With alcohol being one of the only legal substances one can consume recreationally, many people choose the substance over a variety of others because they think it’s “safe.” In reality, alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances you can be putting into your body on a regular basis.
If we take a quick glance at some numbers, we see that about 80,000 people die every year in the United States from alcohol. This is about double what we see for suicide rates. So, why does our culture promote getting wasted on the weekends?
Here are four very real dangers of drinking alcohol that most people need to be reminded about:
1) Your liver suffers damage
Do you know your limit when it comes to drinking alcohol? For me, it takes about three beers to start buzzing. If I reach six beers, I’m properly drunk, but still functional. Well, it turns out that you only need to consume about 40 grams of alcohol per day to start destroying your liver–and that’s only four beers.
When you soar past this 40 gram threshold, your liver cells start to scar, causing permanent damage. Eventually, your intestines become damaged as well, and you become susceptible to conditions like hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and autoimmune disorders.
2) Increased risk of cancer
Researchers discovered earlier this year that cancer is actually linked to numerous different types of cancer, including mouth and throat, esophagus, larynx, liver, colon, rectum, bowel and breast. The risks increase for heavy drinkers, as one would imagine. One study discovered that for every two alcoholic drinks you consume, you increase your chance for bowel cancer by about 8 percent.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes your body to release more water than it provides. Why does this happen? Because alcohol inhibits the production of ADH hormone, which helps communicate to your kidneys that they need to reabsorb water. This condition will first start to affect your skin and hair, and over time will cause permanent brain damage.
4) Mental illness
Alcohol is a downer, for those of you who didn’t know. It’s a natural depressant that can literally change your brain’s chemistry by distorting its natural balance of neurotransmitter functionality. Heavy drinkers will see this distortion effect become permanent. Eventually, alcohol no longer gives people the buzz they seek, instead it just makes them angry and uncomfortable.
You can learn more about what alcohol does to your body by watching the video below!