People drink alcohol for different reasons. For many, a drink or two can be a way to compliment a nice meal or celebrate an occasion. For others, drinking alcohol is a lifestyle or a way to connect with peers. Irrespective of why you drink alcohol, knowing its effects on your body will go a long way in ensuring you make informed life choices.

In this article, we shall highlight some of the health effects of alcohol on your body.

Moderate consumption of alcohol may provide some health benefits like minimizing the risk of developing and succumbing to heart disease, possibly decreasing the risk of ischemic stroke and potentially limiting the risk of diabetes. However, alcohol is also known to have its downsides, especially when taken in plenty. Excessive consumption of alcohol can increase the chances of developing severe health issues like certain cancers, pancreatitis, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart muscle damage, sudden death, accidental severe injuries, brain damage, suicide and so on. 

The negative effects

It doesn’t come as a surprise that excessive drinking is harmful to your health. Here are some common downsides of drinking too much alcohol. 

  • A higher risk of addiction, anxiety, and depression which may affect your ability to establish and maintain employment and meaningful relationships
  • An increased risk of injury due to falls and drunk driving – alcohol is also linked to suicides and homicides
  • Liver disease including severe liver failure and liver cirrhosis 
  • An increased risk of dementia, heart failure, and high blood pressure
  • An increased risk of certain cancers like breast, liver and colon cancer
  • Engaging in the use of other drugs or risky sexual activities due to judgment lapse
  • Higher chances of getting alcohol poisoning which can be fatal
  • In pregnant women, alcohol can damage the developing brain of the baby or result in developmental abnormalities 
  • There’s also the hangover that’s not usually mentioned, partly because it is not as severe as other consequences, but also because one can cure hangover Key West pretty easily. A hangover is a group of uncomfortable signs and symptoms that arise after excessive consumption of alcohol, and are often linked to conflict and poor performance at work.
  • Lastly, excessive consumption of alcohol can weaken the immune system, making your body more susceptible to diseases. In which case, you will be an easier target for infections like tuberculosis and pneumonia than those who do not drink much

Positive effects

As stated earlier, moderate drinking isn’t all harmful. For a long time, alcohol has been seen as a “social lubricant” because it encourages social interaction. On top of that, studies show that moderate drinking can reduce the risk of:

  • Gallstones 
  • Heart attack
  • Death from cardiovascular disease
  • The most common type of stroke
  • Diabetes

Avoiding alcohol 

In some situations, the risk of consuming alcohol surpass the possible benefits. For instance, when you:

  • Are trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant
  • Have been diagnosed with alcohol abuses or alcoholism (or your family has a history of addiction)
  • Suffered from hemorrhagic stroke 
  • Have a weak heart or heart failure 
  • Have pancreatic or liver disease
  • Are on drugs that are known to interact with alcohol