Alcohol use is a controversial issue; there are many myths and misconceptions about its effects on health. Because setting up a website using medical templates has never been easier, many healthcare providers and experts have shared their opinions online. But what’s the real story when it comes to alcohol consumption?
Let’s look at how alcohol affects the body.
The Positives: Alcohol Can Reduce Your Risk Of Serious Diseases
Some evidence suggests that light to moderate alcohol consumption can lower your risk of heart disease. (On the other hand, drinking heavily raises your risk.) Moderate consumption can benefit your heart by lowering your blood pressure, increasing your HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) levels, lowering your risk of diabetes, lowering your levels of fibrinogen (which contributes to the formation of blood clots), and temporarily lowering your stress levels.
Alcohol can also prevent Type 2 diabetes. Sensible drinking can reduce insulin resistance, which underpins the unsteady blood sugar levels seen in those with the condition. Enjoying a drink as part of a meal is particularly beneficial.
A study with 365,000 participants published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, found that people who drink alcohol in moderation cut their risk of dementia by twenty-three percent. Although scientists aren’t sure why this is the case, alcohol may subject brain cells to stress that strengthens them, making them more resilient to the damage associated with dementia and cognitive decline.
Finally, despite the fact that alcohol is responsible for many preventable deaths each year, moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to a lower risk of early death.
The Negatives: The Dangers Of Heavy Drinking
The best-known negative effect of alcohol is liver disease. Excessive drinking causes inflammation of the liver and fatty liver disease. Fortunately, it is usually reversible as long as the patient stops drinking. However, if someone drinks heavily for a long time, their liver cells may start to die. These cells are replaced with scar tissue. This causes cirrhosis, a condition that can necessitate a liver transplant.
The link between alcohol consumption and cancer is well established. Research shows that drinking – even in moderate amounts – can raise your risk of breast, liver, throat, mouth, and colon cancer. The more you drink, the higher your risk. However, your susceptibility to cancer depends on many other factors, including your age, sex, and genetics.
Women who drink during pregnancy are putting their babies’ health in danger. Alcohol is a common cause of congenital disabilities. Expectant mothers should avoid drinking even small amounts of alcohol. Binge drinking is particularly dangerous.
Alcoholic drinks contain calories. If you don’t account for these calories, they can lead to weight gain and obesity, which carries a host of health risks, including heart disease and diabetes. Although there is no conclusive evidence, some people report that drinking alcohol increases their appetite. This can trigger overeating.
Some people develop a dependency on alcohol. This is sometimes referred to as “alcohol abuse,” “alcoholism,” or “alcohol use disorder.” Symptoms include a feeling of being out of control around alcohol, drinking to keep withdrawal symptoms under control, and changing your lifestyle to accommodate your drinking habits.
If left untreated, alcohol abuse disorder can be devastating. It can cause severe occupational impairment at work or school, damages relationships, and can lead to risky behaviors and accidents. Alcohol abuse disorder often occurs alongside depression and other mental illnesses.
What’s The Healthiest Alcoholic Beverage?
The quantity of alcohol you drink is more important than what you drink. However, some beverages are more beneficial than others. Red wine is the healthiest choice because it contains high levels of antioxidants.
How Much Should You Drink?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, women should have no more than one standard drink each day. Men should limit themselves to two. A standard drink is defined as a drink that contains 14 grams of alcohol. This is equivalent to approximately 12 fl oz of beer or five fl oz of wine.
Do not go on drinking binges. Excessive drinking causes a range of health problems, including brain and liver damage. Moderation is key. If you know or suspect that you have a problem regulating your drinking, seek help from your doctor or a counselor specializing in addiction.