How to survive Christmas
December 5, 2018
The effects of prolonged drinking (especially during the festive season!)
Drinking consistently can have huge effects on your body and health.
You should take at least 48 hours before having another drink, so it gives your body and especially your liver time to recover.
Alcohol is a ‘poison’, and hangovers symptoms hit hardest when the alcohol levels in our body have dropped to zero.
The body is more than equipped to cope with the odd binge, but anything more than this and especially for prolonged periods can have serious effects.
Drinking long-term can increase the risk of cancer of the liver, mouth, throat, voice box, oesophagus, colon, and rectum. Even a few drinks a week is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in women.
Prolonged drinking is linked to…
- Weight Gain: Alcohol is calorific and high in sugar and if you drink every day for a month the impact on your waist line will be visible. Excess weight gain can lead to diabetes and high-blood pressure – amongst numerous other health related conditions.
- Lack of Vitamin B. Absorption of vitamin B12 from beef, dairy and eggs can be particularly affected by alcohol, and signs of deficiency include tiredness, breathlessness, headaches, pale skin and heart palpitations. A lack of vitamin B12 can lead to build-up of a compound called homocysteine, which in the long term could lead to heart attack and stroke.
- Heart. Heavy drinking can cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and in very severe cases, sudden death from heart failure.
- Kidneys. Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes the kidneys to produce more urine. This, alone or with vomiting, can lead to dehydration and dangerously low levels of sodium, potassium, and other minerals and salts.
- Pancreas. Just one single session of heavy alcohol use can lead to dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), so more than that can put huge pressure on the Pancreas.
- Sexual health. Being drunk increases the chance of having unsafe sex — which can lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unplanned pregnancy.
- Long-term heavy alcohol use can also affect your blood and immune system, mental health, bones and muscles, brain and nervous system and intestines.
Hair of the dog!
There is no scientific evidence to say that ‘hair of the dog’ helps cure your hangover. It can sometimes make you feel slightly better but putting alcohol back in your system is not a good idea and is just hiding your symptoms which will show up eventually, possibly making the hangover symptoms worse.