Side effects of drinking excess alcohol

The festive season is here, and we can’t wait to say ‘cheers’ with some amazing cocktails! But if you are someone who goes overboard with alcohol, it’s time to understand the repercussions.

Diwali is just around the corner, and that means there’s going to be a whole lineup of get-togethers with close friends and family. It is also that time of the year when we look forward to gorging on our favorite foods and drinks (read alcohol). We can’t deny that those exotic tipples are more tempting than ever!

Now, having them in moderation is great, but in case you are one of those who tends to drink like there’s no tomorrow, it’s time to listen up!

But before that, let’s understand what can be categorized as excessive drinking?

What is excessive drinking?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)), excessive drinking includes binge drinking, or heavy drinking. For women, binge drinking looks like 4 or more drinks during a single occasion. On the other hand, heavy drinking is defined as consuming 8 or more drinks per week. But is it harmless or causes negative effects? It’s the latter, ladies!

  side effects of alcohol
Side-effects of excess alcohol aren’t good for your overall health. Image courtesy: shutterstock

So, what can happen if you consume too much alcohol?

“The The liver can take up to an hour to process upto 90% of consumed alcohol or one alcoholic beverage. However, this time frame increases with each drink. Hence, the higher the alcohol content, the longer it takes to process it, which is the reason why when you consume excessive alcohol, the alcohol that’s left unprocessed circulates in the body, and starts affecting your brain and heart,” shares Dr Ankur Garg with HealthShots.

If you have one glass after the other, your body will start to scream for help! Some of the negative effects of alcohol include dehydration, lack of muscle gain, negative impact on your metabolism, liver damage, promotes fat gain, and decreases the quality of sleep.

  side effects of alcohol
Too much alcohol can give you major hangover. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“When you drink in excess, your digestive system goes for a toss. You might experience gassiness, bloating, a feeling of fullness in your abdomen, diarrhea or even painful stools. Drinking too much is also likely to cause headaches, and insomnia,” says Dr Rashmi Tarachandani, a general physician.

Furthermore, Dr Garg shares that regular consumption of excess alcohol can have a detrimental impact on your body in the long run. “In the early stages of alcohol-related liver disease, there are no associated symptoms, and one might not know about the disease. If symptoms are present, they normally start as upper abdominal discomfort, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite and nausea, and vomiting,” he adds.

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Those who are sufferingg from advanced liver disease normally show symptoms such as jaundice, sleeplessness, abdominal distension, swelling in feet, easy bruisability and altered sensorium.

So, what is a healthy way to enjoy your drink?

If you want to enjoy the party season, feel free to drink in moderation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults can choose to drink in moderation by limiting intake to one drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed.

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