Alcohol can be used to celebrate, take the edge off, or accompany a meal. For some, alcohol consumes their lives and can be difficult to quit. Others only consume it in social settings. Regardless of your relationship with alcohol, you should still be aware that it must be consumed in moderation.
Some studies suggest a small amount is beneficial for health, while others suggest there is no safe amount to consume. But one thing is for certain—if you consume too much alcohol, it can lead to serious consequences, especially for your liver.
You may have heard of ‘Dry January’ or ‘Dry February,’ which are efforts to get people to give up booze. You may think it is a gimmick, but it can be wise to give your body a break from alcohol. Here are some reasons why.
9 Things That Happen When You Give up Alcohol
Brain Tissue Growth
Consuming large amounts of alcohol can lead to deficiencies in thiamine (vitamin B1). B1 is essential for tissue growth, especially in the brain, which can contribute to memory. The good news is that alcohol-induced memory problems are reversible, as long as you quit drinking, or at least cut back significantly.
Improve Liver Health
We all know that alcohol can hurt the liver and long-term alcohol consumption can lead to irreversible damage. If you give up alcohol you will dramatically reduce your risk of liver disease.
Balance Gut Bacteria
Alcohol can disrupt the bacteria balance in the gut, and these imbalances can lead to other illnesses. Once you stop drinking, theses essential bacteria can start to rebalance.
Adding to the previous point, by quitting drinking, you will also notice that your digestion will improve as you will have less inflammation. Cutting out alcohol also lowers your risk of acid reflux and gastritis.
Although alcohol makes you tired, it actually disrupts your sleep, meaning you won’t get a good night’s rest. In fact, you’ll probably wake up feeling more tired and less energized.
Alcohol dehydrates you and triggers inflammation, which can show up on your skin. You may notice more wrinkles and fine lines, puffiness, and redness. Furthermore, if your alcohol consumption has led to liver problems, your skin may appear yellowish as a result of jaundice.
When you’re drinking, you often become hungry. While inebriated, you don’t tend to make the best food choices. So, you opt for chips, fast food, and other processed foods that are unhealthy. Even the next day when you’re hungover, you may continue eating unhealthily.
Alcohol contains a slew of calories. The more you drink, the more calories you’re taking in. Pair that with poor food choices, and you set yourself up for added pounds.
You’ll Drink Less Over Time
By eliminating alcohol for a while, you will find you drink less because you will enjoy feeling so good. It makes you more aware of how poorly alcohol makes you feel. Studies have shown that people who take a break tend to drink less in the future, which is even better for your health.
Devon Andre holds a bachelor’s of forensic science from the University of Windsor in Canada and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. This article was first published on BelMarraHealth.com