Health | The real effects of alcohol on our health

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We all know our Friday night glass of wine is “bad” for us, but that does not stop us from enjoying it. But what does this “bad” drink really do to our bodies?

Everyone deserves to relax and indulge in the one thing that they like. For many, that is a few drinks at the weekend. Or a midweek glass of wine.

We all know alcohol is no good for our bodies. For some, the main ‘bad’ component of alcohol is its high calorie count. We dare not even think about the other damage it may be having on our bodies.

But what damage does it really do to us?

Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and so can have an affect on the way the brain looks and works. This, in turn, can change mood and behaviour, while making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.

Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing such problems as stroke, high blood pressure, stretching and drooping of heart muscle and irregular heart beat.

Heavy drinking also takes its toll on the liver, and can lead to liver inflammations and other conditions like cirrhosis, fibrosis and alcoholic hepatitis.

Drinking too much can also weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for sickness and disease.

Alcohol can have a detrimental effect on the functioning of your pancreas. Over consumption can cause the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, an inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

Another dark side to drinking too much alcohol is that can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, such as liver, breast, mouth and throat.

As with all ‘bad’ foods and drinks, moderation is key.