Over half of our society aged 15 or older drink alcoholic beverages on regular basis, whether to be sociable, to de-stress or because they like the taste of a particular alcoholic drink. Many people drink alcohol to escape from the tensions, frustrations and anxieties of everyday stresses. Alcohol consumption periodically and overtime can take a serious toll on your health and life especially if it’s kept unchecked. The truth is any level of alcohol consumption could have a negative effect on your health without even realizing it. The abuse of alcohol can lead to serious health issues that involve vital organs such as your heart, brain, liver, pancreas and immune system. By making some small changes to your drinking habits and consuming in moderation, you can help improve your wellbeing and long term health. Learning about the effects of alcohol on the body and mind will help develop a healthier lifestyle and eliminate excessive drinking habits, alcoholism and avoid other major health problems.
Effects on the Body
Heart: Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can damage the heart and actuate heart health issues such as high blood pressure which is the most serious risk factor for having a heart attack or stroke. Drinking too much can stretch and elongate the heart muscle (Cardiomyopathy) causing irregular heart muscle function, but can also cause irregular heart beats (Arrhythmia) causing a stroke. People that drink alcohol often and heavily have a higher percentage of suffering from hypertension and strokes.
Liver and Pancreas: Drinking alcohol repeatedly over time can also take a serious toll on your pancreas and liver. It can create a variety of problems such as liver inflammation, Cirrhosis of the liver, swelling of blood vessels in the pancreas (as in acute or chronic pancreatitis) inhibiting proper digestion and regulation of your blood sugar, producing toxic substances that will eventually kill you. Excessive drinking will actuate liver and pancreatic health issues eventually interfering with your body’s function of filtering blood, eliminating toxins, managing blood sugar, absorbing nutrients and controlling infections.
Immune System: The more you drink alcohol the greater the chances of depriving your body of immune-boosting nutrients and the ability to defend against illness and disease. The more you drink, chances of damaging your immune system increase. Having more than three or four drinks a day can dramatically weaken your immune system and reduce white blood cell counts which is needed to fight off diseases. Drinking daily will lower the ability of your immune system to operate optimally and efficiently, allowing diseases and illnesses to attack your body. The more you drink the weaker you’ll become.
Effects on the Mind
Brain: Alcohol abuse effects your brain negatively by damaging the brain’s communication pathways and disrupting moods, behaviors and psychological processes. Since alcohol is a depressant and not a stimulant it acts on the control centers of the brain to depress them. This allows the person to exhibit certain kinds of behaviors and attitudes that are usually repressed. The most common effect of alcohol on the brain is intoxication which causes confusion, disorientation, being unbalanced or exhibiting uncoordinated movements. Long term heavy drinking will shrink the brain and cause all sorts of alterations in neurons or brain cells. The effects of alcohol on the brain can even begin during birth if a parent consumes alcohol while being pregnant. It can lead to a wide range of birth defects but especially learning, behavioral and mental disorders.
Mind: Alcohol produces a wide range of psychological emotions and different states of mind. In addition alcohol’s effects on the mind include slurred speech, slowed reaction times and impairments to your memory. Repeated use of alcohol will undoubtedly have negative effects on your mental health.
If you’re diagnosed with any of the aforementioned described above or you feel you’re experiencing one of the effects described, you should stop drinking alcohol immediately for at least 6 months to allow your mind and body to recover. If you find it hard to stop drinking you should seek help and advice from medical professionals.
It’s important to know the effects of alcohol on your body and mind and develop a healthier drinking lifestyle, eliminate excessive drinking habits to avoid any health problems. The truth is that any level of alcohol could have a negative effect on your health without even realizing it. By making some small changes to your drinking habits and consuming in moderation, you can improve your wellbeing and long term health.