Right from the time you take your first sip, alcohol starts to affect your body in several ways. Alcohol’s primary constituent is ethanol, which acts as a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol can affect your body in several ways. Let us study each one of them in detail.How
How Alcohol Affects Your Body
One of the foremost reactions after having two glasses of alcohol is a feeling of sociability, light-headedness and relaxation. People have reported feeling good after having 2-3 drinks. Of course, a lot of this depends on the tolerance levels of the person concerned.
Difficulties In Walking
Excessive drinking can lead to difficulties in walking and mobility. This is because the alcohol affects parts of your brain, which directly control movement. You may find yourself tripping and not being able to walk straight.
Slurring, talking out of character and behaving badly are very common when you are very high on alcohol. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and makes a person unknowingly behave out of character. You may end up saying things, which you will probably not remember and regret later.
Lowering Of Inhibitions
Alcohol can depress your central nervous system. Many people after consuming alcohol are unable to discern potentially dangerous situations. That is why date rapes and car accidents are very common when you are a few drinks down. More people are reported to have unsafe sex with unknown partners under the influence of alcohol.
Drinking And Driving
Alcohol is the number one culprit in major road accidents that take place at night. Sadly, the law enforcement system has not been able to curb the growing accidents, which occur with drunken driving. Alcohol can make you speed, reduce your road sense and cause accidents, which are sometimes fatal.
Over consumption of alcohol can lead to a severe hangover. A hangover typically occurs 8-10 hours after drinking heavy alcohol. The typical symptoms of hangover are vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and a severe headache. Alcohol dehydrates the body, which leads to a thumping headache.
Its Effects On The Skin
Alcohol can drastically affect and alter the quality and texture of your skin. You can develop dark circles, fine lines, tired and dull looking skin and premature aging.
Rosacea is a common skin aliment occurring in people who are alcoholics. It is a skin disorder that starts with excessive blushing on the facial skin. It can progress to full-fledged skin disintegration.
People have died due to excessive consumption of alcohol, a case called as alcohol poisoning. It happens when the alcohol causes severe arrhythmia in the heart leading to irregular heartbeats and heart attacks. It can also collapse your lungs if you vomit and inhale your own vomit.
One of the most notable effects of alcohol is on the liver. Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to liver cirrhosis or liver disease in which the liver is badly damaged and stops functioning. This can prove to be fatal. It has been estimated that at least 33000 people die in the UK every year due to liver cirrhosis.
Oral And Oesophageal Cancers
Alcohol comes a close second after smoking and tobacco chewing as a leading cause of oral, liver and stomach cancers. The chemical ethanol in alcohol is acidic and corrosive and plays havoc with the oral and gum health. It can also corrode the digestive tract leading to the growth and multiplication of abnormal cells which eventually develop into full-fledged cancer.
Pancreatitis And Diabetes
Alcohol affects the working of the pancreas and causes the pancreatic cells to become inflamed. This can lead to damage and in turn cause diabetes. This is because the production of insulin, which controls blood sugar in the body, is disrupted.
Alcohol can have very severe effects on the mental health of an individual. This is because it acts as a depressant and can cause major episodes of chronic depression. People who consume more than 30 units of alcohol per day for several weeks develop ‘psychosis’ in which the person starts having delusions and hallucinations.
People married or living with alcoholics can find it very difficult to cope with their dependence on alcohol and corresponding behaviour. Alcohol can ruin relationships as the person becomes severely dependent on it to the exclusion of other activities.
It can lead to occupational problems, isolation and depression. Alcohol addicts suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms, which include nervousness, tremors, palpitations and anxiety. This makes them severely dependent on alcohol.
Alcohol And Pregnancy
Consuming alcohol even in moderate quantities can do more harm than good especially in pregnant women. It can cause a condition known as foetal alcohol syndrome, which causes birth defects in the developing foetus. That is why pregnant women are asked to refrain from alcohol.
Its Affect On Your Sex Life
Your sex life can go for a toss with excessive alcohol consumption. Men have reported difficulties in achieving and sustaining erections with regular alcohol consumption. In women, it can cause loss of sex drive and difficulties in conceiving a baby.
Excessive Weight Gain
Alcohol is loaded in simple sugars and carbohydrates, which act as a dampener to any weight loss programme. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to severely cut down on your alcohol intake in order to lose weight.
Regular use of alcohol can lead to muscular atrophy, muscle spasms and tenderness, which can affect your overall body musculature. For women there may be an increased loss of bone density, which can put them at risk of developing osteoporosis in later life.
People can become aggressive under the influence of alcohol. Physical violence and rape are very common among men who drink too much. That is why date rape cases have assumed alarming proportions. Alcohol can lead to general ill health, paleness, lethargy and an inability to perform routine tasks.
People may become preoccupied and have trouble in their social, occupational and other areas of functioning. Alcohol is best consumed in limited amounts where it does little harm and can actually prove to be beneficial.
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