When it comes to alcohol, there are a lot of misconceptions about how it affects the body. Each person’s body reacts differently to alcohol in a variety of ways. The liver breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is then broken down into acetate and water. The acetate is what’s responsible for the person feeling the “buzz” from alcohol. The effects of alcohol on the body depend on several factors, including how much alcohol is consumed, how often, and the person’s general health.
Alcohol is also a depressant drug. It slows down the activity of the central nervous system. It slows down the heart rate and breathing rate. It also affects the brain, making it harder to think clearly and make good decisions. Often it requires the assistance of a substance abuse treatment facility to help someone with an alcohol problem. Treatment specialists at places like rehabilitation centers in California can provide solutions and care throughout the recovery journey.
Alcohol can have a negative effect on the liver, blood sugar levels, and weight when overused. Let’s take a look at how alcohol might affect the whole body.
Alcohol and the Liver
The liver can only break down a certain amount of alcohol at a time, so the rest is carried throughout the body. Alcohol affects all organs in the body, including the brain. Alcohol can cause damage to the liver, including scarring called cirrhosis. This can lead to liver failure and death. Alcohol can also cause damage to the pancreas and the brain. It can increase cancer risk, including cancer of the mouth, throat, liver, and breast.
Alcohol can also cause problems with fertility, increase the risk of accidents, and lead to social problems. Alcohol is a major cause of death in the United States.
Alcohol and Blood Sugar Levels
When a person consumes alcohol, the drink is absorbed into the bloodstream, going to the brain and other organs. The liver breaks down the alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is toxic, and then into acetate, which the body can use.
Alcohol can affect blood sugar levels differently, depending on how much is consumed. When a person drinks alcohol slowly, the liver can keep up with the processing, and blood sugar levels remain stable. However, when a person drinks quickly or consumes a lot of alcohol, the liver can’t keep up, and blood sugar levels can drop. This is called hypoglycemia and can cause a person to feel shaky, sweaty, and lightheaded. It is important to have your blood levels checked if you are experiencing these symptoms. Mobile phlebotomy services can do a blood draw from the comfort of your own home to help you get your levels tested.
If a person has diabetes, drinking alcohol can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Alcohol can also interact with medications a person takes for diabetes, so it’s important to talk to a doctor before drinking if you have diabetes.
Alcohol and Weight Issues
When most people think about the effects of alcohol on the body, they only think about the liver. The truth is that alcohol has many effects on the body, including weight gain and weight loss.
When someone drinks alcohol, the body breaks it down into two substances: ethanol and carbon dioxide. The body then uses ethanol to create energy. The body also uses ethanol to help regulate sugar in the blood. When the body breaks down alcohol, it can interfere with the body’s ability to break down sugar. This can cause a person’s blood sugar to rise, leading to weight gain. Alcohol can also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb and convert food. This can cause a person to eat more than they would normally eat and lead to weight gain.
Alcohol can also cause a person to lose weight. When a person drinks alcohol, the body uses ethanol to help break down the food in the stomach. This can cause the body to have trouble absorbing all of the nutrients from the food. Without the proper nutrients, you will see weight loss and other problems. Alcohol can have a number of negative consequences for the body and mind. It’s important to be aware of these consequences if you are considering drinking alcohol. It is also important to know that alcohol addiction can be a serious problem, and if you are struggling with alcohol use, you should seek professional help.