Alcohol and Your Health

in Alcohol

Alcohol has a wide range of negative effects on an individual's health. If used to excess over a significant period of time, it can cause serious damage and health complications.

The body can become physically dependent on alcohol and those addicted to alcohol may need to undergo alcohol detox so that they can stop drinking safely and in the long-term.

One of the misconceptions about alcohol is that it's a stimulant; it is in fact a depressant. This is why it can cause people to slur their words, make poor judgements, lose their memory and perhaps become violent.

Alcohol cal also cause stomach problems and is a major irritant. Drinking a lot can cause vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea. It's very dehydrating and this is the main factor that contributes to the unpleasant feelings associated with a hangover.

Short-term risks

In the short-term, the risks associated with drinking too much include anxiety and depression, sexual dysfunctions, problems with judgement and reasoning leading to risky behaviour, losing consciousness, choking on vomit, slowed breathing and heart rate and poisoning.

Drinking heavily regularly is also associated with weight gain, which has numerous health risks of its own associated with it. Just an extra three or four units per day could lead to gaining a stone in two or three months.

Long-term risks

In the long-term alcohol abuse can cause a range of serious health problems. These include liver disease, damage to an unborn child, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, strokes, brain damage and many more conditions besides.

Safe drinking

To prevent developing long- and short-term health problems such as these, it's strongly advisable to stay within the maximum alcohol unit limits outlines by the Government. This is a maximum or three or four units of alcohol per day for men and two or three for women.

This means not binge drinking – if you stay within a weekly limit but drink all the units on one night, you're still risking your health.

If you're concerned about your drinking, monitor how many units you're drinking and try to cut down so that you're within limits. If you find that you can't cut down, consult your GP or an alcohol professional. They will assess your drinking and be able to advise you whether you need professional help and alcohol detox.

A medical professional will be able to tell you what effect alcohol is having on your body and your health. They'll be able to give you information and guidance on the next steps for cutting down drinking.

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Sarah Cornish has 1 articles online

Wellington Lodge is an established not-for-profit specialist alcohol detox and rehab provider. We offer triage, screening and rehabilitation at our comfortable in-patient facility at Wellington Lodge in North London. We also offer out-patient facilities at specialist clinics in Harley Street, London or at Queens Square in Bath, Somerset.

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Alcohol and Your Health

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This article was published on 2011/07/05