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Alcohol and its effects – 5 ways to overcome addiction

Why is alcohol bad?

Alcohol
Drinking.

Alcohol commonly known as a depressant drug, drinking too much of it affects your brain and bodily functions in a very negative way. As alcohol is a chemical liquid produced through the process of fermentation, it has numerous chronic health risks associated to its consumption such as liver and heart diseases, cancer and also plays a significant role in one’s social life.

People might know the long term effects of alcohol, but it also results in certain conditions for casual or occasional drinkers as well. These drinkers often have a habit of consuming more liquor during a party or an occasion.

Since, the liver needs about an hour to process one drink, drinking several glasses cause the body to store alcohol which puts the entire system under pressure and could lead to several health conditions like high bp, stroke and digestive problems.

Effects of alcohol

Alcohol and health
Health and Alcoholism

While a glass a day isn’t much of a concern unless the habit grows or if you can’t stop yourself after a certain limit. Drinking everyday causes serious complications with a person’s physical and mental health.

Some common and major effects of alcoholism are:

1) Digestive and gastrointestinal problems: The GI tract is the organ that starts from the mouth connecting through the stomach and small intestines, to the colon. Alcohol irritates the inner lining of this tract leading to inflammation, swelling or redness. Alcohol also worsens symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  

2) Dependency: People who drink heavily may get dependent on alcohol physically or emotionally. This dependency can often lead to several withdrawals which can be very difficult for an individual to handle.

Some of the symptoms of withdrawals include: 

  • anxiety
  • tremors
  • high blood pressure
  • nausea
  • nervousness  

3) Cardiovascular system: People who drink frequently are more prone to the possibility of developing heart related issues. Since, alcohol decreases the amount of fluid in the body, the heart has to work harder to pump the same amount of blood causing complications like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat

4) Alcohol and the liver: Liver is an important organ which helps to remove harmful substances from the body including drugs. Daily consumption of alcohol makes the liver to work extra and harder causing inflammation and scarring of its tissue known as cirrhosis.

As this happens, it becomes extremely difficult for the liver to get rid of waste and toxins, which is highly life-threatening for the human body.

5) Immunity: People who drink on a daily basis have weaker immune system compared to those of non-drinkers. Alcohol massively reduces the body’s natural immune system which makes it more difficult for the body to fight against viruses and bacteria. 

Know more about how it affects immune system 

6) Sexual health: Most of you may think that alcohol and sex is a great combination, but that is not the reality. Men who drink too heavily are prone to experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives and it also prevents sex hormone production.

Women who drink too much may stop menstruating that may put them at a higher risk of infertility, miscarriage or premature delivery.

7) Mental health: As alcohol might make you feel better if you are already susceptible to mental health issues, this also gets you addicted to it and worsens the symptoms when you are not drinking.

There might be another case where heavy and regular drinking may develop symptoms of depression and anxiety for someone who has lived a stress free life before. This happens because of lowered production of serotonin in the brain.     

How to break the addiction?

break alcohol addiction
Overcome addiction.

As this journey could often be a road of ups and downs, you would certainly experience self-improvement. At times, you may feel it is impossible to stop, this is where you get all the support you need.

Change is inevitable. All you need is willingness and certain changes in your lifestyle to do so. Although transformation wouldn’t happen overnight, it is more of a gradual process. The below steps would help you to look into yourself on the road to recovery: 

1) Estimate the pros and cons of drinking: The only thing you get from alcohol is temporary satisfaction from a stressful day or emotional problems and a bit of fun to end your day.

 On the other hand, your relationships might get worse, makes you depressed and anxious the next day, won’t be able to perform well in your daily life and family situations.

2) Keep a record of how much you drink: The key would be realizing how much you actually drink on a daily basis. Doing this would help you to consciously think about your routine and how alcohol could affect it.

3) Evaluate why you drink: While many people drink due to emotional pain or to face stressful situations, knowing the reasons can help you find alternate ways to deal with your problems.

It would be hard to deal challenges without alcohol, but it’s worth considering whether alcohol prevents you from finding other ways to manage pain or stress.

4) Physical exercises or yoga: Working out or doing yoga is one way to manage your hidden pain or to face stress. These exercises are natural ways to increase serotonin production leading to happiness and also makes you forget your problems. 

Related: How yoga helps to live a healthy lifestyle  

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