If we look at top five addictive substances, alcohol is always there. Alcohol also shrinks and disturbs brain tissue. Frequent drinking can even lead to a stretching of the heart (Cardiomyopathy), an irregular heartbeat (Arrhythmias), stroke or high blood pressure. The liver also bears brunt of alcohol's effects.
It is very important especially for those who already fighting against other illnesses to know the side effects of alcohol on human body. I am saying this because as a doctor I got an email this week from Henry about alcohol and its side effects. The question I get asked often and Henry writes to me:-
“Sir, Is alcohol bad for my body? I know it's not good but I have not been drinking that much may be on the weekends like two times. I’m asking you because I noticed it is affecting my health. It is pertinent to mention here that I have not felt like that when I was younger. Now my age is 35 and is it the alcohol or just I’m getting older?”
I give him an answer right here and by doing this, the readers of this article will also understand this issue. It is important to know that aging has a lot to do with this situation because power of our body to fight against diseases gradually starts to drop. Since Henry is in his mid-30s, he knows at age 35, his health has been slowly lowering from the past decade or more.
However, alcohol is an addition to this problem and is causing a faster drop and thus it's making him more vulnerable to health issues.
In three primary ways, alcohol will be harmful to one’s body:-
Toxin to body
You know your liver and muscles and so forth as well as your mind, neurons and synapses. Now when the body of a person tries to metabolize the ethanol, it lowers the amount of NAD+ inside one’s liver and other parts. Now come to these 3 primary ways:-
1. Endorphins:- Alcohol stimulates the brain to discharge beta opioid endorphins. This is the reason why one gets relaxed after taking some beers. These endorphins are also notorious for the health.
2. Increase in Estrogens level:- Alcohol also causes an increase in one’s estrogens level which is dangerous for health.
3. Producing estrogens:- Alcohol is also one of the main causes of belly fat, which indirectly produces even more estrogens.
Right now I'm not saying that one may never drink. It is the discretion of everyone to spend life as per their will. My suggestion is to reduce the consumption of alcohol over time, whenever possible. One may try to avoid binge drinking in start.
Last but not least, the older one gets, the bigger the problem alcohol is for overall health. Taking minerals every day helps to undo the damage from alcohol consumption especially if you're like Henry i.e. over the age of 30.
These books are highly recommended to address issues related to addiction:-
In the end, let’s see this amazing video to save us from Alcohol use disorder.