What Happens to Your Body if You Drink Alcohol Every Day?

What happens to your body if you drink alcohol everyday

If it’s just a beer or two after work, how can that be harmful to health? While true this may appear to be a harmless habit, for some people, alcohol consumption soon exceeds “just one beer.” When consumption ramps up, so does the impact of alcohol on your body and brain. Keep reading to learn what happens to your body if you drink alcohol every day.

Is There a Safe Level of Drinking?

Early on, the negative health effects of daily drinking may not be evident. At some point, however, heavy drinking exacts a heavy toll on your health, your mental health, and your appearance. Alcohol is a toxin to every organ in the body, which can result in serious health problems over time.

To help determine what is a safe level of drinking, the Centers for Disease Control have published some helpful guidelines. These include:

  • A safe level of alcohol for women is one drink per day and for men two drinks per day.
  • Excessive drinking is eight or more drinks in a week for women and fifteen or more drinks for men.
  • Binge drinking is considered four or more drinks in a single session for women and five or more drinks in a single session for men.

The CDC defines “a drink” as one 12-ounce beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 1.5 ounces of liquor, or 5 ounces of wine.

How Do You Know Your Drinking is a Problem?

So, how do you know that you are drinking too much alcohol? Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is screened and diagnosed using a list of signs and symptoms that indicate a drinking problem. The severity of the AUD is based on how many of these criteria are present:

  • You plan your day around drinking. You think about how much alcohol you have on hand, obtaining more alcohol, when you can drink, and recovery time.
  • You end up drinking more than you’d intended, losing control over the consumption of alcohol.
  • You want to cut back or quit drinking, but each time you try your attempt fails.
  • You notice that you have to drink more alcohol to achieve the desired effects.
  • You routinely experience memory blackouts.
  • You begin to crave alcohol.
  • You lie to others about how much you drink and hide alcohol from family members.
  • Your work performance and relationships begin to suffer.
  • You become irresponsible, not paying your bills or keeping up with obligations.
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms after the effects of the alcohol wear off.

Effects of Alcohol on Your Body If You Drink Every Day

The body can only metabolize so much alcohol in a given hour. When your drinking escalates, the effects of alcohol in the tissues and organs begin to compound. Daily drinking doesn’t allow the body to expel the toxins, so over time it can cause these conditions:

  • Heart problems. Chronic heavy drinking causes heart damage, including irregular heart rhythm and cardiomyopathy.
  • Cancer. Long-term drinking can increase the risk of certain types of cancer, including liver, colorectal, head and neck, and breast cancer.
  • Disrupts insulin production. Alcohol use can lead to ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency.
  • Damage to the brain. Heavy drinking can lead to thiamine deficiency and possibly Wernick-Korsakoff, a brain disorder. Alcohol can also cause the brain to shrink.
  • Liver disease. Because alcohol is processed in the liver, excess drinking is the leading cause of liver disease. This includes fatty liver, fibrosis, and cirrhosis.
  • Impaired cognition. Long-term alcohol use can cause impaired cognitive functioning, such as memory loss, and trouble concentrating.
  • Premature aging. Alcohol depletes vitamin A, which causes diminished collagen and more wrinkles. Alcohol also disrupts sleep, which causes dark circles and puffy eyes.

Effects of Alcohol on Your Mental Health

It isn’t only your physical health that suffers from daily alcohol intake. While an occasional drink is no big deal for most people, daily drinking can have a serious impact on mental wellbeing.

When dependency or addiction results, it tends to trigger a domino effect of adverse consequences. Losing your job, having a spouse divorce you, or having serious money problems can cause someone to spiral into depression or anxiety. This happens because of the collective effects alcohol is causing in your life.

If you develop a mental health disorder as a direct cause of the drinking, it only escalates the problems. Having both a mental health disorder with AUD is called a dual diagnosis and requires specialized treatment.

Long-term Effects of Alcohol on Your Daily Life

So, what happens to your body – and your life – if you drink alcohol every day? In reading this blog, you already know of many of the adverse effects caused by drinking. Here are more to consider:

Binge drinking. In the beginning, maybe you didn’t have a daily habit and instead indulged in binge drinking. While heavily intoxicated, people engage in risky behaviors, such as high-risk sex or driving under the influence. Binge drinking is extremely toxic to the body and can have a fatal outcome if alcohol poisoning results.

Disrupts careers. Alcoholism can harm an otherwise promising future. While there are some people, called functional alcoholics, who manage to function well at work, most alcoholics underperform. They may miss work a lot due to hangovers or health issues caused by alcoholism. People with AUD may no longer contribute to the team, which can cause them to lose their job.

Heightened suicide risk. There is a high correlation between depression and alcoholism. A recent study shows there is a 94% increase in the risk of suicide in those with AUD. The association between alcohol use or dependency and suicide may have several causes. Depression rates among alcoholics are high, which may be the most significant cause.

What happens to your body if you drink every day could be as basic as weight gain and early aging or as severe as liver failure. If you find yourself becoming a habitual drinker, reach out for help today.

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