What does alcohol do to your body?
You might recognize it, spending a night with your friends or a few wines at dinner. Almost everyone drinks alcohol once in a while. And most people even think “pff, next time just a few glasses-less”. But what are the consequences of alcohol for your body?
Effects on your organs
The effects of alcohol can affect different organs in your body, think of your brain, your liver, your stomach, your heart and blood vessels.
Alcohol has an anaesthetic effect. Communication between neurons slows down and brain cells function differently or can even die. With years of excessive drinking, the brain can shrink, up to 10% to 15%.
The effects of alcohol on the brain can often be noted after a short period of time. You become a bit looser and happier, you make people feel easier and feelings of shame disappear like snow for the sun. This is because alcohol affects the front part of the brain (frontal cortex). Your self-control decreases, you have fewer inhibitions and you respond more impulsively.
The next day you will find out that you are missing parts of the cosy evening. Alcohol has an effect on the hippocampus, with the result that short-term memories are not passed on to long-term memory. The well-known black-out. In addition, alcohol can affect your motor and balance.
Sometimes you may get angry, staggered or aggressive feelings. This is also called an evil drunk. Factors that can be involved include the amount of alcohol, your character, your mood, the atmosphere and the environment. It can also cause Alcohol Addiction.
A long-term consequence of alcohol on the brain is Korsakov’s syndrome. This is a syndrome in which memory is affected by a lack of vitamin B1. People with Korsakov often suffer from memory loss, but planning daily life is also a challenge. The syndrome occurs in alcohol abuse.
There are several problems that can arise in the liver. Your liver is an organ that will make your body clean. When you drink too much alcohol, the cleansing effect of your liver may be disturbed.
There are several diseases that can occur.
- Liver fatigue, on fattening of fat, a low fat on your liver will develop. Liver fatigue can decrease again when you do not drink any more alcohol. If you are drinking alcohol, you can ignite liver fatigue.
- Liver cirrhosis, an inflammation can lead to liver cirrhosis. In liver cirrhosis, cells die in your liver die. This causes scars on your liver and can no longer be done well. This may lead to other symptoms, such as jaundice.
If you do not drink alcohol so often, it may be that after a night you get well with your friends, it becomes a bit nauseous. This is because your stomach is irritated. An irritable stomach may cause you to surrender so that all toxins are out of your stomach. In a worse case, a hole may develop in your stomach. This hole can cause your stomach to ignite. You can get stomach ulcers.
Heart and vessels
Often it is said that alcohol is good for your heart and blood vessels. True, if you drink alcohol to some extent. Too much alcohol can cause you to suffer from a (high) blood pressure. And not just too high blood pressure can be a consequence of alcohol, cardiac arrhythmia or even cerebral haemorrhage may occur by regularly drinking too much alcohol.
Alcohol poisoning, also known as alcohol poisoning, can also be due to too much alcohol. There is alcohol poisoning if the amount of alcohol in the blood and in your brain is so high that you can become unconscious. It can even get so far that the nervous system becomes anaesthetized and the respiratory system is switched off. This can lead to a coma or a cardiac arrest.
A hangover is a slight form of alcohol intoxication. How soon you suffer from alcohol poisoning depends on several factors, such as body weight, sex and how fast you drink alcohol.
Excessive use of alcohol can lead to an increased risk of various types of cancer. Drinking a lot of alcohol gives you more chance:
- Throat cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Canine cancer
Did you know?
In addition to all the effects that alcohol may have on your body, there are more effects that alcohol can bring. Did you know, for example, that about 16% of all road accidents, alcohol, is the cause? This is how SWOV estimates (foundation for research on road safety).
Did you know that?
- People who drink 25 glasses of alcohol a week, and this for 10 to 15 years, may suffer mild brain damage.
- In recent years, alcohol consumption among young people (12-16 years) has fallen sharply. Where first 66% of the young people drank a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, that percentage is now 45%.
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