Most doctors in the world will actually agree that alcohol can be good for your health. For example, a glass of red wine every now and again is healthy for your heart. However, alcohol is not medicine or a solution ailments. The effects of over consumption outweigh the benefits of a glass of wine every now and then. The abuse of alcohol can lead to poisoning, diabetes or even death.
What Happens When We Drink Alcohol?
When alcohol is consumed your body does its best to break it down into its constituent parts, because on its own it is a poison. In small quantities your body can handle it, breaking all of the alcohol down into simple sugars.
Once alcohol enters the livers, it converts into a toxic substance called acetaldehyde. To break down acetaldehyde, the liver use a combination of substances, predominately glutathione to neutralize acetaldehyde. Once there is too much alcohol in the body, the liver cannot keep up and so a buildup of alcohol is created. This creates dehydration and typical hangover symptoms.
The Effect of Alcohol on Weight Loss
Let’s speak about the effects of alcohol consumption over a short-term period. You can think about this in terms of weight. Most alcohol is primarily sugar, and most alcohol is packed full of what are considered to be “dead” calories. In fact, a lot of alcoholic drinks contain quite a lot of calories, so you if you’re trying to lose weight, you should learn about which alcoholic drinks are most fattening.
These types of calories have no use in your body and will be stored unless burned off. And with so many of them, you will have to do a lot of burning to get rid of them. Drinking any type of alcohol when on a diet isn’t a smart move whatsoever, and then you have to contend with the fact that, as a stimulant, alcohol can be addictive and can easily lead to long-term use.
A lot of heavier individuals suffer from anxiety and depression. The stimulating effects of alcohol consumption actually make the user feel as if his or her symptoms have subsided. This is a dangerous altering of the mind that, again, can easily lead to long-term use and leave individuals suffering from long-term, irreversible effects.
There has been a great deal of research into the effects of alcohol on health issues like weight loss. The European Action on Drugs (EAD) is a branch of the European Commission Directorate-General for Justice, and seeks to raise awareness about the links between drug and alcohol abuse and weight problems.
Alcohol Abuse: More Bad News
Aside from making you put on weight, alcohol has some other serious health complications you need to worry about:
- 1) Alcohol Poisoning
One of the most common effects of over consumption is alcohol poisoning. Once your blood takes in too much alcohol, you could die. The only consoling factor here is that you would probably be asleep when it happened or too numb to feel it. Drunkenness is also responsible for thousands of cases of asphyxiation annually, as people fall asleep on their backs and then vomit, choking on it. This is the way that Jimmy Hendrix died (and is in fact one of the more popular means of demise amongst rock stars)
- 2) Diabetes
Due to the aforementioned high amounts of sugar, alcohol consumption can also lead to diabetes. There is also the risk of brain disease and tumors, kidney disease, liver disease, depression, malnutrition and more.
- 3) Brain Damage
Although it is possible that people can avoid diseases from alcohol consumption, long-term alcohol use also presents a constant problem in everyone who drinks it – the burning of brain cells. This dumbing-down effect, if you will, effects motor skills even when you’re sober, short and long-term memory, personality, and more.
If you drink any amount of alcohol, you should be well aware of the risks at hand by consuming alcohol. You should never drink while driving or operating machinery, while pregnant or around children, and you should never lean on alcohol as a crutch of any sorts. The dire effects are simply too numerous to ignore.
Please contact Alcohol Anonymous if you know someone suffering from alcoholism.