How Does Alcohol Affect Your Health and Wellbeing?

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Health and Wellbeing?

Dec 9, 2021 | Addiction, Depression, Disorders, Panic Disorders, Stress

If you’re struggling from alcohol addiction you may feel like there’s no way out! But the addiction recovery is possible! Yes, you read right! Addiction recovery is possible.

Alcohol addiction or Alcoholism includes consistently drinking alcohol, often to excess, and struggling to stop. It is a medical condition, which is also considered to as alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder. This unhealthy connection with alcohol can lead you to become physically and psychologically dependent on it. As with any substance misuse, you feel you cannot work without alcohol.

There are a number of reasons why you might become dependent on alcohol. Those who suffer with alcohol addiction frequently have an existing mental health condition. Like many others, you might use alcohol to reduce the mental pain that you experiencing of or the things that you are struggling with.

The reason this self-medication is ordinary that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol lessen brain activity when drunk in low to moderate doses, reducing inhibitions and worries and increasing a sense of wellbeing. However, this is a small or short-term ‘numbing’ effect, which wears off once alcohol is out of the body system again. This is why you may then crave additional alcohol to achieve the same carefree feeling.

This cycle may impact on your thought process, behaviour and emotions. which can itself cause mental health conditions. It can also source a range of other harmful effects. Without experts treatment and support, your addiction can create long-term physical and psychological problems.

Alcohol dependency can have intense effects on an individual’s life. It does more impact on a person’s career and relationships, and it can severely affect overall health and longevity. Long periods of heavy alcohol use are associated to brain and nervous system disease, nutrient deficiencies, and more. Perhaps the most well-established effect of long-term alcohol use is liver disease.

Many variables and individual differences increase the risk of alcohol addiction. Some of the most usual risk factors for alcohol addiction include:

  • Binge drinking and heavy drinking
  • Drinking before age 15
  • Genetics and a family history of alcohol problems
  • Attending mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety, personality disorders and schizophrenia
  • History of traumatic experiences

Not everyone who abuses alcohol will develop an addiction, but as use continues, the risk raises.

Signs of alcoholism and how treatment can help

You may be wondering about the suitable time to seek professional help. If you feel like you have lost your ability to limit the amount of alcohol you drink, then this is a sure sign that you will greatly benefit from support. However, there are lots of other signs which can also be physical and emotional, as well as psychological. If you experience some of the other harmful symptoms below, you should reach out and talk to someone.

Excessive amounts of alcohol can cause the negative symptoms as follows:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Exhaustion
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of co-ordination
  • Struggles with concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Feeling hopeless

Many people can occasionally enjoy alcohol without any possibility of becoming dependent on it. However, the psychological effects are varying for everyone. The recommended amount of alcohol is a maximum of 14 units per week, but in spite of this guideline, exceeding this amount does not necessarily mean that someone will develop an addiction.

The amount of alcohol use which can be categorized as a disorder will be varying for each person. You should depend more on the impact your alcohol use is having on your own health and day-to-day life as an indicator of its seriousness.

Most Common Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction:

The symptoms of alcohol addiction differ according to the amount and frequency of alcohol use. They will always vary for each person.

The following are common signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction:

  • Continuing to drink alcohol on a daily basis, despite the negative effects that you have experienced as a result of your drinking
  • Misleading to others about your drinking habits and becoming defensive if you are ever challenged
  • Gradually producing a tolerance to alcohol, meaning that you need to drink increasingly higher amounts in order to feel ‘drunk’
  • Regularly blacking out when you are under the influence of alcohol and not being able to remember chunks of time
  • feeling an urge to drink
  • Missing out on special functions, occasions or family events due to your drinking habits
  • First thing in the morning drinking alcohol and feeling like you need a drink to make it through the day
  • Intense cravings for alcohol, to the extent that these highly affect your mood or concentration levels
  • Storing alcohol in unlikely places
  • Experiencing sweating, nausea or shaking when not taking alcohol
  • Having problems with relationships, the law, finances, businesses or work that stem from drinking
  • Needing more alcohol to feel its results
  • Drinking alone or in secret

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Alcohol impacts many of the essential organs and systems in the body. The changes may be subtle and go unrecognized for a long time, but when those systems start to breakdown and fail, the results are serious. These important organs can be severely damaged by alcohol:

Heart – The heart can be weakened by prolonged and excessive alcohol use. The consequences can include stroke and high blood pressure.

Pancreas – Alcohol can source the pancreas to attack itself with digestive enzymes. This malfunctioning can be very devastating.

Kidneys – Kidney function is essential to staying alive and can be irreparably damaged by alcohol abuse. Alcohol led kidneys to over-produce urine and distress the fluid balance in the body. The consequences can be dehydration and an over-concentration of electrolytes. Alcohol addiction also impacts the filtration function of the kidneys by changing the rate of blood flow.

Liver – Fat deposits in the liver increase because of heavy drinking. A fatty liver is more affected to inflammation and disease Cirrhosis and hepatitis aren’t uncommon among alcoholics. The effects of alcohol on the liver can cause to life-threatening and severe diseases.

Large amounts of alcohol remain undigested in the stomach rather than passing through the small intestine into the bloodstream. Undigested alcohol in the digestive system is acidic and can source irritation. Chronic irritation can lead to ulcers and gastritis.

Alcohol is actually a toxin, or poison, Large quantities of alcohol consumed over a long period of time can damage essential organs and result in death.

How can prevent Alcohol Addiction?

To prevent alcohol problems, avoid high-risk drinking:

  • For women: No more than five or more drinks in one day or eight or more drinks per week.
  • For men: No more than six or more drinks in one day or 16 or more drinks per week.

If you drink more alcohol than that, think about cutting back or quitting. Talk to your healthcare provider about proven strategies and actions.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol addiction treatment is not one-size-fits-all. Alcohol addiction Treatments may vary based on your needs and requirements. Even though there is currently no cure for alcohol use disorders, Alcohol addiction can be successfully managed and treated. Professional treatment in a rehabilitation center can help people suffering with Addictions. If you or someone you care about is facing with an Alcoholism, you will likely benefit from some form of treatment.

An individual who completes addiction recovery program can go on to receive evidence-based interventions that address nutrition and the importance of self-care in recovery.

Behavioural Therapies for Alcohol Addiction

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is an clinical form of therapy that focuses on helping people identify and change unhelpful, negative thoughts and behaviors that led or contributed to their addiction. In CBT, people learn healthier ways to deal with stress and develop skills they’ll need to prevent relapse.
  • Motivational enhancement therapy is a short-term therapy designed to help encourage patients to reduce or stop drinking and to motivate them to make positive changes.
  • Marital and family counseling is a form of talk therapy that incorporates a patient’s loved ones into their therapy sessions, if suitable for a patient.
  • Brief interventions may include short, individual counseling sessions that provide people with personalized feedback on their progress with certain goals.

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