6 Surprising Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health — Not Just Your Liver
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Long-Term Health Risks. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including: High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems. Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
What will happen to your body if you drink too much alcohol?
Drinking too much puts you at risk for some cancers, such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver and breast. It can affect your immune system. If you drink every day, or almost every day, you might notice that you catch colds, flu or other illnesses more frequently than people who don't drink.
Drinking gives your body work to do that keeps it from other processes. Once you take a drink, your body makes metabolizing it a priority — above processing anything else. Unlike proteins, carbohydrates and fats, your body doesn’t have a way to store alcohol, so it has to move to the front of the metabolizing line. This is why it affects your liver, as it’s your liver’s job to detoxify and remove alcohol from your blood.
Abusing alcohol causes bacteria to grow in your gut, which can eventually migrate through the intestinal wall and into the liver, leading to liver damage.
Too much is bad for your heart. It can cause the heart to become weak (cardiomyopathy) and have an irregular beat pattern (arrhythmias). It also puts people at higher risk for developing high blood pressure.
People can develop pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, from alcohol abuse.
Drinking too much puts you at risk for some cancers, such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver and breast.
It can affect your immune system. If you drink every day, or almost every day, you might notice that you catch colds, flu or other illnesses more frequently than people who don’t drink. This is because alcohol can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to infections.
How your liver breaks down alcohol in your body
When you drink, here’s what happens in your liver, where alcohol metabolism takes place.
Your liver detoxifies and removes alcohol from the blood through a process known as oxidation. Once the liver finishes the process, alcohol becomes water and carbon dioxide.
If alcohol accumulates in the system, it can destroy cells and, eventually, organs. Oxidative metabolism prevents this.
But when you’ve ingested too much alcohol for your liver to process in a timely manner, the toxic substance begins to take its toll on your body, starting with your liver.
Fatty liver, early stage alcoholic liver disease, develops in about 90% of people who drink more than one and a half to two ounces of alcohol per day.
So, if you drink that much or more on most days of the week, you probably have fatty liver. Continued alcohol use leads to liver fibrosis and, finally, cirrhosis.
I stopped drinking in September 14th, 2017 - NO MORE WINE, NO MORE BUBBLY - i just didn't like the way it made me feel. I feel so much more ALIVE without it. NO MORE HEADACHES, NO MORE HORRIBLE HANGOVERS - NO MORE ABUSING MY BODY - this was a personal choice that I made and I've never felt better! There is A LOT OF PRESSURE TO DRINK OUT THERE! I am well aware - I've been the victim of PRESSURE DRINKING BEFORE and I look back and shake my head - WHY AND HOW DID I LET THAT HAPPEN?
If you are wanting to NOT DRINK but feel out of place in a situation - don't put yourself in that environment or do what I do - bring your own drink and sip on something healthy the entire time. I drink my ENERGIZE any time I'm around others drinking beverages making them act SUPER SILLY AND OR SLOPPY DRUNK! I still have a great time. I'm not offended - it's my choice NOT TO DRINK and I'm ok with that.
Don't ever feel pressured into FITTING IN - know what you are actually doing to your body and the price you may or may not pay for that choice.
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