How alcohol affects your body

Consuming moderate amounts of alcohol may offer some health benefits. However, heavy drinking can have a negative impact on your mood and the function of your brain, heart, and other bodily systems. Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors can impact how drinking alcohol affects your body and behavior.

  • If a person consumes large amounts of alcohol regularly, their tolerance can increase, and the body requires more alcohol to achieve the desired effect.
  • You can reduce your risk of alcohol injuries by choosing not to consume alcohol.
  • The cells lining your mouth and throat are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of alcohol.
  • Alcohol use can begin to take a toll on anyone’s physical and mental well-being over time.
  • In the past, moderate drinking was thought to be linked with a lower risk of dying from heart disease and possibly diabetes.

The science behind why alcohol makes a person urinate more frequently

NIAAA can help people find information and resources about AUD and treatments that might work best for them. No matter how severe the problem may seem, evidence-based treatment can help people with AUD recover. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to symptoms of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD can cause a range of neurodevelopmental and physical effects in the child after birth. In some people, the initial reaction may feel like an increase in energy. But as you continue to drink, you become drowsy and have less control over your actions.

What is binge drinking and how does it affect your body?

  • If you would like to get resveratrol through foods without consuming red wine, some options include grapes, peanuts, cocoa, blueberries, cranberries, and bilberries.
  • A weakened immune system has a harder time protecting you from germs and viruses.
  • Lowered inhibitions can lead to poor choices with lasting repercussions — like the end of a relationship, an accident or legal woes.

It also makes heartburn more likely because it relaxes the muscle that keeps acid out of your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth and stomach. The harmful use of alcohol can also result in harm to other people, such as family members, friends, co-workers and strangers. Alcoholics Anonymous is available almost everywhere and provides a place to openly and nonjudgmentally discuss alcohol issues with others who have alcohol use disorder. Long-term alcohol use can change your brain’s wiring in much more significant ways. Ways that your standard hangover cures won’t even begin to touch. That’s because your body already has processes in place that allow it to store excess proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

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People who binge drink or drink heavily may notice more health effects sooner, but alcohol also poses some risks for people who drink in moderation. Some alcoholic beverages, such as liquors and wine, have higher amounts of alcohol than drinks such as beer and may have a stronger diuretic effect. Generally, binge drinking means drinking heavily over a short period of time with the intention and result of getting immediately and severely intoxicated (drunk). For example, it can cause liver damage — including cirrhosis — brain damage, heart failure, diabetes, cancer and susceptibility to infections (9, 54, 58, 72, 73, 74). Some people become addicted to the effects of alcohol, a condition known as alcohol dependence or alcoholism.

  • This is of particular concern when you’re taking certain medications that also depress the brain’s function.
  • These studies compare people with a gene variant that makes it unpleasant to drink to people without the gene variant.
  • Since those effects don’t last long, you might not worry much about them, especially if you don’t drink often.
  • Many different subtypes of alcohol dependence exist, characterized by alcohol cravings, inability to abstain or loss of self-control when drinking (71).
  • Your gut microbiome is a hotbed of bacteria that help keep your digestive system happy and healthy.

four or more drinks in one day or eight or more drinks per week for women

  • Childhood trauma, mental health issues, and stress can also lead people to begin drinking or drink more than usual.
  • If you feel that you sometimes drink too much alcohol, or your drinking is causing problems, or if your family is concerned about your drinking, talk with your health care provider.

“The simple message that’s best supported by the evidence is that, if you drink, less is better when it comes to health,” Naimi said. That idea came from imperfect studies comparing groups of people by how much they drink. And none of the studies randomly assigned people to drink or not drink, so they couldn’t prove cause and effect. “People my age are way more accepting of it,” said Tessa Weber, 28, of Austin, Texas. She stopped drinking for Dry January this year because she’d noticed alcohol was increasing her anxiety. She liked the results — better sleep, more energy — and has stuck with it.

What Parts of the Body Does Alcohol Affect?

alcohol effects on the body

Impact on your safety

alcohol effects on the body

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