Obviously, alcohol is not thought of as a very healthy thing, and that’s definitely not the reason people drink it. Most people have a couple drinks to have fun and lay back. Everybody knows how much of a risk alcohol poisoning can be, and has seen the effects of how poor decision making abilities that a person has when under the influence of alcohol can lead to health risking behavior. However, there are a lot of other ways that alcohol might be influencing your health in negative ways that you might not be realizing. Here are some to look out for…
Alcohol decreases your metabolism
One such way that alcohol might be impacting your health is that alcohol takes up quite a bit of your body’s energy to process. Your body wants to burn through alcohol before it burns through everything else, so it will neglect processing any other proteins, carbohydrates, and fats until it gets through that alcohol. For this reason, drinking alcohol, even in small amounts, causes your metabolism to slow down during the duration that you are drinking. If you continue to drink in large amounts, it means that your metabolism is going to have a hell of a time keeping up with you.
Increases your risk of bacterial infections
There are certain types of bacteria that can grow in your body that are more likely to do so if there is alcohol in your intestines. Because of this, regular drinking increases the likelihood that certain organs will develop a bacterial infection. This type of bacterial infection can eventually work its way into your liver, which can cause extreme amounts of liver damage, and is one of the reasons that chronic alcoholism can lead to liver failure.
Increases heart risks
No one is surprised that chronic drinking causes major problems for some of your vital organs. However, the perception is usually that alcohol is quite problematic for your liver and kidney. One major way that alcoholism can severely impact your healthy, though, is actually in the ways that it can damage your heart. Chronic drinking puts more strain on your heart, because it increases your blood pressure and makes your blood thinner. Because of this, your heart can weaken, over time, if you continuously drink alcohol. Chronic alcohol abuse has also been shown to cause an irregular heartbeat, which increases the risks of a heart attack.
Reduces your ability to fight disease
Similarly to the way that your body gets bogged down when it has to metabolize alcohol, which slows your metabolism, alcohol causes your body’s immune system to weaken, because of the energy it is expending to burn the alcohol. For this reason, regular drinking makes you more likely to catch a variety of viruses, infections, and other illnesses. This is especially true if your immune system already struggles to deal with the latest flues and colds that are being passed around.
Remember, moderation is everything
The key thing to remember about drinking alcohol is that everything should be done in moderation. Aside from the fact that an occasional glass of red wine can have some minor health benefits, you know that you aren’t drinking for your health, but you should still be aware of the effects that alcohol is having on the rest of your body. The key is that most of these negative health benefits are only prevalent if you drink continuously, especially if you are always drinking to get drunk. Remember, moderation is everything, and that is twice as true when it comes to alcohol. If you think you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol, connect with the Homestead alcoholics anonymous program and get the information and support you may need.
Spurs mental health problems
Aside from the flavor of their favorite drinks, people usually drink alcohol because of the ways that it impacts their mental state. It makes it easier to unwind and have a good time, which is why people enjoy it. However, those mental effects can also go the other way, as alcohol has been shown to irritate several mental disorders. As a matter of fact, many mental disorders commonly develop a co-occurring pattern of substance abuse, and alcohol is the most common substance in this mix for mental illnesses like generalized anxiety, clinical depression, and even bipolar disorder.