There are several reasons to cut down on your alcohol intake. We’ve narrowed it down to 5 to help you to decide whether or not it’s worth slowing down on your over-indulging.
- It affects your brain. Chemicals called neurotransmitters carry messages between the neurons in your brain. Chemicals can either intensify or minimise your body’s responses – the chemicals in alcohol slow the pace of communication between the neurotransmitters. That’s why you experience memory loss after a night of heavy drinking.
- It affects your heart. Long-term drinking weakens the heart muscle, thus preventing the heart from contracting effectively. The weakened muscles cannot pump enough blood to nourish the organs; this can lead to heart failure.
- It affects your liver. Your liver stores energy and nutrients; it generates protein and wards off disease. Your liver also gets rid of harmful substances, like alcohol. Without a functioning liver, your body is unable to effectively detoxify, which can be deadly.
- It affects your pancreas. Your pancreas helps to digest food and converts it into fuel for your body. Drinking damages pancreatic cells and influences metabolic processes involving insulin.
- It can affect your immune system. The defense against sickness and disease is controlled by your immune system. Drinking too much alcohol weakens your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to disease and infection.
For more information, go to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. If you think you may be too reliant on alcohol, speak to a friend or counsellor, or contact Alcoholics Anonymous South Africa.
source: The South African