On Alcohol And Aging: Effects Of Alcohol

There is a fine line between enjoying a drink or two after a long day and enjoying it way too much -a drink and two, and three, and four, and more.  Sure, we’ve all probably “been on the binge”, but those all nighters have got to stop sometime- unless you want to be on the fast train to wrinkle-ville. So let’s go ahead and check out the effects of alcohol.

effects of alcohol on agingThe GOOD: It’s All About Moderation

A night out with the girls can definitely do you good- as long as you don’t overdo it.  Just like practically everything else, moderation is key.  So here are some of the health benefits that you can think of while sipping down your next drink.
  • Reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes
  • Reduces the risk of sugar diabetes
  • Reduces the risk of dementia
*Red wine is especially great- click HERE to see why. Yes, alcohol can be the good stuff- until you have had too much- and that nasty hangover is just the tip of the iceberg.

The BAD: Drinking Way Too Much

If you think the morning after is bad, wait until you hear about the long term effects of alcohol when consumed too much, too often.  It’s a long list, So I’ve broken it down for you, body part by body part.

Alcohol And AgingThe Brain:

Well, aside from obviously getting drunk, here are the possible negative effects in the long run:
  • Addiction
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Wet Brain Syndrome (memory loss, inability to make new memories, and even remembering things that never happened.  Hallucinations, staggering, and vision changes)

The Heart:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Growth in size
  • Decreases production of red blood cells
  • Decreases production of white blood cells
  • Cardiomyopathy  (weaker heart, weaker pump)

262068_chest_xrayThe Lungs:

  • Increases risk of infection
  • Breathing problems

The Liver:

  • Hepatitis (inflammation and then even destruction of liver cells)
  • Jaundice (yellow skin due to the liver’s failure to remove yellow pigment)
  • Cirrhosis (scarring and even destruction of liver cells)
  • Edema (excess watery fluid that may be collected in the tissue as well as the cavities of the body)
  • Liver Failure

The Digestive System:

  • Damage of the esophagus lining
  • Damage of the stomach lining
  • Damage of the intestinal track lining
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Lesions Cancer
  • Pancreatitis (severe inflammation of pancreas) 
[caption id="attachment_1089" align="alignright" width="300"]Drinking too much can make you look up to 12 years older! Drinking too much can make you look up to 12 years older![/caption]

Alcohol And Aging

Did you know that drinking can speed up the clock?  People who drink too much, too often can look and feel up to 12 years older.  Sure back in college, or even in those yuppie years, heading to the bar after a long day was pretty much a given.  But we all have to grow up sometime, unless you want to grow old fast. Alcohol can have pretty bad effects on your skin.  And nothing quite ages you more than that.  Because alcohol dehydrates your body and even derives it of Vitamin A, which, by the way, is a very important antioxidant, when it comes to your skin, here are the downs of downing way too many shots:
  • Bumps and blemishes
  • Duller tone
  • Blotches and discoloration
  • Loss of elasticity
  • Wrinkles

So How Much Is Too Much?

Well, According to NIAAA, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
heavy drinking is 4 or more drinks a day for men or more than 14 drinks in a week.  For women, it is 3 or more in a day or more than 7 in a week.
Doesn’t seem to add up?  Well, of course, unless you have just one glass of wine every day to bring it to an end, drinking every day is considered “heavy”, or too much.            

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