8 Reasons You Should Limit Your Alcohol
Most of us enjoy having a glass of wine or a beer on a regular basis. It's part of our culture but does this make it a good for us?
Alcohol is a drug. It is classed as a depressant, meaning that it slows down vital functions—resulting in slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions and an inability to react quickly.
Many of us end up like this after a few wines.....
Having a drink every now and then certainly isn't an issue! However many people can't stop at one and others simply drink too much. So what are the health consequences of having too many alcoholic drinks on a regular basis?
1 – Weight Gain
Too much alcohol intake can make you put on weight. The reason behind this is that your sugar and calorie intake increases. While the body tries to metabolise alcohol, some fats can get stored instead of being burned off as energy.
2 – Pancreatitis
Too much drinking can also cause problems for your pancreas. The pancreas is a vital part of the digestive system and a critical controller of blood sugar levels. Too much alcohol can cause digestive enzymes pile up and resulting in inflammation which, in turn, causes pancreatitis. This condition can become severe and chronic triggering many health problems including kidney failure, diabetes, and several other infections.
3 – Decrease Immunity
Overindulging on alcohol can weaken the immune system. When your immunity is low your body is not able to defend itself against the attacks of pathogens and can results in poor health.
4 – Cardiovascular Problems
Too much alcohol can also cause problems for your heart. Drinking too much alcohol can raise the levels of some fats in the blood eg, triglycerides. High triglyceride levels, particularly when accompanied by low HDL levels and type 2 diabetes, can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stokes.
Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to high blood pressure, heart failure and an increased calorie intake, which can lead to obesity and a higher risk of developing diabetes. Excessive drinking and binge drinking can also lead to stroke. Other serious problems include fetal alcohol syndrome, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death.
5 – Unbalanced Gut Health
Drinking too much alcohol can ruin the balance of gut bacteria. Some alcoholic drinks cause good bacteria to die and bad bacteria to grow. Poor gut health is also associated to several other health problems.
6 – Brain problems
Alcohol overconsumption can damage the brain as well. Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory! Clearly we know that alcohol affects the brain, this is why so many of us drink alcohol. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. But on the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist after they stop drinking. People who drink large amounts of alcohol for long periods of time run the risk of developing serious and persistent changes in the brain. Damage may be a result of the direct effects of alcohol on the brain (remember alcohol is a toxin!) or may result indirectly, from a poor general health status or from severe liver disease.
Pregnant women and children should not drink alcohol. Studies with animals show that high doses of alcohol lead to a disruption in the growth of new brain cells - scientists believe it may be this lack of new growth that results in the long–term deficits found in key areas of the brain.
7 – Liver Problems
Alcohol can cause problems in the functioning of the liver. The liver is required to overwork to flush out alcohol from the system. This can lead to inflammation which can cause cirrhosis and liver disease. Another common problem faced by heavy drinkers is fatty liver, a condition which is luckily reversible.
8 - Sleep Issues
Drinking too much alcohol makes for poor quality sleep and that makes for poorer health. Often someone who drink too much alcohol in the evening finds themselves waking up at around 2-3am, the time when their body is processing the alcohol. Not getting quality sleep consistently results in poor health and gain weight.
Drink alcohol in small amounts, as a treat. Pick low carb drinks such as wine or spirits with soda to reduce your sugar intake. Limit yourself wisely because the consequences of over drinking can cause MANY health issues. Binging on alcohol can cause weight gain, poor sleep, liver and heart diseases, weak immunity, and more.
Our suggestion is to not buy alcohol in your weekly shop, forgo that bottle of wine or those beers. Instead enjoy a drink or two when you are out for the evening with family and friends. Make it a treat, not a habit.