Facts About Alcohol

Heavy drinking causes more physical damage to your body than just a hangover the next day. It takes about one hour for your body to process one unit of alcohol, and during that time it has an effect on everything from your brain to your immune system.

Know your risks

The more you know, the stronger and healthier you can be. Read below to find out what happens to your major organs and systems when you drink to excess.

Brain

Alcohol is known to kill brain cells and thereby hinders the chemical messengers that control your mood, perception, and behaviour. It also impairs your balance, thinking, memory, and ability to learn.

Liver

When alcohol reaches your liver, it produces a toxic enzyme (acetaldehyde) that can damage liver cells and cause permanent scarring. Alcohol is also a diuretic, and since your liver needs water to function properly, excessive drinking can lead to severe dehydration. Long term alcohol abuse can cause cirrhosis of the liver.

Heart

Drinking to excess can raise your risk for atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). Alcohol abuse can also lead to such serious conditions as high blood pressure, stroke, or heart failure.

Stomach

At lower doses, alcohol can irritate your stomach and cause heartburn. However, one night of binging can cause your digestive system to release harmful toxins and bacteria into your bloodstream, prompting a dangerous immune-system response that can lead to liver disease and other health problems. Alcohol is one of the main causes of IBS and other stomach-related issues.

Immune System

Getting sick all of the time? Drinking too much weakens your immune system, slowing down your body’s ability to fight off infections and leaving you more vulnerable to serious illnesses such as pneumonia. It can also increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including mouth, throat, liver, and breast cancer.

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