Side Effects Of Alcohol On Health | Common Alcohol Effects Every Nigerians Should Know

Side Effects Of Alcohol On Health | Common Alcohol Effects Every Nigerians Should Know

September 1, 2018 0 By mcsenior
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Common Side Effects Of Alcohol : Why Nigerian Should Watch Their Alcohol Intake

People consume alcoholic drinks for different reasons and purpose. Alcoholic drinks consumption can be taken in order to relax with friends, celebrate an event or other personal reasons, many people even believe alcohol is healthy while some argue that there are certain side effects of alcohol that are detrimental to health.

On this post, we are focusing our attention on the possible side effects of alcohol as well as the possible benefits you can derived from alcohol.

What Are Alcoholic Drinks?

Any drink that contains ethanol is considered alcoholic drink. Ethanol is gotten from fermentation of drains, fruits or other sources of sugar. At high doses, alcohol acts as depressant to the nervous system and acts as a stimulant at a lower doses.Long term use of alcohol can lead to alcohol abuse, physical dependence and alcoholism.

Categories Of Alcoholic Drinks: What Are The Different Kinds Of Beverages

Alcoholic drinks or beverages can either be fermented or distilled:

Fermented Beverages:

Alcoholic drinks prepared by fermentation does not have strong concentration and they have both healing and intoxication value. The concentration is usually not above 15%. Examples include:

  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Cider
  • Champagne
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Ginger beer
  • Mead
  • Palm wine
  • Sake
  • Pulque

Distilled Beverages: What Is The Meaning Of Distilled Alcohol

Distilled beverages or drinks usually come with a stronger concentration of alcohol that can be over 15% up to 80%. The distillation processes requires purifications and removal of diluting components like water to make the alcohol concentration to become harder and densely concentrated.
Example of distilled alcohol beverages include:

  •  Brandy
  • Whiskey
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Voldka
  • Tequila
  • Mezal
  • Baijiu

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Side Effects Of Alcohol: How Much Alcohol Is Safe To Drink Daily

Consumption of alcohol may come with some health benefits especially if done with moderation; before you think about the health benefits, you should consider first the volume of alcohol is considered healthy.
When it comes to moderation, it may be difficult to monitor because alcoholic drinks makes people more likely to become addicted, no wonder, beer alone is the most consumed alcoholic drink in the world; not that alone, it is the most popular drink after water and tea.

You should know that excessive consumption f alcohol is considered risky and unsafe for your health and general well-being. Even when you reduce your level of consumption to a few bottles a week, it is not totally safe but will only reduce your health risk to certain extent.

The World Health Organization {WHO} recommended that both men and women should limit themselves to two standard drinks per day. For easy understanding, one drink is measure this way:

*If it is beer, one drink is 12 fluids ounce i.e. 355 milliliters
*If it is wine, one drink is 5 fluids ounces i.e. 148 milliliters
*If it is a distilled spirit, one drink is 5 fluids ounces i.e. 44 milliliters

You should however note that, for every ooze of alcohol you consume; it has a potential health risk attached. When alcohol is consumed excessively and your blood alcohol concentration gets to 0.35 – 0.50%, such person can fall into a coma.

Side Effects Of Alcohol: What Happens To Your Body After Drinking Alcohol?

The rate at which your body absorbs alcohol depends on whether you have eaten or not. If you have eaten and your stomach is full, it will slow down alcohol absorption.
After consuming alcohol, about 80% is absorbed in your intestine while the remaining 20% is absorbed in your stomach. It is from there that the alcohol starts entering your bloodstream where it is being transported to other parts of the body.
The liver then starts breaking the alcohol into acetic acid while the kidney and the lungs start removing the alcohol via urine and breath.

Signs Of Intoxication: What Is The First Sign Of Being Drunk

Here are signs to show that someone is drunk:

*The speech becomes slurred
*The person may lose consciousness
*There will be distortion of sense and perception
*Poor coordination
*Unsteady or staggering feet
*The person may start vomiting and have headache
*Changes in behavior

Side Effects Of Alcohol: When To Avoid Drinking

*Avoid drinking while driving or when you have to drive
*Do not take alcohol after surgery
*Avoid alcohol while taking antibiotics
*Alcohol should be avoided when at place of work
*If you are trying to conceive, you need to abstain from alcohol
*Pregnant women should stay clear alcohol
*If you are not up to 18 years, alcohol is not for you
*If you are a former alcohol-dependent or you have family history of alcohol dependence

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Side Effects Of Alcohol: Alcohol Health Benefits

Despite how dangerous or harmful excessive alcohol consumption can be to your health, there is still some green lights to put a smile on your face. You should however, never forget not to consume alcoholic drinks excessively.
Here are few among the many health benefits of alcoholic drinks or beverages you need to know:

*Red wine is believed to help burn fat, prevent cardiovascular diseases, improve your memory and make you live longer.
*Beer is believed to contain lots of vitamins, help you recover from workout, protect your brain, strengthen your bones, lower heart attack, alleviate menopause symptoms, protects the kidney and reduce diabetes.
*Whisky is believed to serve as temporal relief from sore throat
*Moderate drinking can help you increase libido
*Alcoholic drinks helps fight against common cold, gallstones and malaria

Side Effects Of Alcohol On Vital Organs Of The Body

Side Effects Of Alcohol On The Brain

One of the vital organs mostly affected by alcohol is the brain that is the reason why it affects how to individual behaves.
When an individual becomes intoxicated, he/she will no longer be able to control or coordinate his behavior, movement, speech and mood.
With excessive consumption of alcohol, the brain suffers to a great extent and can produce detectable impairments in memory and blackout.

Side Effects Of Alcohol On The Heart

It is highly recommended that you should drink moderately because there are studies that support proper heart function with moderate drinking.
However, excessive consumption of alcohol is detrimental to the heart. Alcohol can cause temporary increase in the heart rate and blood pressure. It weakens the heart muscle, raise the fats in the blood and cause heart failure.
If your blood alcohol concentration gets to 0.35 – 0.55%, such individual may collapse and die on the spot.

Side Effects Of Alcohol On The Liver

When an individual becomes excessively drunk, the liver starts to over work itself to convert the excessive alcohol into acetic acid. This may result into destruction of the liver cells as well as inflammation of the liver including alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, fibrosis and steatosis.
Heavy alcohol drinkers have a higher risk of developing liver failure and diseases including cancer compared to non-drinkers.

Side Effects Of Alcohol On The Pancreas

Excessive alcohol consumption over a long period of time is a risk factor that can lead to pancreatis, also known as inflammation of the pancreas. Heavy drinking is attributed to be the leading factor that causes acute acute pancreatis and may even get worse if you smoke.

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Side Effects Of Alcohol On The Kidney

Alcohol consumption if not properly controlled can have a negative effect on the kidney. It affects the kidney functions and can lead to acute kidney failure.
Alcohol deprives the kidney of its ability to filter the blood as well as ability to regulate the fluid and electrolytes in the body.

Side Effects Of Alcohol On The Bladder

Alcohol also plays a huge role in contributing to major bladder problems. If you want your bladder to be healthy, then you need to limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol when taken uncontrollably can irritate the lining of the bladder and increase the acidity of your urine.

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Side Effects Of Alcohol On The Eye

Heavy drinkers have a higher risk of developing eye defects and distorted vision over a short period of time. Studies reveal that regular consumption of alcohol may affect the optic nerves even without any sign or symptoms.
It can cause muscle weakness, neurological disruption and serious pain in the eye over a long period of time.
Other Side Effects Of Alcohol Include:

  • It weakens the immune system
  •  It may result into alcohol dependence
  • It is among the leading causes of high blood pressure, heart disease & stroke
  • It affects mental health, causing learning & memory difficulties
  • It increases the risk of developing mouth, esophagus, throat, liver & breast cancer
  • It may cause digestive problems, stomach ulcers & vitamin deficiency

Bottom Line!!!
Alcohol has a good relative amount of amazing health benefits but you only need them in a lesser proportion.
Most people drink far above the recommended daily intake on a consistent basis over a long period of time, this is the reason why the effects highlighted above becomes a major health concern. It is a general advice to always drink responsibly.

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