What is your relationship with booze? Do you come home, have a drink, and then feel totally exhausted … or maybe your nightly glass of vino has turned into two or three?

Consuming alcohol has to some extent been glamorised by society. We celebrate, we drink, we commiserate, we drink, it’s a Wednesday, we drink. But there’s a danger to being so blasé about drinking alcohol and its effects. Fact is, alcohol is a drug. When it is used or abused, your body pays the price.

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An alcohol break is obviously crucial to those with a problem with alcohol abuse or consistent over indulgence, but according to Jake Deutsch, M.D., founder and director of Cure Urgent Care, even moderate drinkers should consider laying off the booze.

Why? First of all, damage to the liver is cumulative. So having a few drinks every day may be just as harmful as excessive binge drinking. The constant insult to the liver and digestive track can lead to ulcers, pancreatitis and cirrhosis. Yikes!

Not to freak you out, but alcohol’s negative effects on the body can include everything from inflammatory effects on your organs to potential damage to your DNA. Drinking in excess can also put you at risk for certain cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes … among other grim conditions. Aside from the serious dangers, there are also several not-so-pleasant effects such as lousy moods, crazy sugar cravings, excess calories, liver fat, poor sleeping habits, dry skin and foggy concentration. No wonder you feel less than stellar after a few glasses of wine on a Friday night!

So, would you consider taking a hiatus from your typical martini nights with friends?

Here’s what you can expect to happen, both short and long-term, if you give up alcohol:

  • You will lose weight. Alcohol is one of the biggest drivers of overeating. Researchers found that when people received an alcohol “infusion” equal to about two drinks, they ate 30% more food than those who received a saline solution. Also, one Margarita contains 300 calories or more! Enough said.
  • You’ll be glowing. It’s hard to disguise a puffy face and a hangover bloat! Alcohol decreases the body’s production of an anti-diuretic hormone, which helps the body to reabsorb water. (Less water in the body equals dull, lifeless skin.)
  • You’ll sleep better and have more energy. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep quicker , but seriously screws with quality of sleep. Studies show that even 1 drink reduces your REM cycles from 6 cycles a night to two and fragments sleep, leaving you exhausted, and your brain undernourished.
  • Remember, alcohol dulls the senses - all of your senses. Contrary to popular belief, sex isn’t better when you’re buzzed.
  • Your risk of contracting cancer decreases. According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk for cancers of the mouth, liver, colon and rectum.
  • Your immune system will get stronger enabling you to fight off seasonal illnesses.
  • You’ll save money and be able to drive yourself home from parties. No more Uber!

Whether you want to clean up your diet or you’re trying to nip a potential issue in the butt, even a short break from booze can transform both mind and body.

Good luck!

Source: verywellmind.com, relbuzz.com, euphoricaf.com, scoopwoop.com, hellosundaymorning.org, sober-bliss.com, health24.com, byrdie.com, thesoberschool.com, drinkaware.co.uk, Fairlady magazine, January 2018 issue,  webmd-boots.com, womanshelathmag.com, prevention.com, womanshealthmag.co.uk  

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.