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How Does Alcohol Really Affect the Body?
Drinking has become a social norm over the years. Many people use it as a way to relax, loosen up, and feel less inhibited. With only a drink or two, it doesn’t seem as though much harm is done and they feel fine afterward; but when happens when it’s several drinks and becomes fairly frequent? In honor of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, we’re taking a closer look at the effects of alcohol on the body.
- Liver: Your liver takes the brunt of the impact. Alcohol is processed by the liver and broken down so that your body can get rid of it. However, your liver can only work so quickly, so binge drinking can be overwhelming. Over time, the liver becomes damaged and can become inflamed and scarred. Eventually it can stop working all together.
- Heart: Alcohol can weaken the heart muscles, increase blood pressure, cause an irregular heartbeat, and elevate your risk of a stroke, heart attack, or heart failure.
- Immune System: Heavy drinking can weaken your immune system and make it more difficult to fend off illness and disease. It also puts you at greater risk for at least seven different forms of cancer.
- Brain: Drinking clouds your thinking, interferes with good judgment, slows reaction times, and can negatively affect mood and behavior.
- Digestive System: Alcohol is hard on your stomach and can prevent the body from properly absorbing the vitamins and nutrients that it needs. You may develop stomach ulcers, acid reflux, diarrhea, and other uncomfortable or damaging effects.
Not to mention that alcohol is filled with empty calories and can lead to unwanted weight gain. It can also dehydrate your skin leaving you feeling itchy and looking bloated. Recognizing the signs of problematic drinking early on can help you to protect your health and get the treatment you need for recovery. JC’s Recovery Center supports clients in overcoming alcohol use disorders and building a fulfilling and meaningful life in sobriety. There are many ways to have fun and relax without alcohol.
[cta] Make your health and well-being a priority by entering treatment for alcoholism at JC’s Recovery Center. [/cta]