We usually like to drink a glass of wine after a tiring day, a can of beer while watching football with friends, or maybe a glass of champagne to celebrate a special occasion. However, consuming alcohol, especially heavy drinking, can have a severe impact on your behavior, judgment, and physical and mental health. Alcohol consumption has numerous short and long-term effects, as well as health impacts. In this article we take a closer look at how alcohol consumption affects your health.
Even Drinking In Moderation Has Health Impact
Many individuals believe that drinking a beer or a glass of wine once in a while at mealtimes or on special occasions is not particularly harmful. But there is growing evidence that consuming alcohol even at a moderate level has the potential to have negative effects on your health. Thus, although those who binge or drink excessively may experience negative health impacts more quickly, even those who consume alcohol in moderation face certain health hazards. “Moderate” drinking is a drink per day on average for women, and up to two drinks per day on average for men. A single “drink” is defined as 330ml of beer, 175ml of wine, or 35ml of spirit.
Potential Short-Term Effects Of Alcohol
You might experience some of these effects while drinking alcohol or after drinking alcohol.
- Impulsive behavior.
- Blurred vision.
- Headache or migraine.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Feeling of drowsiness.
Despite only experiencing these effects for a moment, it is still significant. Impulsivity, lack of coordination, and mood swings can impair your judgement and conduct. These can lead to more severe consequences, such as contributing to mishaps, injuries, and judgments you might later regret.
Potential Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol
- Sense of anxiety and getting agitated more easily.
- Insomnia or problems sleeping.
- Changes in appetite and weight (weight gain or weight loss).
- Problems with concentration.
- Relationship problems between family, friends, and partner.
Five Ways How Alcohol Consumption Affects Your Health
Impact On Cardiovascular Health
Claims of moderate alcohol consumption lowering the risk of heart disease are common, but whether there is an actual causative relationship between moderate consumption and lower risk is not so clear. However, heavy drinking on the other hand is known to potentially lead to high blood pressure, heart failure or stroke. The calories in alcohol can also lead to weight gain and its related health issues.
People suffering from heart rhythm abnormalities or have a history of heart failure should avoid alcohol altogether.
Increase In Cancer Risk
Alcohol can cause cancer. Studies have found strong associations of alcohol consumption to increased risk of certain cancers, namely head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. These associations apply even in cases of moderate alcohol consumption.
Give Rise To Digestive Problems
The correlation between drinking alcohol and digestive health may not be immediately obvious to the individual. Often, the negative impacts do not show up until after the harm is done. Drinking may harm the tissues in your digestive system, making it difficult for your intestines to properly digest food and assimilate vitamins and nutrients. Malnutrition may result over time.
Cause Inflammation Of The Pancreas
Over time, excessive alcohol consumption may result in pancreas inflammation and pancreatitis. Abdominal pain can result from digestive enzyme release brought on by pancreatitis. Serious consequences can also result from chronic pancreatitis.
Cause Skeletal And Muscle Weakness
Alcohol abuse over a long period can reduce bone density, making bones brittle and raising the possibility of fractures in the event of a fall. Weaker bones may also mend more slowly. Alcohol use can also cause cramping, atrophy, and muscle weakening.
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.