20 Ways Diet Soda and Alcohol Could Slowly Kill You from 20 Ways Diet Soda and Alcohol Could Slowly Kill You

20 Ways Diet Soda and Alcohol Could Slowly Kill You

The good news is that fewer people consume soda – 63 percent avoided it in 2014 compared to 41 percent in 2002, according to Gallup. Industry tracker Beverage Digest says soda consumption is down to a 30-year low. Sugary sodas have been losing to diet ones for several years now. But while people are getting rid of one harmful substance, they are letting several others in. More bad news is the fact that many people may have replaced soda with booze. Alcohol, a psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties, can cause a lot of harm, but it often depends on the volume of consumption.

Heartburn

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Heartburn after drinking happens because of alcohol’s effect on the body’s physical functions, as well as the chemical reactions that happen in the stomach, according to Heartburn Remedies. When people drink alcohol, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes and allows that acid to enter the tube. Too much caffeine causes the muscle that connects the stomach to the esophagus to relax, creating an opening for stomach acid to enter the esophagus causing acid reflux.

Cancer

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Experiments on rats have shown that aspartame, the market names of which are NutraSweet® and Equal®, can cause the development of cancerous cells in different parts of the body. The common sweetener’s carcinogenic effects are increased when exposure begins in the womb. The Department of Health lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. The most common cancers linked to excessive drinking are head and neck cancers, as well as esophageal, liver, breast, colon and rectal cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Heart failure

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A Swedish study that observed 42,400 men over 12 years found that only two sweetened drinks a day can increase the risk of heart problems by almost a quarter. Less than half of the people first diagnosed with the condition live longer than five years, according to the Heart Failure Society of America. Alcohol is also to blame. It weakens the heart muscle, according to experts. That deteriorates the organ because it has more difficulties pumping blood.

Addiction

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You can develop dependency for diet soda due to the caffeine it contains. Caffeine and alcohol are chemically addictive. Many caffeine consumers may be unaware of their physical dependence because their frequent habitual consumption precludes a period of sustained abstinence (e.g. 2 days), according to John Hopkins Medicine. Also, low doses of caffeine can partially suppress withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of withdrawal from both include irritability, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, vomiting, and stiffness.

Kidney problems

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Kidney function declined over two decades in women who drank several diet sodas a day, according to research. Compared with women who did not drink diet soda, soda-drinking women had a 30% greater reduction in kidney function in 20 years. Repeated alcohol consumption can raise your blood pressure too much and lead to dehydration, according to a study. Chronic drinking can also cause liver disease, which makes the kidneys work harder. Alcohol can change the organs’ function by making them less able to filter your blood, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

High blood pressure

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People who drink sugar-free and artificially sweetened soft drinks are more likely to have high blood pressure, possibly because they are more likely to gain weight. Caffeine can cause a spike, too. Research shows that in hypertensive individuals, caffeine intake produces an acute increase in blood pressure for 3 or more hours. Alcohol can raise your blood pressure too much. A study says that the regular consumption of alcohol raises blood pressure. The global estimate holds that the risk for hypertensive disease attributable to alcohol is 16 percent.

Bad teeth

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Soft drinks have many potential health problems, including dental caries and enamel erosion, according to research. Slowly progressed caries may suddenly become rampant. This may result from frequent exposure to erosive acids in soda. Caffeine hurts your teeth, research shows. Enamel surface was consistently rougher. Also, tooth decay is common among heavy drinkers because of the sugars and acids in alcohol.

Lack of restful sleep

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Caffeine is a stimulant and affects sleep adversely, according to studies. It stays in your body for more than seven hours. Even if you are able to fall asleep, you may not enter the deep sleep phase, which is when your brain really rests. Alcohol is eliminated from the body rapidly and causes withdrawal symptoms two or three hours later. This has a negative reaction. People fall asleep more quickly under the influence of alcohol, but alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM), which is when you dream and actually rest.

Diabetes

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Diet sodas trick the brain by triggering its “awards” regions, causing “metabolic derangements.” That basically means that you end up eating more or changing your diet in an unhealthy way, eventually leading to the diseases you are trying to avoid, such as obesity and diabetes. Another study has linked artificial sweeteners to a change in gut microbes, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Excessive drinking causes chronic inflammation of the pancreas. As a result, it can’t secrete insulin properly, leading to diabetes.

Fatty liver disease

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The artificial, non-saccharide sweetener aspartame, found in diet sodas, is the culprit here. A study has shown it to increase insulin resistance and trigger fatty liver disease, which means there is a buildup of extra fat in the liver cells. Alcohol has also been linked this condition as well. The organ’s job is to process everything people eat and drink, but too much fat will have an effect. The illness can also be brought on by excessive drinking. Alcoholic fatty liver disease is the earliest stage of other drinking-related liver problems. There are usually no symptoms, according to the Liver Foundation.

Stroke

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Researchers had said that consuming as little as one diet soda a day could increase your risk of heart attack and stroke by 48 percent. The body releases insulin after it “tastes” the sweetness from the artificial sweeteners in the diet soda. Too much of them – without any actual sugar – causes an overload, making the cells less responsive to the hormone. Alcohol can trigger symptoms of atrial fibrillation (arrhythmia), which increases the risk of stroke by five times, according to a study. Excessive alcohol stops the liver from making the materials that help the blood to clot.

Multiple sclerosis

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There is no conclusive evidence that diet sodas or alcohol can contribute to MS. Yet some studies link the aspartame sweetener to a higher risk of multiple sclerosis while the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have rejected the notion. Still, why risk it when diet soda causes so many other problems anyway?

Arrhythmia

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Alcohol can cause symptoms of arrhythmia, and, even at moderate intakes, increases the risk of atrial fibrillation, research shows. Caffeine does not promote ventricular arrhythmia, unless consumed in very high doses. A 25-year-old woman with a preexisting condition died after drinking 50 mL of a “natural energy” guarana health drink that contained the same amount of caffeine as 8 cups of strong coffee.

Osteoporosis

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The phosphoric acid in soda drinks extracts calcium from the bones. No calcium means weaker bones, increasing the risk of fractures. A study found that women who drank soda beverages had lower bone density in the hips. Other research has also suggested that higher soda consumption is associated with more bone fractures. Research indicates that the effects of heavy alcohol use on bone cannot be reversed, even if a person stops drinking. Alcohol appears to have an effect on bone–forming cells, slowing bone turnover.

Stomach fat

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Several studies have suggested that diet soda causes weight gain, not loss. In one research study in particular, which included 749 people who were 65 and older, those who had sugar-free sodas gained three times more weight around the waist – 3.2 inches – than those who didn’t. Some studies have shown that alcohol decreases fat burn in the stomach. That’s why nutritionists say that the fastest way to lose belly fat is by not drinking booze. Belly fat is closely linked to higher risk of heart diseases, inflammation and Type 2 diabetes.

Dehydration

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Dehydration, which causes many health problems on its own, can 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. Diet sodas with caffeine can have the same effect because of artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame. Dehydration causes bad breath, sugar cravings, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches.

Seizures

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Aspartame-sweetened soft drinks have been linked to seizures, according to the Epilepsy Foundation. The chemical has also been known to induce convulsions. This synthetic chemical can evade the blood-brain barrier, allowing the chemicals to directly alter the brain’s neurological function. It is believed that aspartame, which contains phenylalanine, can raise the levels of phenylalanine in the brain. It then reduces the production and flow of the neurotransmitters that protect against seizures. The seizure threshold is raised by drinking alcohol, according to studies, and declines after stopping. As a result, during withdrawal from alcohol, usually in the first two days, seizures may occur.

Obesity

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In a study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, people who drank two or more diet sodas a day had waist sizes that were six times bigger than those who didn’t. The 470-plus participants were observed for about a decade. Also, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, alcohol is fat-sparing. The body will burn the calories from booze first before it burns any fat.

Metabolic syndrome

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Metabolic syndrome is a combination of factors that increase the chance of suffering from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. A study concluded that, basically, the more you drink, the more likely you are to develop this condition. Symptoms include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, blood clots, and too much belly fat. Consumption of diet soda at least daily was associated with significantly greater risks of select incident metabolic syndrome components, according to research.

Cirrhosis

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Sodium benzoate, a popular food preservative used in many soda drinks to keep them fresh, may cause serious scarring in the liver, followed by liver failure, according to a study. Alcoholic liver cirrhosis is the most advanced form of liver illness that has to do with drinking. Fatty liver disease is usually the first signal. For cirrhosis to develop, a person has to be abusing alcohol for years.