Honestly, every element in the universe is both tonic & poison. So is alcohol, but only if it is consumed in the right proportions at proper intervals. Medicinal properties of alcohol consumption largely depend upon regulated dosage. Moderate alcohol consumption is considered to be good for the heart & the circulatory system while at the same time acting as protection against type 2 diabetes & gallstones.
Heavy Drinking & Alcohol Dependence
Heavy drinking though is a major cause of worry in most countries, including the U.S. Alcohol consumption is implicated in more than half of the total fatal traffic accidents. Other harmful effects of heavy drinking & alcohol dependence include damage to liver & increased risk of developing cancers, mainly of the breasts. Alcohol is also contributory to causing depression & violence which invariably interfere with deteriorating human relationships.
Ethanol – Active Ingredient in Alcohol
The two-pronged nature of alcohol is no surprise. Ethanol molecules, which form the active ingredients in most alcoholic drinks, affect the functioning of our system in many different ways. While directly influencing the functioning of brain, heart, stomach, liver & gallbladder, Ethanol affects cholesterol & triglyceride levels alongside insulin in blood causing inflammation & coagulation. Ethanol is also a drastic mood changer subsequently diluting concentration & system coordination capacity.
Alcohol Effects on Our Physical System
Too much alcohol consumption on a single occasion or over a period of time can take a serious toll on our physical health. While weakening our immune system it makes our bodies an easy target for a variety of diseases. Chronic compulsive drinkers are more vulnerable to contracting diseases like tuberculosis & pneumonia than those who do not drink so much. Consuming a lot of alcohol on a single occasion slows down our in-built body ability to ward off infectious attacks even after 24 hours of getting drunk.
Drinking a lot of alcohol over long periods of time or plenty on a single occasion can seriously damage the heart causing irreparable loss. Some of these problems include –
- High Blood Pressure
- Arrhythmias (Irregular Heart Beat)
- Cardio-Myopathy – Stretching & drooping of heart muscle
However, research also shows that consuming moderate levels of alcohol does protect healthy adults from developing a variety of coronary heart diseases.
Alcohol seriously interferes with brain communication pathways & patterns. It can conditionally affect the way our brain looks & works causing disruptions which can change our moods & linked behavior. Alcohol shrouds & makes it hard to think clearly & function in synced coordination.
Heavy alcohol consumption over a period of time invariably takes a toll on the liver. This will subsequently cause liver inflammations which can lead to a variety of problems including –
- Alcohol Hepatitis
- Steatosis (Fatty Liver)
Eventually alcohol consumption causes pancreas to produce toxic substances which can lead to pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a dangerous condition which results from inflammation & swelling of blood vessels in pancreas thus preventing proper digestive functions.
Consuming too much alcohol certainly increases our risk of developing a variety of cancers. Some of these cancers include the cancer of the –
Nevertheless, all poisons are medicine as well depending upon the dosage & periodic consumption. A proper understanding of the nature & consumption of alcohol can go a long way in preserving our health. Considered & strictly used as medicine, alcohol can be a boon to life. The difference literally lies in the use & abuse of alcohol from the physical health point of view.