When it comes to boosting your health, while certain alcohol in moderation may have a few benefits, prolonged or excessive use can take a serious toll. The catch is that many of these effects are not necessarily realized until they have become more serious. The damage occurs to your organs and cells and it may not be noticeable on the outside. This can lead some people to be in denial about the impact of their alcohol use and how it is affecting their life and health. Alcohol can impact many different functions of the body:
The liver is the main organ used to break down alcohol. Excessive drinking can lead to inflammation and eventually cirrhosis. Cirrhosis causes scar tissue followed by hardening of the liver and can lead to liver failure. If the liver stops working, harmful toxins build up in the body which can become life threatening. The liver can only metabolize alcohol so quickly.
Limited amounts of alcohol can reduce risk of heart disease, but there are also healthier ways to accomplish this. Drinking more than recommended can actually cause damage to the heart muscle, lead to abnormal heart rhythms, and increased blood pressure. It can also increase risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Weight Gain and Malnutrition
Alcohol is filled with empty calories which can lead to unintentional weight gain. The carbohydrates can trick your body into thinking that it is full and receiving energy, when it’s not. Drinking on an empty stomach causes alcohol to be absorbed more quickly and can irritate the lining of the stomach causing digestive problems. In addition, it affects the way the body absorbs nutrients and can lead to malnutrition. This in turn can contribute to a variety of other health issues.
Prolonged or excessive drinking can also damage the pancreas, which helps to regulate blood sugar. If the pancreas is not working properly, this can lead to the development of diabetes because the body is unable to moderate blood sugar. It may rise and fall to unsafe levels.
Alcohol also affects the brain. People who drink frequently or in large amounts may find that they have more trouble thinking clearly and remembering. It can also impact impulse control, decision making, speech, coordination, and reaction time. These can all have negative effects on your safety and wellbeing.
Getting Back to Better Health
Recognizing that alcohol is impacting your health and seeking treatment can help you to reduce your risk of more serious complications. While you may not be able to undo all of the damage, you can certainly prevent more damage from occurring. Through an alcohol rehabilitation program, you will learn how to overcome challenges that may have led to substance misuse in the past and make healthier decisions. Alcohol does not have to negatively impact your life. It is possible to manage your addiction and embrace sobriety while rebuilding relationships, your health, and your future.
Located along the oceanfront in San Clemente, California, Chapters Capistrano offers clients a relaxing yet professional environment in which to overcome addiction and substance misuse. Clients are provided with both 12-step and non 12-step approaches as well as comprehensive services to meet their physical, mental, emotional, and social health needs. Start a new chapter in your life today by calling Chapters Capistrano at 949-371-4198.