We all know that alcohol is not all that good for you, and most people will try to limit their drinking somewhat. But it is obviously a very popular pastime to drink, and the truth is that most of us will have a drink or two tonight after work. Some alcohol in your life is not a terrible thing, and it’s possible to incorporate it as part of a generally healthy lifestyle – with some studies suggesting that a glass of red wine a night can actually be beneficial to your health. But if you are starting to wonder about whether you should cut back, read on.
In this article, we will take you through some of the disruptive effects that alcohol can have on the bodily system and the mind. Being aware of these might help encourage you to limit your drinking a little, and it could be that it leads to a profound change in your life. Let’s take a look at this in some detail.
One of the most obvious effects that alcohol can have is that it can cause problems for your liver. If you drink regularly, you are putting your liver under strain which it would rather not have. It is fairly resilient, and that is sort of what it’s for, but nonetheless, there is such a thing as putting it through too much, and you, therefore, need to be careful about how much you are drinking on the whole. If you drink too much, your liver might get to a point where it can no longer heal itself – liver damage, in other words. Liver disease can be fatal, so this is a serious concern you need to be aware of, and avoid as far as possible.
As well as causing problems with your liver, alcohol can also affect your heart health. You might be surprised about this, because there is not usually a feeling in the heart when you drink – whereas you might well feel something in your liver. But over time, the more you drink, the more you are exposing yourself to a risk of heart disease, heart attacks and other related concerns. So it is clearly really important that you are keeping your alcohol to a minimum if you want to have a long and healthy life. If the ticker starts to go, it’s normally the beginning of the end.
Your brain will also always be affected by alcohol in one way or another, and in fact one of the main effects is that it can undergo a certain amount of shrinkage. This can lead to many changes in how you think and interact with the world, and it can mean that you experience mood swings, depression, anxiety and much else besides. You might even have all of these at once, and it might persist until you stop drinking altogether. Alcohol is certainly not good for the brain, especially with the way that it dehydrates your body.
You might have heard something about alcohol having a link with UTIs. The truth is that alcohol can’t directly cause a UTI, but that doesn’t mean that the link is not there. In fact, it’s truer to say that alcohol can make a UTI more likely. It also worsens the symptoms of a UTI if you already have one. So whether you are trying to avoid getting one or you want to make the one you have more bearable, cutting back on your drinking could be a wise move to make at any time.
Those who drink a lot of alcohol are considerably more likely to suffer a stroke at some point in their life. The more you drink, the sooner this is likely to happen. Strokes can be extremely unpleasant and frightening, and they can also cause lasting damage to the brain and nervous system, as well as causing your face to droop permanently in some cases. So it’s important to avoid stroke, and one of the simplest ways to make sure of that is to keep your drinking to a minimum. That will make it much less likely that you will experience a stroke at any point.
In terms of your experience, alcohol tends to have a way of dulling your perception, and this is going to persist even after the alcohol has left your system if you are drinking regularly. That means you might find it harder to see, hear and smell, and that can actually be a surprisingly upsetting experience for you to have. It can sometimes seem to take the colour and taste out of life, which is a feeling that most people find quite depressing. Stopping drinking would reverse this trend, however, so that is something to bear in mind if this happens for you.
Limit Your Drinking
If you are concerned about these kinds of effects and you want to make sure that they don’t happen to you, then you will want to consider limiting your alcohol intake. There are many ways that you can go about doing this, and it might actually be easier than you think if you are happy to put the effort in, although of course that will depend on where you are starting out from, whether you are addicted and so on.
However, in general, you can start by reducing your number of drinks throughout the week. Keep your drinking too two nights a week at first, and see how that goes. Be careful not to binge drink on those two nights, as that might actually be worse for you on the whole. You could also try swapping out every other drink for an alcohol-free alternative. Once you get the ball rolling, you might find it surprisingly easy to limit your drinking, especially once you start feeling the benefits.
As you can see, it’s wise to try and keep your alcohol to a minimum. Try it out for yourself and see how you feel.