5 Ways Alcohol Affects Your Body
Occasional alcohol drinking is something your body can manage. Still, regular and excessive drinking can take a toll on your health and affect the different aspects of your life, including your career and relationships.
Alcohol is one of the five most addictive substances today, and globally, excessive alcohol use accounts for three million deaths yearly. It’s also the primary factor in over 200 diseases and injuries that people suffer from.
You may need to undergo alcohol testing several times in your life for medical, employment, and legal reasons. Alcohol testing checks the alcohol levels in your body. The result, called BAC or blood alcohol content, will show if what transpired, like an accident or injury, was caused by alcohol intoxication. And if your alcohol level exceeded the acceptable margin, you might be held accountable. There are several ways to complete this:
A device that measures BAC in your breath. It’s mainly used by law enforcement to acquire evidence to justify an arrest. It can detect alcohol for 24 hours.
Detects the level of alcohol via your urine. It can detect BAC between 12-48 hours after drinking. Some advanced urine tests can detect BAC even after 80 hours.
This method can detect BAC for up to four weeks. Organizations like the NIAAA or the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse rely on this to get a picture of alcohol use in patients who are under a rehabilitation program. If you want accurate results on tests like this, you may check Lextox.
Alcohol affects your body in many ways. You might think that you have a high tolerance for it, but you may not be aware that inside your body, it’s wreaking havoc in your system and altering your judgment. To give you an idea, here are ways alcohol affects your body:
- Delays The Travel Of Information In The Brain
When alcohol enters your bloodstream and reaches your brain, it abolishes the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, resulting in very slow information transfer to the brain with only the most prominent signals passing through. Because of this, you’ll feel less, perceive less, notice less, and remember less. And this is why sometimes you can’t remember much when you wake up from getting very drunk. And this is also why many date rapes happen.
- What Makes You Extroverted Even If You’re Not One
Do you realize that some of your most reserved friends can become very loud and rowdy when they drink? All your inhibitions go out of the window when you drink. This is because alcohol suppresses the brain firing in your prefrontal cortex.
It suppresses the inhibitory part of the brain, which regulates impulses and behavior. When alcohol messes with this part of the brain, it can cause you to loosen up, feel giddy, and be very extroverted. But this is just a brief period, and after the effects of alcohol wear off, you would feel exhausted and very lethargic. So much for liquid courage and hello hangover.
- Boosts Production Of Dopamine And Makes You Addicted
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that acts as the reward center in your brain. It also affects many body functions, influencing one’s mood, memory, mobility, and motivation. When your consumption of alcohol increases, there could be an increase in the desire for rewards, causing you to want to drink more. This effect of alcohol is the main reason why many drinks alcohol too much and becomes addicted to it.
Alcohol addiction is a problematic socio-economic issue affecting many developed and underdeveloped countries globally. In the United States alone, alcohol addiction costs the country’s economy over USD$600 billion annually.
- Shrinks And Disturbs Brain Tissue
Experts have recommended that women only drink one glass while men only have two glasses of alcoholic beverages daily. Beyond that limit can cause the white matter of the brain to shrink. When alcohol is present in the brain, it causes the brain cells to expel water instead of retaining it. In time, the brain loses volume and neurons won’t function as optimally as before.
- Makes You Drowsy And Affects Your Sleep
Alcohol has the same effect as sedatives. Its presence in the body can cause sleepiness and lightheadedness. Although many people reason that they drink to fall asleep faster, they don’t realize that after a while, it disturbs their sleep pattern and reduces their REM sleep. REM sleep is the deepest and most important part of sleep that restores your body completely.
Alcohol disturbs your circadian rhythm, and you’ll notice that you frequently wake up at odd hours and have difficulty going back to sleep. And since alcohol has a diuretic effect, you’ll wake up to pee often. Drinking late at night also increases your chances of having nightmares and vivid dreams.
Alcohol has numerous negative effects on your body. And if you’re bound to take employment or medical test, you need to know that it stays in your bloodstream for quite a long time and will show up in your BAC results. It would be best to refrain from drinking, especially near a critical day, and to drink responsibly at all times.