass, the cumulative effects can add up.
Low-risk drinking advice
To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level if you drink most weeks:
men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis
spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week
if you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week
If you’re pregnant or think you could become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.
No ‘safe’ drinking level
If you drink less than 14 units a week, this is considered low-risk drinking.
It’s called “low risk” rather than “safe” because there is no safe drinking level.
The type of illnesses you can develop after 10 to 20 years of regularly drinking more than 14 units a week include:
• cancers of the mouth, throat and breast
• heart disease
• liver disease
• brain damage
• damage to the nervous system
The effects of alcohol on your health will depend on how much you drink. The less you drink, the lower the health risks.
Damages From Excess Alcohol
• Digestive and endocrine glands
Drinking too much alcohol can cause abnormal activation of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. Buildup of these enzymes can lead to inflammation known as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can become a long-term condition and cause serious complications.
• Inflammatory damage
The liver is an organ which helps break down and remove harmful substances from your body, including alcohol. Long-term alcohol use interferes with this process. It also increases your risk for chronic liver inflammation and liver disease. The scarring caused by this inflammation is known as cirrhosis. The formation of scar tissue destroys the liver. As the liver becomes increasingly damaged, it has a harder time removing toxic substances from your body.
Liver disease is life-threatening and leads to toxins and waste buildup in your body. Women are at higher risk for developing alcoholic liver disease. Women’s bodies are more likely to absorb more alcohol and need longer periods of time to process it. Women also show liver damage more quickly than men.
• Sugar levels
The pancreas helps regulate your body’s insulin use and response to glucose. When your pancreas and liver aren’t functioning properly, you run the risk of experiencing low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. A damaged pancreas may also prevent the body from producing enough insulin to utilize sugar. This can lead to hyperglycemia, or too much sugar in the blood. If your body can’t manage and balance your blood sugar levels, you may experience greater complications and side effects related to diabetes. It’s important for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia to avoid excessive amounts of alcohol.
• Central nervous system
One of the easiest ways to understand alcohol’s impact on your body is by understanding how it affects your central nervous system. Slurred speech is one of the first signs you’ve had too much to drink. Alcohol can reduce communication between your brain and your body. This makes coordination more difficult. You may have a hard time balancing. You should never drive after drinking. As alcohol causes more damage to your central nervous system, you may experience numbness and tingling sensations in your feet and hands. Drinking also makes it difficult for your brain to create long-term memories. It also reduces your ability to think clearly and make rational choices. Over time, frontal lobe damage can occur. This area of the brain is responsible for emotional control, short-term memory, and judgement, in addition to other vital roles. Chronic and severe alcohol abuse can also cause permanent brain damage.
Some people who drink heavily may develop a physical and emotional dependency on alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal can be difficult and life-threatening. You often need professional help to break an alcohol addiction. As a result, many people seek medical detoxification to get sober. It’s the safest way to ensure you break the physical addiction. Depending on the risk for withdrawal symptoms, detoxification can be managed on either an outpatient or inpatient basis. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
•high blood pressure
•Seizures, hallucinations, and delirium may occur in severe cases of withdrawal.
The connection between alcohol consumption and your digestive system might not seem immediately clear. The side effects often only appear after there has been damage. And the more you drink, the greater the damage will become. Drinking can damage the tissues in your digestive tract and prevent your intestines from digesting food and absorbing nutrients and vitamins. As a result, malnutrition may occur. Heavy drinking can also lead to:
• a feeling of fullness in your abdomen
• diarrhea or painful stools
For people who drink heavily, ulcers or hemorrhoids (due to dehydration and constipation) aren’t uncommon. And they may cause dangerous internal bleeding. Ulcers can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early. People who consume too much alcohol may also be at risk for cancer. People who drink frequently are more likely to develop cancer in the mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, or liver. People who regularly drink and use tobacco together have an even greater cancer risk.
• Circulatory system
Alcohol can affect your heart and lungs. People who are chronic drinkers of alcohol have a higher risk of heart-related issues than people who do not drink. Women who drink are more likely to develop heart disease than men who drink. Circulatory system complications include:
• high blood pressure
• irregular heartbeat
• difficulty pumping blood through the body
• heart attack
• heart disease
• heart failure
Difficulty absorbing vitamins and minerals from food can cause anemia. This is a condition where you have a low red blood cell count. One of the biggest symptoms of anemia is fatigue.
• Sexual and reproductive health
You may think drinking alcohol can lower your inhibitions and help you have more fun in bed. But the reality is quite different. Men who drink too much are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction. Heavy drinking can also prevent sex hormone production and lower your libido. Women who drink too much may stop menstruating. That puts them at a greater risk for infertility. Women who drink heavily during pregnancy have a higher risk of premature delivery, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Women who drink alcohol while pregnant put their unborn child at risk. Fetal alcohol syndrome disorders (FASD) is a serious concern. Other conditions include:
• learning difficulties
• long-term health issues
• increased emotional problems
• physical development abnormalities
• Skeletal and muscle systems
Long-term alcohol use may prevent your body from keeping your bones strong. This habit may cause thinner bones and increase your risk for fractures if you fall. And factures may heal more slowly. Drinking alcohol may also lead to muscle weakness, cramping, and eventually atrophy.
• Immune system
Drinking heavily reduces your body’s natural immune system. This makes it more difficult for your body to fight off invading germs and viruses. People who drink heavily over a long period of time are also more likely to develop pneumonia or tuberculosis than the general population. About 10 percent of all tuberculosis cases worldwide can be tied to alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol also increases your risk for several types of cancer, including mouth, breast, and colon.
What Is Alcohol Poisoning?
1. Alcohol poisoning impairs the body and eventually can shut down the areas of the brain that control basic life-support functions like breathing, heart rate, and temperature control.
2. You become more susceptible to alcohol poisoning when you:
• Binge drink, or consume four or more (women) or 5 or more (men) alcoholic beverages in a single occasion.
• Drink heavily, or consume eight or more (women) or 15 or more (men) alcoholic beverages per week.
• Drink during pregnancy. No amount of alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy due to risks of passing alcohol toxicity through the placenta to your unborn child, which can cause severe damages at any stage of pregnancy.
• Drink under the age of 21. Underage drinkers are more vulnerable to alcohol poisoning as studies have shown that they typically consume about five drinks in a single occasion.
Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms
Alcohol poisoning comes with very serious health penalties, which is why it’s very important to be well-informed about what symptoms you need to watch out for. Below are some of the most common telltale signs of alcohol poisoning:
3 . Loss of coordination Cold, clammy hands, and bluish skin due to hypothermia
Vomiting repeatedly and/or uncontrollably Irregular or slow breathing (less than eight breaths per minute or more than 10 seconds between breaths)
Seizures Confusion, unconsciousness, stupor (or conscious but unresponsive), and sometimes coma
Alcohol Poisoning Risk Factors :
Generally, women are more vulnerable to alcohol poisoning. They feel the effects of alcohol faster than men of the same size. Unfortunately, they’re also more predisposed to suffer from long-term alcohol-induced damage in the body. This is due to several physiological reasons, such as:
4. Poor ability to dilute alcohol because they have lower body water percentage in the body. The average female only has 52 percent while the average male has 61 percent.
Poor ability to metabolize alcohol because they have less dehydrogenase, a liver enzyme designed to break down alcohol in the body, than men.
Premenstrual hormone changes tend to make women get intoxicated more rapidly during the days before their period. Birth control pills and other estrogen-containing medications, on the other hand, slow down the excretion of alcohol from the body.
Treating alcohol misuse :
The treatment options for alcohol misuse depend on the extent of your drinking and whether you’re trying to drink less (moderation) or give up drinking completely (abstinence).
A visit to your doctor and counselor would do you great good , once you have come to the realization that you are an alcoholic. The help of family and close ones are extremely important, especially when it involves detox and drying out.