It is a common belief that alcohol consumption is a social menace and is injurious to health. It is the third leading lifestyle causes of death in the United States and takes a toll on the health care costs of the country. Many organs like the liver, kidney, heart, and brain are affected in people who are addicted to alcohol. However, it has been proven that alcohol consumption in minor amounts can have beneficial effects on the human body including the heart.
The side effects depend on a number of factors listed below.
As the adage goes, anything in excess is bad. It is not necessary that a habitual or social drinker who consumes a drink or two per week would end up with these issues. In fact, if recent studies are to be believed, mild to moderate intake of alcohol does have a benefit to overall health.
For long, there have been campaigns and discussions about the harmful effects and diseases associated with alcohol consumption. In most cases, it is not the alcohol, but the quantity consumed that affects a person. Limited consumption of alcohol can, in fact, work to your advantage. Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, helps to avert, check or improve many medical conditions and health ailments.
People with moderate alcohol consumption are also at a lower risk of developing gallstones. The high silicon content in beer helps to strengthen the bones, but only when consumed within limits. Beer is also rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin).
You must have heard this very often that drinking alcohol can lead to heart problems or even a heart attack, but you might not be sure how this is exactly explained. There is no doubt that consuming anything in excess can lead to serious health issues. Interestingly experts invariably mention that a drink or two every day keeps your heart healthy and can even prevent a stroke from occurring. So how does this gel with the conclusion that alcohol is not good for your heart?
It starts with pre-existing conditions
Before one even considers this question of excessive alcohol consumption, the more critical issue is there are certain categories of people who should not go anywhere near a bottle of the liquor. These are:
In the case of these people, the risk of alcohol consumption is high and as far as possible they should avoid drinking any alcoholic liquor. The difficulty that arises in most cases is people may not be aware that they could be carrying some of these conditions and they would be merrily enjoying their evening drinks or even a weekend binge. These could be quite dangerous for their health. In the last category listed above, alcohol might react adversely with some drugs and if the person is taking the drugs regularly, it puts him/her directly in the line of risk of heart failure.
The effect of alcohol on your system
The chemistry part of this is explained that alcohol can directly impact the individual’s blood pressure. It tends to increase as the person keeps drinking over and over. Simultaneously there is an increase in certain fats in the bloodstream. Indirectly, this fat could lead to obesity and that could precipitate disorders like diabetes.
Apart from this, there is sufficient evidence to link excessive drinking to life-threatening diseases like cancer, peptic ulcers and serious deficiencies in the liver that can lead to fatality. So from every perspective, consumption of alcohol of any concentration, meaning whether it is beer or wine or the harder forms like whisky and rum, the risk to the heart is real and for those with prior conditions, the damage to the health could only get hastened.
Alcohol, tobacco and drugs; these are some of the most common substances that people can get addicted to. Getting addicted is easy but to get rid of your habit is hard.
Here are a few things that could help:
Treatment through Mindfulness
The practice of mindfulness involves two primary elements: focused attention and open monitoring. During the practice of focused attention, attention is concentrated on a sensory object (often the sensation of breathing) while one acknowledges and then stops from distracting thoughts and emotions. Focused attention practices are often preceded by the practice of open monitoring. Open monitoring is a metacognitive state of awareness in the sense that it involves monitoring the content of consciousness while reflecting back on the process or quality of consciousness itself. This form of mindfulness practice is thought to reduce anxiety to a larger extent.
Alcohol addiction commonly known as alcoholism is a fairly common problem that has shown to affect people from every walk of life. Scientists have tried to pinpoint the absolute cause behind alcoholism, but to no success. Certain factors like sex, genetic, and socioeconomic factors have shown to have some effect on alcoholism. The cause of alcoholism is never singular. Alcohol addiction is indeed a disease, where a person may not have full control over his actions and is seen to change the neurochemistry of the brain.
The symptoms of alcohol addiction can be seen in many ways and the severity of the situation varies from person to person. Other factors such as the frequency of consumption may also be specific. While some people are heavy drinkers and drink throughout the day; others may drink occasionally and remain sober for a few days.
A person who is dependent on alcohol will prioritise drinking over other essential activities and will eventually cause disruption in his social life, work or other areas of his life. It can also create a negative effect in the victim’s life along with their families and their near and dear ones.
What are the signs of alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse?
The signs and symptoms of alcoholism or addiction are rather conspicuous. Since drinking alcohol is common in social events in most cultures around the world, it becomes difficult to recognise when someone is addicted to alcohol, unlike drugs like cocaine and heroin.
The physical signs of alcohol abuse include:
How does alcohol affect the body?
Chronic abuse of alcohol can have negative effects on almost every part of your body and plays havoc in your system. Alcohol is liable to cause irreversible damage to several organs of the body which is vital for sustenance:
Alcoholism in itself can lead to several diseases like: