ALCOHOL AND HEALTH

 

Alcohol affects many parts of your body and we hope this page gives you some information on some of the acute effects.

 
  Central Nervous System - Alcohol acts as a depressant on the CNS ;and our inhibitory restraints are released. Whilst one or two drinks may make you feel relaxed, a few more and we may do things and behave in ways we wouldn't  normally dream off when sober.
 
  Liver - The liver processes the alcohol. It takes 1 hour to process 1 unit of
alcohol - it can't be speeded up. Drink more than the liver can cope with and you puke. (Puke whilst unconscious and you could die by choking on your own vomit.) The liver also produces the sugar (Glucose) to feed your brain cells. If it's too busy metabolising alcohol and you haven't been eating properly for a day or two, hypoglycemia may result. Fat gets deposited in the liver causing abdominal discomfort and nausea. Alcoholic Hepatitis and Cirrhosis may occur in heavy chronic drinkers
 
  Kidneys - Not only the amount you have drunk makes you go to the loo but alcohol depresses kidney function. After a heavy drinking spell it's not unknown to have discomfort in the kidney area and to have urinary problems.
 
  Circulatory System - Moderate use of alcohol causes the blood vessels on the surface of the skin to expand leading to a flush of warmth. However, the heat is lost from the body through the skin. Unconsciousness outside in the cold could lead to hypothermia.
 
  Weight Gain - Alcohol, when broken down by the liver produces fat and sugar = weight gain. 3 pints a day for 4 weeks adds 4 pound on in weight or 2-3 shots of sprit every day will have the same effect.
 
  Hangover - Alas there is no cure. Headache, nausea, tiredness, irritability....Despite the myth that mixing drinks or red wine causes hangovers, it's just that - a myth. 'Congeners' are added to alcoholic drinks to make them taste like they do and it is believed that it is these (in quantity) that add to the hangover itself.
 

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