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Five Effects of Alcohol You May Not Know About

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Many of us drink alcohol on a regular basis, and when it comes to the weekend many of us have been known to overindulge a little.

For the most part we understand the dangers of alcohol. We have an understanding that it can damage our liver, exacerbate mental health conditions and lead to addiction, with private alcohol treatment one of the few pathways to recovery.

However, there are also many other effects that we may not be quite as familiar with, but it is important to know about them, particularly if you are a heavy drinker. Among some of the more common effects you may not be aware of, include…

Disruption of REM Sleep

Often we think alcohol gives us a better night’s sleep, knocking us out for the count. However, while it does aid falling asleep, the quality of that sleep is significantly harmed. It disrupts the normal sleep cycle by reducing the time spent in rapid eye movement sleep, a stage that is important for memory consolidation and cognitive function.

This sleep is less restorative and is why we often feel groggy and tired the following day.

Increased Risk of Osteoporosis

Many people aren’t aware that alcohol can really affect bone health. It increases the risk of osteoporosis, a condition which makes bones fragile and brittle. That’s because alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, a mineral that, as many of us know, is important for bone strength.

What’s more, alcohol can interfere with hormone production, which again can affect bones.

Negative Impact on Skin

One thing many people begin to notice is how alcohol affects our skin. It dehydrates the body and leads to dry, flaky skin as well as exacerbating conditions like eczema. This can be itchy, painful and really make you regret that big night on the town.

Alcohol abuse also causes redness and flushing, as well as depleting many of the essential vitamins and antioxidants we need for healthy skin.

Increased Risk of Eye Issues

Interestingly, excessive alcohol consumption can also cause eye problems. It affects the muscles that control eye movement, focus and co-ordination, which can result in the likes of blurred vision.

Optive nerve damage and conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts can all be a higher risk as a result of regular drinking too, seriously damaging one of our key senses.

Disruption of Gut Health

Finally, you may feel a bit funny in the morning after a night of drinking, but perhaps don’t know the extent of disruption that alcohol is causing on our gut health. Alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach and intestines, leading to inflammation and issues such as gastritis, acid reflux and even more severe conditions such as ulcers and pancreatitis.

Of course, there are many other areas of our body that can also be affected by alcohol, so it’s vital that we look after ourselves, drink responsibly and understand just how alcohol can impact us on a daily basis.

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