7 Ways Alcohol Can Unexpectedly Affect Your Body
There is a new trend developing among millennials that actually celebrates sobriety and t-total life. That’s right — sober is the new drunk, and it’s gaining traction not least of all because of the associated health benefits.
It has always been puzzling how one drug — i.e., alcohol — can be deemed legal and another prohibited, particularly given that consuming the lawful substance can occasionally be far more harmful than the illicit option. And in the spirit of the times that continuously diverge to individualism and questioning of the powers that be, sobriety is actually a form of rebellion for many of the youth today.
However, young or old, people may be onto something, as the research into the dangers of alcohol has never been more accurate or thorough, and that’s why we’re focusing on the more unexpected effects of alcohol on your body.
This is a hot topic for the health industry this year – inflammation is considered to be one of the most dangerous precursors to cancer, and it is caused by consuming acidifying fluids and foods. Alcohol has a majorly acidic effect on the body, which weakens a body’s immune system and general ability to replenish itself and repair cells — as it spends more time and energy trying to keep its overall pH neutral — and invites a whole host of diseases to potentially develop.
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to abnormal activation of digestive enzymes that are typically produced by the pancreas. As these enzymes build up, inflammation can occur known as pancreatitis, which is long-term and serious.
- Hearing Loss
Rarely associated with alcohol, hearing loss is on the up for drinkers. According to studies conducted by the University of Ulm in Germany, high alcohol consumption over an extended period of time can cause damage to the central auditory cortex of the brain, which could result in brain shrinkage. As auditory nerve damage accumulates, even the most moderate of alcohol consumers risk nerve damage and eventually hearing loss.
- Central Nervous System Damage
Alcohol interferes with just about everything, and the central nervous system is possibly most obviously affected given the superficial manifestation of symptoms. Most of us associate slurred speech with intoxication, which is caused by reduced communication between the brain and the body. Moreover, coordination and balancing will also be impaired, and numbness can also be experienced for days following a night out.
We all know that alcohol is addictive – not only emotionally but also physically. As a result, withdrawal systems can cause havoc if you aren’t topping up your body’s alcohol levels. These include anxiety, nervousness, nausea, tremors, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures, hallucinations and delirium.
Alcohol savages the human body’s digestive system. Not only can booze damage tissues in your digestive tract and hinder food from being properly absorbed, but it can also cause stomach ulcers, which can be fatal, and hemorrhoids.
Dehydration is one of the main effects of alcohol, which in turn causes constipation and painful stools. As a result of severe constipation, external piles and hemorrhoids can develop, which for many people continue to return even after surgical removal.
- Lower Libido
It’s a common misconception that because alcohol lowers inhibitions, tipsy people are more likely to have higher sex drives. That may be case on occasion — however, the more likely reality is erectile dysfunction and lower libido. Alcohol actually prevents sex hormones from being produced given its damaging effects on the endocrine system.
Women, on the other hand, suffer from amenorrhea as a result of heavy drinking, which can lead to infertility. Furthermore, if women drink while pregnant, their children can be born with FASD, long-term health issues or learning difficulties.
These millennials may be on to something with their new wave of sobriety – simply because the powers that be have deemed it legal does not mean alcohol consumption is advisable.