In this guide brought to you by SoHo Men’s Health in New York, we explain how excessive alcohol consumption can impact your health.
What Is Excessive Drinking?
Excessive drinking encompasses binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or minors. Alcohol is absorbed quickly by your body and your body processes it much more slowly. Consuming large amounts of alcohol during a short period of time leads to a greater risk of health complications.
A standard drink is defined as:
- 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of regular beer (about 5 percent alcohol)
- 8 to 9 ounces (237 to 266 milliliters) of malt liquor (about 7 percent alcohol)
- 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine (about 12 percent alcohol)
- 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof hard liquor (about 40 percent alcohol)
Mixed drinks usually contain more than one serving of alcohol and can take even longer to metabolize.
What Are The Short-Term Health Risks Of Drinking Alcohol?
Excessive alcohol use has instant effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These short-term health risks are commonly the result of binge drinking and include the following:
- Alcohol poisoning. Drinking heavily and quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and gag reflex and may lead to a coma and death. Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency that needs to be treated immediately.
- High-risk behaviors. Increased sexual behaviors may lead to unintended pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases. Drinking heavily may cause violent behaviors as well.
- Injuries. Alcohol impairs your judgment and leads to injuries such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns. It is illegal for any person to operate a vehicle with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08% or higher if the person is at least 21 years old.
- Harm To Pregnancies. Drinking can lead to miscarriages and stillbirths or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women.
What Are The Long-Term Health Risks Of Excessive Drinking?
Excessive alcohol use may lead to the development of severe diseases and other long-term health conditions that affect your entire body.
Alcohol affects your heart by increasing the risk of :
- Heart disease: Alcohol use has severe effects on cardiovascular health. There are associations between drinking and cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiomyopathy.
Alcohol affects your brain and can lead to:
- Stroke: Drinking alcohol excessively can lead to an irregular heartbeat. Over time this irregular heartbeat can form blood clots in your heart that can move to your brain and cause a stroke.
- Learning and memory problems: Drinking alcohol affects the brain and can lead to dementia and poor school performance.
- Mental health problems: Alcohol is classified as a Central Nervous System Depressant, which slows down brain functioning and neural activity. Binge drinking over a period of time may cause depression and anxiety.
Alcohol destroys your liver by causing:
- Liver disease: Most of the alcohol you consume is metabolized by your liver so liver diseases are a common side-effect of excessive drinking.
Alcohol hurts your stomach with:
- Digestive problems: Drinking heavily can cause inflammation in your stomach and lead to a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, feelings of fullness, flatulence, and abdominal pain.
Alcohol can cause other serious health problems as well:
- High blood pressure: Drinking alcohol in excess may increase your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
- Cancer: Cancer can develop in different areas including the skin, breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.
- Weakening of the immune system: Consuming alcohol at large levels increases the chances of getting sick.
- Alcohol use disorders or alcohol dependence. If you drink large amounts of alcohol frequently you may develop a perceived necessity for it.
- Alcohol affects your skin: Alcohol may lead to severely dry skin and an increased risk of skin infections.
If you are a man seeking support and education regarding your health and wellness in New York, consider SoHo Men’s Health, the first men’s health and wellness experience in New York City. SoHo Men’s Health is proud to offer a number of treatments for cosmetic rejuvenation, as well as sexual and reproductive health services for men. Call 347-749-1174 to ask how we can help you meet your health, wellness, and aesthetic goals today.