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How Alcohol Affects Your Health

How Alcohol Affects Your Health

If you’re wondering how excessive alcohol consumption can affect your health, check out this guide from AIM Group.

What Is Excessive Drinking?

Drinking too much alcohol includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any alcohol consumption by minors or pregnant women. Since alcohol is quickly absorbed by the body, it takes longer for your system to process it. If you drink large amounts of alcohol in a short period, it increases the risk of health problems.

A standard drink is equal to 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of regular beer (which has an alcohol content of 5%), 8 to 9 ounces (237 to 266 milliliters) of malt liquor (with an alcohol content of 7%), 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine (with an alcohol content of 12%), or 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof hard liquor (with an alcohol content of 40%). Mixed drinks usually contain more than one serving of alcohol and thus take even longer to metabolize.

Short-Term Health Risks Of Drinking Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can have instant consequences that increase the risk of many dangerous health issues. These short-term health risks are usually caused by binge drinking and include the following: alcohol poisoning, which can lead to a coma or death; high-risk behaviors, such as increased sexual activities that can lead to unintended pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases; and injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns, due to impaired judgment.

Additionally, drinking during pregnancy can lead to miscarriages, stillbirths, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). It is illegal for anyone 21 years of age or older to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.

The Long-Term Health Risks Of Excessive Drinking

The overconsumption of alcohol can lead to the development of serious ailments and other long-term health issues that impact your entire body, including:

  • Increased risk of heart disease, such as higher risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiomyopathy.

  • The excessive consumption of alcohol can have serious repercussions on your brain, such as strokes, learning and memory problems, and mental health issues. An irregular heartbeat due to excessive drinking can cause blood clots in your heart that can travel to your brain and lead to strokes. Furthermore, due to its classification as a Central Nervous System Depressant, alcohol slows down brain activity and functioning, and long-term binge drinking can cause depression and anxiety. Finally, it can also lead to dementia and poor academic performance.

  • Excessive drinking of alcohol can take a toll on your liver and stomach. It can cause liver diseases due to the fact that most of it is metabolized by your liver. Additionally, it can cause digestive problems such as inflammation in your stomach, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, feeling full, flatulence, and abdominal pain.

  • Drinking too much alcohol can have other serious health implications, such as high blood pressure, increased cancer risk in various parts of the body, weakened immune system, alcohol use disorder, and skin problems like dehydration and increased risk of skin infections.

How Can I Seek Help?

If you believe you may be struggling with alcohol, seek assistance. Speak to your healthcare provider, therapist, or a substance abuse specialist. Research online support groups. While some individuals are able to overcome their addiction independently, if you feel you need further assistance, explore the Alcoholics Anonymous in your vicinity.

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At Advanced Internal Medical Group in East Hills, NY we have 40 years of experience minimizing pain with over 20 services in primary care, house call appointments, and other services related to arthritis. To learn more about any of our services, call 516-352-8100 to speak with one of our team members.

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