Where alcohol consumption is concerned just about everyone has an opinion. While the majority of people probably believe that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is the best course of action, there are extremes on both ends of the spectrum. There are people who believe that consuming alcohol in any amount is wrong and others who seem to believe that almost no amount can be enough when it comes to having a good time. It’s the folks in the latter group that should probably concern themselves the most with the content of this article.
Alcohol also has a number of effects on the body that you may not be aware of, including some changes that happen within seconds of taking a drink. Here are 7 potential changes you may want to consider before you decide to take a drink.
1. YOUR APPEARANCE
Sure, a few drinks will not turn you into the Hunchback of Notre Dame but drinking can definitely affect the appearance of your skin. Since drinking tends to reduce the production of vasopressin in your body, your skin could begin to look a little dull. Vasopressin is a hormone that regulates fluid within the body and drinking alcohol can dry the skin and deprive it of the fluids that help give you that healthy glow.
2. FOGGY WEATHER
This isn’t the kind of fog you can see outside your window and is more about the fog that obscures your thinking process when you drink a bit too much. When you are intoxicated you tend to slow down and your thinking becomes less clear. You may also have a tendency to become forgetful and make decisions that the sober version of yourself will regret.
3. YOUR LIVER TAKES A HIT
Without your liver you are dead. Period. That’s one big reason for you to be very protective of this vital organ and minimize the stress you place on it. Drinking stresses the liver by causing it to work extra hard clearing out the toxins you have introduced by drinking. While the liver does a wonderful job of neutralizing toxins in the body, all that extra work often results in a condition that is most commonly known has a hangover. This happens because your liver turns some toxins into an acid called acetaldehyde, which can cause unpleasant conditions such as nausea and vomiting.
4. WEIGHT GAIN
This doesn’t happen because alcohol is particularly fattening, although many forms of alcohol are definitely not recommended for those who are trying to lose weight. This risk has more to do with how alcohol can influence your behavior and one thing it can surely do is make you want to eat. Drinking alcohol can boost the production of something called galanin – a neurotransmitter that can increase your appetite for not-so-healthy foods, particularly those containing a lot of fat.
5. COORDINATION PROBLEMS
The cerebellum is the part of the brain that is responsible for keeping you upright. It enables us to stand up, walk, play video games, throw a Frisbee and just about anything else that involves movement and coordination. As you might suspect, when the cerebellum gets a bit pickled from too much drinking, things such as stumbling, wobbling and falling down, are a lot more likely.
6. DANGER TO OTHERS
One thing that many people fail to realize is that they can present a very serious danger to others as a result of their drinking. Not only are you more prone to minor accidents that can result when you stumble or fall down, poor judgment can also prompt you to do things that you would otherwise never even consider. Driving while intoxicated is the most well-known of all the various things you might do that may result in injury to others and that’s something that has caused unimaginable pain and suffering for millions of people since the automobile was invented.
7. PERMANENT DAMAGE
Drinking is a lot like smoking in the sense that you are likely to get away with it for many years before it begins to impact you in a significant way. Health problems that result from heavy drinking have a nasty way of sneaking up on people and many of them are surprised when they are diagnosed with a serious condition like cirrhosis. While we live in a time where cutting-edge medical techniques can give people a new heart, kidney or liver, those treatments often aren’t available when needed, leaving people praying for a miracle as their only hope for survival.