Unfortunately, many people can’t wait to go out again and get drunk, as the truth is that alcohol is a poison that damages all body organs.
Enjoying a glass or two once in a while is completely alright, but the excessive consumption of alcohol can seriously damage health, and these are the body areas that are affected:
Liver: The liver is seriously damaged by alcohol use, and it can become inflamed, leading to scarring and cirrhosis, as well as alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver disease, or liver cancer.
Central nervous system: The brain is deeply affected by alcohol consumption, which can cause dementia-like symptoms memory loss, blacking out, depression, etc.
Circulatory system: too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, trouble pumping blood through the body, blood clots, stroke, cardiomyopathy, heart attack, other heart diseases, and breathing difficulty
Digestive system: Excessive alcohol use can inflame the lining of the stomach, causing indigestion or nausea, as well as an increased risk of ulcers, chronic heartburn, and gastritis
Pancreas: Abnormal activation of stomach enzymes can inflame the pancreas and cause pancreatitis
Skeleton and muscles: Loss of nutrients leads to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and an increased risk of bone fractures and weak muscles.
Immune system: It lowers the natural defenses in the immune system and makes one prone to contagious diseases, including pneumonia or tuberculosis
Reproductive health: Too much alcohol can cause reproductive problems, from erectile dysfunction to irregular menstruation, infertility, premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, or having a child with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
According to one recent study, an average income earner drinks 9.5 liters of alcohol annually, and this number increases in the case of people who drink when out with friends or after a stressful day at work.
On the other hand, people who stay away from alcohol apparently enjoy numerous benefits. A group of volunteers gave up drinking alcohol for 28 days and documented the effects of their experiment. First of all, their physical appearance changed.
Week 1: Increased appetite and sugar cravings
When drinking, many people feel the need for a lot of food, especially late in the night. If you don’t drink alcohol, your appetite will increase initially, and you will face sugar cravings, but it will change after a month. Also, volunteers had a drop in their blood sugar levels, slept bad, and experienced headaches.
Week 2: Better sleep and overall health
During the second week, things got better. Their sleep improved, they looked healthier, and the dark circles around the eyes disappeared. Moreover, their sense of smell and taste improved, as well as the function of the urinary tract. The lower saliva production also strengthened tooth enamel and lowered the risk of cavities.
Week 3: Improvement of overall health
Human liver recovers within three weeks, so the skin complexion of volunteers improved, their wrinkles disappeared as their circulation was improved, and their digestion improved.
Week 4: Lower risk of cardiovascular disease/High confidence and better mental state
During the last week, some volunteers lost 6-8 pounds, their risk of cardiovascular disease was reduced, and their high blood pressure was lowered. Also, they became more confident, and their brain started working more efficiently.
The findings of a 2018 research conducted by the Royal Free Hospital released in the British Medical Journal showed that quitting alcohol for a month:
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Leads to weight loss
- Improves sleep
- Lowers risk of disease
- Decreases blood protein levels (cancer protection)
- Saves a lot of money
Therefore, the benefits one experiences after quitting drinking are numerous. According to experts at alcoholchange.org, it takes three weeks to break a habit, so taking a month to see the changes will definitely convince you to never go back to alcohol.