Why You Need to Get a Handle on Alcoholism for Your Health

Alcoholism is a touchy subject as it pertains to how it effects victims both emotionally and financially. That said, it’s perhaps the health effects that can be the most shocking and overlooked for those who suffer or know somebody who suffers from the disease. Given that approximately 25% of adults binge drink regularly, it’s crucial to understand the big picture impact that excessive alcohol consumption has on our bodies.

While some people can indeed live a normal, healthy lifestyle while consuming alcohol in moderation, others should consider either tapering or going cold turkey for the sake of their long-term health. Below we’ve outlined four negative side effects associated with heavy drinking, some of which are commonly discussed and others which could potentially sneak up on unsuspecting drinkers.

Liver Disease

Arguably the most obvious and concerning complications as a result of alcohol abuse comes in the form of liver damage. Although there are both natural causes and treatments for liver disease, long-term binge drinking effectively breaks down the liver and inhibits your body’s ability to break down toxic substances.

The end result is a negative snowball effect where your system is unable to deal with the alcohol that it’s taking in, resulting in a slew of complications including diabetes, high blood pressure and liver failure. Drinking in moderation is therefore key to avoiding liver disease as such damage cannot easily be undone over time.

Weight Gain

Alcohol is a complicated customer when it comes to how your body treats it from a nutritional perspective. In simple terms, alcohol represents “empty calories” with little to no nutritional value; meanwhile, alcohol negatively impacts your body’s ability to both burn fat and build muscle. For those looking to trim their waistlines or better recover from their gym sessions, alcohol is arguably your worst enemy.

Furthermore, the myth that alcohol is either low-carb or low-calorie needs to be dispelled. Light beers and shots of straight liquor can quickly add up calorically for people binge-drinking. Sugary cocktails can quickly result in over 1,000 calories over the course of a heavy drinking session.

Memory Loss

The inability to remember what you did after a night drinking might seem amusing or humorous, but the phenomenon of blacking out and memory loss is no laughing matter. Over time, excessive drinking can cause both short-term and long-term memory loss in addition to slowing your reaction times for everyday tasks. The impairment of cognitive function isn’t reserved for older adults, either: even young people are at risk for the adverse effects of alcohol on their brains.

Sleep Apnea

Alcohol generally spells bad news for your sleep quality, resulting in a poor night’s rest as you wake up feeling either groggy, dazed or hungover. Additionally, alcohol irritates the symptoms of sleep apnea for those who have existing breathing issues such as asthma. As sleep apnea causes your breathing to slow or pause for extended periods of time, the symptoms can indeed be fatal if left unchecked.

As noted, most people don’t necessarily have to stress out about these issues and symptoms if they drink in moderation. Getting a literal handle on your drinking habits not only benefits for your personal and professional relationships, but most importantly ensures that you have a healthier, happier life.

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