You know what happens when you drink. At first you feel great, but then sometimes you keep going to the point where you end up blacking out or getting sick.
Risks of Alcohol
As we mature, we learn our limits, and don’t feel the need to test them anymore. But although your college binge drinking days may be behind you, those two beers you drink after work could catch up to you. There are many conditions, some terminal, that can be linked to alcohol abuse.
Our List of Alcohol Related Health Effects:
- Cancer: the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is a deadly carcinogen. When this happens, you face an increased risk of numerous types of cancer, including, but not limited to, mouth, throat, liver, and breast cancer.
- High Blood Pressure: blood pressure will rise if you drink heavily. High blood pressure can lead to many worse things, such as heart disease and kidney disease. High blood pressure is also known for causing strokes.
- Seizures: Heavy drinking has been known to trigger seizures and epilepsy.
- Dementia: Drinking heavily can result in memory loss, and also other symptoms of dementia. When it comes to brain functions, heavy drinking can lead to an inability to solve problems, make judgments, strategize, etc.
- Pancreatitis: This is the inflamation of the pancreas. 60% of pancreatitis cases arise from alcohol consumption. This disease disturbs the digestive system, causing abdominal pain and frequent diarrhea.
- Anemia: This is caused when you have a low blood cell count. Constant heavy drinking can cause a drop in your red blood cell count.
- Cardiovascular Disease: Heavy drinking can lead to blood clot formation, which can result in a stroke or heart attack. Unhealthy drinking is a contributing factor in many cardiovascular diseases. For example, Atrial fibrillation could be stirred by drinking, and this causes the heart to beat irregularly, which can lead to a stroke.
- Depression: Depression is a very common side effect of heavy drinking, and results in a spiral of drinking more because you’re depressed.
- Immune system suppression: Heavy drinking suppresses the immune system which makes it much easier for you to catch something, such a the flu or pneumonia. Sexually transmitted diseases are even easier to catch when you are heavily drinking, only in part because you are more likely to have unprotected sex and engage in riskier behavior.
- Alcoholic Neuropathy: This is severe nerve damage caused by heavy drinking. Alcohol is toxic to nerve cells, so it can be very severe. It causes extreme numbness, muscle weakness, erectile dysfunction, and more.
This list contains a lot of health consequences, and they all can come from excessive or heavy drinking. But, maybe you really enjoy drinking, and that list isn’t going to stop you.
Health Benefits & Risks of Drinking Alcohol
Drinking helps you let go of the stress you often harbor. You get to kick back and enjoy a delicious beverage and let the weight of the world drop away. You might be a healthy person, and have a great diet and fitness routine, but have you found that alcohol is the one thing you just couldn’t cut out of your life? Maybe you said goodbye to burgers and fries, but still like to grab a six pack and watch tv on Sundays. Well, there are ways to keep drinking, but that will minimize the risk they pose on your health.
- Count your drinks: I bet that when you go out you don’t set a limit for yourself. You are all set to get an uber, so you don’t need to worry about driving home. So you let loose, and the next morning you feel terrible and can’t even remember what you had to drink. Your bank statement lets you know – it was a lot. But, to keep yourself from feeling terrible the next day, limit yourself to a certain number of drinks.
- Plan ahead: “Ok, I will have only 3 beers tonight, and I won’t take a single shot, even if it’s free.” Know your limit: the amount your body can handle will differ from your drinking buddies. Check out this Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) calculator if you are unaware of when you should stop drinking.
What is the best alcohol for men’s health?
- Change your drink order: Were you ordering rum and cokes and heavy beers? Well, no more! Drinks with sweetened mixers and heavy beers contain a lot of carbohydrates, calories, and/or sugars. Try opting for light beers, red wine, or liquor. But, according to doctor Sharon Richter, the best choices for drinks are:
- Tequila on the rocks: Because it contains no carbohydrates and is consumed slowly since it is not mixed with margarita mix or juice. Just be sure to sip slowly!
- Vodka seltzer: It contains no added sugar, so skip the tonic.
- Red Wine: since beer contains wheat, wine is the better option, since beer often makes you feel bloated. Red wine also contains tanins, which is good for you (in small doses).
Although hard liquor is definitely going to get you drunk, if you take your time on a nice glass, you will be better off. Don’t down a bunch of tequila shots and consider that the healthy option. Everything in moderation!
- Drink and Eat: when you are drinking, you should be alternating a glass of water between or with everything you drink. You should also eat a full meal prior to drinking. This will keep you going and prevent you from getting dehydrated or far too drunk too quickly. But, eating beforehand is important because the fuller you are initially, the less likely you are to binge eat later, and you will likely drink less because you will be full from all the food and water.
The best way to live a happy healthy life? Drink responsibly. Although you may have some fond memories of booze-soaked nights, I bet you have some nights you wish you could forget.
Drinking Excessive Alcohol: Breaking Men’s Bad Habits
Limit your alcohol consumption, and remember the long term effects. It is possible to drink and have fun without it getting out of hand or causing you life-long damage. Do your body a favor and stay healthy and hydrated.