Sometimes a person may need to seriously think about how much alcohol they drink.
Maybe it’s time to take a break and give your body a rest.
Regardless of why you want to stop or cut back on your alcohol consumption, slowing down and observing periods of abstinence can definitely be beneficial.
1. Alcohol and brain function
Some of the effects of alcohol on your brain are immediate, while others happen over time. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol abuse can produce impairment in memory, blackouts, nerve damage, brain damage and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.
2. Alcohol and osteoporosis
According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the habits that can increase a person’s risk of osteoporosis is regularly drinking two or more alcoholic beverages per day.  It is thought alcohol may increase the risk of osteoporosis because it might interfere with the way the human body absorbs calcium.
3. Alcohol and liver damage
The liver is a very important organ in the body. Alcohol can cause serious damage to the liver and destroy the organ’s cells. There are three main types of alcohol induced liver diseases:
- Fatty liver disease: This disease involves a build-up of fat in the cells of the liver. There are usually no symptoms of the disease, but if someone does have symptoms it can include weight loss, fatigue and general weakness. Almost all people who abuse alcohol have fatty liver disease, but once drinking stops the disease will usually regress.
- Cirrhosis: When someone engages in alcohol abuse, the long term damage can lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis involves scaring of the liver and it becomes harder, rather than soft. According to the American Liver Foundation, approximately 10-20% of people who drink heavily will experience cirrhosis.
- Hepatitis: Many people with alcohol abuse issues develop hepatitis. The symptoms of hepatitis include appetite loss, fever, nausea, vomiting, pain, jaundice and abdominal pain.
4. Alcohol abuse and cancer
People who drink heavily are at a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer which include; breast, liver, colon, rectal, larynx, pharynx and mouth.  The exact mechanism of action in alcohol that is responsible for cancer is not known, but it is thought some of the following factors could play a part:
- Damage to the body tissues: alcohol irritates the tissues of the mouth and throat. Damaged cells may try to regenerate, which could result in DNA changes that lead to the development of cancer.
- Lower levels of folate and other nutrients: When someone heavily drinks alcohol it can lead to a reduction in folate. Alcohol can reduce the body’s ability to absorb folate from food. Lowered folate levels could play a part in the development of breast, rectal and colon cancers.
- Alcohol and estrogen: Consuming large amounts of alcohol can increase the levels of estrogen in the body. Raised levels of estrogen can lead to breast growth and development and it could lead to a raised risk of breast cancer.
5. Alcohol addiction
Consuming alcohol in moderate amounts from time to time seems to cause no serious affects to a person’s health, but heavy and regular consumption can cause someone’s body to adapt and start to crave it. Heavy drinkers who stop drinking suddenly can experience withdrawal symptoms which can include shakes, confusion, seizures, hallucinations, and tremors.
Strive for Moderation
Drinking alcohol in moderate amounts has long been touted to reduce a person’s risks of heart and cardiovascular diseases. However, it is also well documented as to how devastating alcohol dependence and alcoholism are on a person and their family. Strive for a healthy balance and if you can’t seem to stop drinking once you start, then simply abstain from it.
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