Alcohol when taken moderately has little to no repercussions in the body, but anything above taking alcohol lightly can bring significant damage to your health. Even health experts still differ on the amount of little that is moderate enough. Most experts safely agree that a maximum of one glass of probably red wine is healthy enough and anything other than that could be risky.
The immediate effect of alcohol intake which includes an increase in blood alcohol concentration can begin ten minutes after your first sip. After the first sip, around 33% is immediately absorbed into the blood and then the remaining alcohol is absorbed more slowly into the blood, and other tissue in the body.
The long-term effect of alcohol can affect various parts of your body, from your liver to your brain and to your heart.
See some ways alcohol can mess up your body system:
1. THE BRAIN
Getting high and wasted might seem like fun, especially when you don’t remember the events from the previous night, but you might be hurting your brain in the long-term. Those moments you can’t seem to remember are called temporary amnesia and it could develop into Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS) — a memory-impairing, vision-and-speech affecting and seizure-causing disorder.
2. YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Alcohol can also mess with your immune system, and a weakened immune system will have a hard time fighting off viruses. You’d be susceptible to cold, flu, germs and other types of viruses. Heavy and chronic drinkers put themselves at risk of many forms of cancer.
3. CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
Your central nervous system is also put at risk when you are a heavy alcohol consumer.
As we maintained in the introductory paragraph, after the first sip of alcohol, around 33% is immediately absorbed into the blood and then the remaining alcohol is absorbed more slowly into the blood, and other tissue in the body.
Alcohol can quickly travel to many parts of your body, including your central nervous system and this can affect your ability to think clearly. In the long run, severe alcohol intake can lead to permanent brain damage, result in pains, numbness and abnormal sensations. In severe cases, it can lead to hallucinations and confusion especially getting when approaching old age.
4. THE LIVER
A lot of alcohol abusers tend to underplay what alcohol can really do to the liver because they haven’t yet fallen victim. Liver cirrhosis is the result of liver disease, which is usually caused by alcohol consumption. And the liver is important for ridding the body of toxins, food digestion, controlling infections and nutrient absorption.
Excessive alcohol consumption also causes the liver to accumulate fat, which can lead to fatty liver disease.
Alcohol can affect the kidney just as it can also affect the liver. It can disrupt the kidneys’ job of regulating the flow and makeup of body fluids which can disturb the balance of electrolytes.
Overuse of alcohol can also lead to high blood pressure, which can also lead to kidney failure.
6. THE BREASTS
Alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer. It raises estrogen levels and an increase in estrogen level can lead to the development of breast cancer.
7. THE HEART
Excessive alcohol intake can damage the heart. Of course, you must have heard this a lot, but it’s the truth. Alcohol consumption raises blood pressure and blood lipids, which could increase the risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke and could also raise cholesterol level.
Consistent alcohol intake begins to weaken the heart muscle which can result in blood flow irregularities. It’s often plagued by a condition known as cardiomyopathy — a condition where the heart stretches and droops. Alcohol users who have been diagnosed with this, tend to experience shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, enlarged liver and fatigue.
So when next you have that urge to take that extra glass and extra bottle, remember these things.