There is a wide range of effects that alcohol can have on your health. There are purported pitfalls as well as benefits of consuming the drink. Immediately alcohol enters your body’s system, it triggers a number of physiological changes in the liver, heart, brain, and other organs.
This drink’s short-term and long-term effects can affect your health and lifestyle. There’re so many things you may not know about alcohol consumption. Arming yourself with facts can help you make informed choices concerning your drinking habit.
Here are 5 health facts about this popular substance.
Too Much Sugar
Alcoholic drinks contain empty calories that do not have any nutritional value. Worse still, they have too much sugar. For instance, a pint of cedar contains up to five teaspoons. This can alter your blood sugar levels. If you’re a heavy drinker, then the risk of developing diabetes that’s alcohol-related is very high.
Taking in too much sugar can cause a number of health problems. The high-calorie content can lead to weight gain that’s unhealthy. Obesity can cause some more serious complications to your body, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and heart disease. The sugar can also lead to tooth decay which may result in cavities.
Alcohol Consumption and Cancer
For many people, cancer is still the illness (and death) that they fear the most. This is understandable as cancer is a broad term for many hundred of illnesses, and as a result, we have all experienced somebody in our family die as a result of getting cancer.
As early as 1920, people started to speculate that smoking cigarettes was causing cancer to develop. This was disputed by the big tobacco companies and roundly dismissed for decades to come. We were assured that cigarette smoking wasn’t harmful and actually helped us relax and feel better (sound familiar?).
Not until the 1950s was it proved that cigarettes cause cancer, and tobacco smoking became listed as what is known as a Group Level 1 Carcinogen.
Many people wonder, does alcohol cause cancer?
The risk of cancer from exposure to specific elements is graded into five levels.
- Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans
- Group 2A: Probably carcinogenic to humans
- Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans
- Group 3: Unclassifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans
- Group 4: Probably not carcinogenic to humans
As you would expect, along with cigarette smoking, exposure to car exhaust fumes and radiation are also on the Group 1 list of elements that cause cancer in human beings. What the big alcohol companies don’t tell you is that alcoholic drinks (of all types) are also registered as a Group 1 Carcinogen. This means there is no doubt about it, no speculation – alcohol causes cancer.
Not every drinker can get cancer. However, if you consume alcohol over a long period of time, there’ll be an increased risk of at least seven types of cancer. They include breast, throat, mouth, bowel, liver, laryngeal, and pharyngeal.
Heavy drinking is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis. This may result in cancer. Also, mixing alcohol and smoking increases the risk of damaging your body’s cells. In fact, combining the two is riskier in causing mouth and throat cancer than either of them.
When you realize this, you start to see that the big alcohol companies are acting no more responsibly than the old ‘big tobacco firms’ did in the last five decades. Alcoholic beverage manufacturers suggest we ‘drink in moderation,’ but all the time, they know that people who are addicted to their products can’t do that anyway, and so it’s only a pretense at being responsible.
But wait, think about it! There is no logic in consuming something that has been proven to cause cancer ‘in moderation’… unless you want to get cancer in moderation too? If I told you that I liked sticking my lips over a car exhaust and inhaling a few times a day, would you advise me to moderate or stop what I am doing?
Does alcohol cause cancer? Yes, there is no doubt about it!
Alcohol and Migraines
Alcohol’s diuretic property causes you to pee more. If you lose more fluid than you’re taking in, the resulting dehydration can cause headaches. If you’re susceptible to migraines, drinking to excess might cause you to get one. Although all alcoholic drinks cause the problem, some types contain specific ingredients associated with these headaches.
Is Alcohol a Poison?
Your body has the ability to process only one unit of alcohol per hour. If you consume more within a short period of time, the content in the blood can stop your body from working as it should. This can cause varying effects ranging from dehydration that might result in permanent brain damage to stomach irritation.
Some Asians have a natural condition that discourages them from drinking alcohol. About 50 percent of the Japanese, Korean, and Northeastern Chinese population experience a phenomenon called the Alcohol Flush Reaction (AFR), or what is commonly known as “Asian glow.” There are many ways to prevent Asian glow.
Alcohol Consumption Can Cause High Blood Pressure
Research shows that heavy drinking is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure in both men and women. Taking in over 14 units of alcohol per week on a regular basis can have devastating effects on your health. Therefore, it is important that you cut down on your alcohol consumption to avoid getting hypertension.
As many people purport that there are many benefits of alcohol consumption, it is clear that the negative health implications outweigh them. It’s better to reduce the risk of severe illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and hypertension than look for some small benefits. Reduce your intake or avoid alcohol consumption altogether today.