Alcohol is made from fermented fruits, grains and honey and is often used as a recreational drink. Moderate drinking can be beneficial to your health like reducing your risk of ischemic stroke, when the arteries to your brain becomes narrowed or blocked and can also reduce the risk of diabetes. However, when consumed excessively, you will be putting your health on a greater risk of some complications like liver cirrhosis and heart damage. It can also affect the brain, nervous system, and also the emotional well being of the individual. Different factors can influence the effects of alcohol on the body, ranging from age to gender and family history of the individual.
Below are some dangers of alcohol that may give you at least a reason to reduce the intake or stop taking it.
1. Increased cancer risk
The risk of developing cancers such as breast cancer and cancers of the mouth and throat is increased with heavy consumption of alcohol. A study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer shows that the acetaldehyde in alcohol increases the levels of estrogen in the blood, which can increase the risk of breast cancer. The metabolism of alcohol also releases free radicals and can affect the breakdown of folic acid, which also increases the risk of cancer. This risk is higher in those who smoke.
2. Brain disorders
Just one or two drinks of alcohol can cause blurred vision, slurred speech, impaired memory, slower reaction times and loss of balance, which may disappear in a matter of time. If the individual doesn’t stop drinking, it may create long term effects that will cause chronic brain disorders.
3. Fetal alcohol syndrome
Pregnant women are usually advised against drinking alcohol, but it is quite unfortunate that some pay no attention. Pregnant women who drink alcohol are likely to give birth to a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, which may cause brain damage in the child. Such child will have memory difficulties and lifelong learning and can also be born with some physical features like flat cheeks, small eyes, and thin lips. Not even moderate drinking is safe in this case, so it’s best to avoid it completely.
4. Cardiovascular disease
To save your heart, you need to avoid alcohol. Your risk for heart disease increases as your alcohol intake increases. Heart problems such as high blood pressure, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, hemorrhagic stroke and heart rhythm disturbances, often arises from heavy consumption of alcohol. You can avoid these health risks and more by reducing your alcohol intake or cutting them off your list completely.
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