Drinking is America’s favourite pastime, and that is why beer commercials are the second biggest ad buyers after pharma. Alcohol has been a part of human history for more than a thousand years. Fermented grape wines and brewed ale have found mention in literature as far back as the bible.
But is alcohol good for us?
Anything, when done in excess, is bad for the human body and Alcohol is not an exception. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can have serious effects on your health and it is particularly bad for your liver.
The liver is considered to be the body’s chemistry lab. It breaks down the food you eat into energy and helps dispose of waste products. It is an incredibly robust organ which can even regrow if a part of it is surgically removed.
How does alcohol affect the liver?
The alcohol you drink reaches the liver and is broke down into acetaldehyde, a toxic enzyme that damages the liver cells. When consumed in small quantities, your liver can handle the alcohol easily. But it needs water to take care of the toxic enzymes. When you drink a lot of alcohol, sometimes, it may overload the organ and result in scarring and even cause damage to your brain and stomach lining.
If you binge drink regularly, your liver will not be able to metabolise liquor effectively, leading to several diseases.
One example is Fatty Liver disease. Excessive drinking will result in fat build-up within the liver and cause inflammation. If you have a poor/sedentary lifestyle, the disease may put you in severe risk that may lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes and may even cause liver failure.
Constant heavy drinking may also cause recurring inflammation that results in alcoholic hepatitis. If you do not control your alcohol intake, this may result in cirrhosis and liver failure. But if you reduce the liquor consumption, there is a chance for recovery.
How can you avoid such liver diseases?
It is simple.
- Regulate your alcohol intake to one or two standard drinks.
- Do not drink liquor every day. Give your body some time to rest and recover.
- And most importantly after your drinks, consume a lot of water. This will help your liver process all the alcohol safely. And it will also help you avoid a hangover the next day.
Hangover results from your body dehydrating. So, when you replenish it with a lot of water after your drinks, your liver will do its job and flush out the toxins.