Alcohol is an organic compound and refers to the primary alcohol ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, which is the main component in any alcoholic beverage.
Alcohol, in its various forms, is used in the medicinal field as disinfectants, antiseptics and antidotes. When used for disinfection, it is generally applied to skin before any form of surgery, but it can also be used to disinfect skin for other purposes as well. When used as an antiseptic for disinfection, Alcohol is generally given in combination with iodine. Soaps based on ethanol are also becoming increasingly popular in restaurants, due to the fact that the compound is extremely volatile, and does not require drying. Alcohol based gels have also become extremely popular as hand sanitizers. Alcohol, at times, is also used as a preservative in the field of medicine and science, due to its ability to preserve specimens.
Alcohol can be administered by either oral dosage, or by injection into veins, as the doctor sees fit for the particular patient and his medical condition.
Most people will give you a blatant No. And they are quite right to do so. But if you have been a habitual offender who can't unwind without their drink, pregnancy is going to be a big problem. So does the rule stand in all cases? What if you drank when you didn't know you were pregnant yet? What if you had a light drink here and there, will it literally spell disaster? Let's find out.
Contradictory advice everywhere: Most doctors will advice you to stay away completely from alcohol as soon as that first positive emerges in your test. Others may give you a little leeway and let you have an occasional drink. There are friends who'll confess to have cheated during their pregnancy and snuck in a beer or two and say that their kids turned out just fine. There are other friends will scorn on you for even thinking such a thing. Same goes for your relatives. Like all things in pregnancy, random advice will just not work.
How much can you drink? Let's assume that you are confident nothing will happen and want to be adventurous and give it a cautious try. Danish researchers have some good news for you. Some studies have shown that low to moderate consumption of alcohol does not harm the baby. In fact, in 2012, Danish researchers released a highly publicized study that found no major problems in children below 5 years whose mothers had consumed 1- 8 alcoholic drinks a week during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, not all research is made equal. With pregnancy, each mother, each child and progression of each pregnancy is different. It really has to be on a case by case basis and nothing can be taken on face value. Most people will still advise you to completely go off alcohol as there is 'no safe' amount during pregnancy. Some women have a larger quantity of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol. If a woman with lower levels of this enzyme drinks alcohol, it is more likely to harm her unborn child as the alcohol will remain in her bloodstream longer.
How alcohol can affect your child?
A number of disorders that can affect your child when in the womb and even after because of alcohol consumption. These disorders are collectively called 'Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder'. It is characterized by increased risk in miscarriage and stillbirth. It can also result in the baby having low birth weight and increase problems with learning, speech, attention span, language and hyperactivity. Alcohol consumption may also affect girl child and a baby boy differently. While both may turn out to have aggressive and delinquent behaviour, girls are more likely to develop mental health problems too.
If you are unable to give up on alcohol, you need to immediately get professional help to overcome your addiction. Also note that the term 'non-alcoholic' beverage is misleading as they can contain trace amounts of it. Consult a doctor today on which drinks are safe for you.
What happens to your brain when you get black out drunk?
Have you ever awoken after a night of drinking and were clueless about what happened or what you did? Or have you ever been drinking and found yourself in a strange location but had no clue as to how you got there? If any of these episodes of amnesia sounds familiar, then you have experienced an alcohol-induced blackout.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are two different types of blackouts (memory loss) induced by alcohol.
Blackouts are usually caused by heavy drinking on an empty stomach. Binge drinking (more than 5-6 drinks in a span of few hours) makes your blood alcohol levels rise too rapidly, thus producing a blackout.
Women are much more susceptible because of differences in how men and women metabolize alcohol. Females also may be more susceptible than males to milder forms of alcohol-induced memory impairments, even when men and women consume comparable amounts of alcohol.
Hence binge alcohol consumption warrants early medical intervention before it leads to permanent memory impairment.
For many people, the facts about alcoholism are not clear. What is alcoholism, exactly? How does it differ from alcohol abuse? When should a person seek help for a problem related to his or her drinking? The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has prepared this booklet to help individuals and families answer these and other common questions about alcohol problems. The following information explains both alcoholism and alcohol abuse, the symptoms of each, when and where to seek help, treatment choices, and additional helpful resources.
For most people who drink, alcohol is a pleasant accompaniment to social activities. Moderate alcohol use—up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people—is not harmful for most adults. (A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle or can of either beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.) Nonetheless, a large number of people get into serious trouble because of their drinking. Currently, nearly 14 million Americans—1 in every 13 adults—abuse alcohol or are alcoholic. Several million more adults engage in risky drinking that could lead to alcohol problems. These patterns include binge drinking and heavy drinking on a regular basis. In addition, 53 percent of men and women in the United States report that one or more of their close relatives have a drinking problem.
The consequences of alcohol misuse are serious—in many cases, life threatening. Heavy drinking can increase the risk for certain cancers, especially those of the liver, esophagus, throat, and larynx (voice box). Heavy drinking can also cause liver cirrhosis, immune system problems, brain damage, and harm to the fetus during pregnancy. In addition, drinking increases the risk of death from automobile crashes as well as recreational and on-the-job injuries. Furthermore, both homicides and suicides are more likely to be committed by persons who have been drinking. In purely economic terms, alcohol-related problems cost society approximately $185 billion per year. In human terms, the costs cannot be calculated.
Alcoholism, also known as “alcohol dependence,” is a disease that includes four symptoms:
Craving: A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
Loss of control: The inability to limit one’s drinking on any given occasion.
Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, occur when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.
Tolerance: The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to “get high.”
People who are not alcoholic sometimes do not understand why an alcoholic can’t just “use a little willpower” to stop drinking. However, alcoholism has little to do with willpower. Alcoholics are in the grip of a powerful “craving,” or uncontrollable need, for alcohol that overrides their ability to stop drinking. This need can be as strong as the need for food or water.
Although some people are able to recover from alcoholism without help, the majority of alcoholics need assistance. With treatment and support, many individuals are able to stop drinking and rebuild their lives.
Many people wonder why some individuals can use alcohol without problems but others cannot. One important reason has to do with genetics. Scientists have found that having an alcoholic family member makes it more likely that if you choose to drink you too may develop alcoholism. Genes, however, are not the whole story. In fact, scientists now believe that certain factors in a person’s environment influence whether a person with a genetic risk for alcoholism ever develops the disease. A person’s risk for developing alcoholism can increase based on the person’s environment, including where and how he or she lives; family, friends, and culture; peer pressure; and even how easy it is to get alcohol.
Alcohol abuse differs from alcoholism in that it does not include an extremely strong craving for alcohol, loss of control over drinking, or physical dependence. Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following situations within a 12-month period:
Failure to fulfill major work, school, or home responsibilities
Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous, such as while driving a car or operating machinery
Having recurring alcohol-related legal problems, such as being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or for physically hurting someone while drunk
Continued drinking despite having ongoing relationship problems that are caused or worsened by the drinking. Although alcohol abuse is basically different from alcoholism, many effects of alcohol abuse are also experienced by alcoholics.
If you are trying to quit alcohol, you should stick to beers and wines. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
1. Heavy drinkers have smaller brain volumes
Answer - True
Studies have shown that drinking too much alcohol can lead to the death of brain cells in certain parts of the brain such as the parietal lobe. It also causes electrical dysfunction in the brain by disturbing the brain's neurotransmitters.
2. Which of the following is an effect of alcohol withdrawal??
Answer - All of the above
Alcoholism is a serious medical condition that requires proper diagnosis and therapy. The withdrawal symptoms of suddenly quitting alcohol include anxiety, cold sweats, a sick feeling in the stomach and delirium.
3. An alcoholic needs to hit rock bottom before being able to quit and recover
Answer - False
Alcoholism has various degrees and not every alcoholic hits rock bottom before recovering. In any case, "rock bottom" is a subjective concept and does not mean the same thing for every individual. If you want to quit drinking, you should begin right away and not wait till you reach a low point in your life.
4. If you are trying to quit alcohol, you should stick to beers and wines
Answer - False
It is a common myth that beer and wine drinkers cannot be alcoholics. The truth is that these drinks may contain high percentages of alcohol which can effectively sustain an alcohol addiction even if one entirely avoids hard liquor.
5. Which of the following is the most effective way to avoid alcoholism?
Answer - Not drinking above the legal limit
Alcoholism only occurs when one overindulges in alcohol and binge drinks. Those who are trying to quit drinking or avoid alcoholism should refrain from consuming liquor in excess of the permissible limits for drinking at all times.
The truth is, alcohol and your liver don’t mix. For some people, consuming as little as one glass of wine or beer a day can cause liver problems to develop.
If there’s one thing that most people understand about the liver it’s that it serves as the body’s liquor control board. When you have a glass of wine, beer or other liquor, the liver is in charge of processing this alcohol and detoxifying the blood.
Liver can only handle a certain amount of alcohol at any given time, so if you drink more than the liver can deal with by drinking too quickly, or drinking too much, your liver cells struggle to process it.
If you continue to drink excessively, either through binge drinking or by having multiple drinks on a daily basis, you’re making your liver work continuous overtime. The consequences of this abuse may be the destruction of liver cells, a build-up of fat deposits in your liver (fatty liver), or more seriously, liver inflammation (alcoholic hepatitis), permanent scarring (cirrhosis) or even liver cancer
When alcohol reaches the liver, it produces a toxic enzyme called acetaldehyde which can damage liver cells and cause permanent scarring, as well as harm to the brain and stomach lining. But that’s not all.
Your liver also requires water to do its job effectively. When alcohol enters the body it acts as a diuretic and as such dehydrates you and forces the liver to find water from other sources. The severe dehydration is part of the reason why, after a big night of drinking you can wake up nursing a whopping headache.
Regular and heavy drinking over time can strain or upset the way alcohol is metabolized within the body, which can lead to alcoholic liver disease.
So think twice before drinking!