This is Exactly What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Too Much Alcohol

Hangover may be the least of your problems
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Alcoholic beverages have no season. People want them in the summer to cool off and, especially wine and liquor, in the winter to warm up.

recent study found that heavy drinking among Americans rose by 17.2 percent between 2005 and 2012. To make matters worse, people consume more in a shorter period of time. Binging is up almost 9 percent. 

Excessive drinking is when you have more than four drinks a night or more than eight a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A report from 2014 found 54 direct and indirect ways – from car crashes to depression and cirrhosis – in which alcohol can be lead to death.

Metabolism is not working properly

Alcohol can affect hormone levels, affecting the way calories are metabolized, causing your body to store the extra calories. The empty calories can really add up when you are having a few drinks daily.

See: 15 Reasons Why Drinking Diet Soda and Alcohol Can Kill You

Alcohol is fat-sparing, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The body will burn the calories from booze first before it burns any fat.

Booze is not stored the same way fat or carbs are. The body has to work harder. When alcohol is consumed, it goes straight to the liver and is converted into acetate, which then is broken down into water and carbon dioxide for easy elimination.  

You are weaker

Alcohol depletes important minerals that are important to the recovery process, especially after a workout. It encourages yeast overgrowth which has a whole spectrum of symptoms.

Alcohol acts acutely as magnesium diuretic, causing a prompt, vigorous increase in the urinary excretion of this metal along with that of certain other electrolytes that are vital for muscle recovery and muscle health.

See: Why magnesium is important and how to get enough of it?

With a chronic intake of alcohol and development of alcoholism, the body stores of magnesium become depleted, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Arrhythmia

There are two types of alcohol induced arrhythmias, according to NIH. Alcohol can trigger symptoms of atrial fibrillation, which increases the risk of stroke by five times. The heart’s upper, or atrial, chambers shudder weakly but do not contract. Excess of alcohol stops the liver from making the materials that help the blood to clot.

See: 5 Bad Things about Detoxing You Don't Know

The other is Ventricular Tachycardia. This form of arrhythmia occurs in the heart’s lower chambers. “Electrical signals travel throughout the heart’s muscles, triggering contractions that keep blood flowing at the right pace. Alcohol-induced damage to heart muscle cells can cause these electrical impulses to circle through the ventricle too many times, causing too many contractions. The heart beats too quickly, and so does not fill up with enough blood between each beat. As a result, the rest of the body does not get enough blood.”

The body becomes dehydrated

Dehydration can also occur as a result of drinking too much alcohol. It lowers the level of the anti-diuretic hormone, which is used by the body to reabsorb water. You lose more fluid than necessary.

See: 15 Ways Dehydration Is Making You Sick

Dehydration causes bad breath, sugar cravings, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. Severe dehydration – losing 25-30 percent of total water volume –can even lead to death.

Hypertension

study has found that the regular consumption of alcohol elevates blood pressure. Repeated drinking can raise it too much. Older people, especially women, are more at risk. The global estimate attributing to the risk for hypertensive disease from alcohol is 16 percent.

Breathing problems

If you find it hard to breathe, consider whether you engage in binge drinking too often.

new study shows a link between excessive alcohol consumption and nitric oxide levels — a naturally produced gas that helps fight bacterial infections in the lungs, according to Medical Daily. Participants who had lower levels of the gas were also the excessive drinkers. The more a participant reported drinking, the lower their levels, which told researchers that their bodies were less equipped to kill bacteria and fight off lung infections.

See: Health Symptoms You Should Never Ignore (But Dismiss Anyway)

A dangerous aspect of alcohol is its formation of acetaldehyde, a broken down chemical from alcohol known as “the hangover chemical.” Acetaldehyde is a particularly potent toxin that can damage all the tissues in the body.

Acetaldehyde blocks the attachment of oxygen to red blood cells. The brain uses 20 percent of all the oxygen that you inhale but stiff red blood cells cut down that amount considerably leaving you gasping for air.

Disrupts sleep

Alcohol is eliminated from the body rapidly and causes withdrawal symptoms two or three hours later, which have a negative reaction. Studies have shown that in healthy people, acute high alcohol doses disturb sleep, whereas in insomniacs, lower doses may be beneficial.

See: 20 Secrets You Need To Know for Your Best Night’s Sleep

People fall asleep quicker after drinking, but alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM), which won’t occur until about 90 minutes after falling asleep. REM sleep is when we dream and actually rest.

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