April is Alcohol Awareness Month and it's important to know how drinking can affect your body. Besides getting that horrible hangover, there can also be serious consequences to your health. This includes damaging organs, getting cancer, or weakening your immune system.
Brain: Alcohol can greatly affect your communication pathway. You will have a harder time focusing and you will not be able to think clearly. Your coordination and mood will also be affected. Do you want to be in control of your own body and remember everything you did the night before? Drink in moderation and make sure to be thinking about your brain when you take that first sip of alcohol. This doesn't mean you can't drink, just be aware of the consequences and protect your brain!
Heart: The more alcohol you drink, the more damage there is going to be to the heart. This means drinking a lot in one sitting or over a long period of time. A lot of studies say drinking wine can protect you from getting heart disease. This may be true but it has to be in moderation! Drinking too much alcohol can cause an irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure, or cardiomyopathy. Keep your heart strong and healthy.
Liver: Most of the time when we think of drinking too much we think of the toll it's taking on the liver. The main cause of liver disease is alcohol. The result of heavy drinking is getting a fatty liver which is an early stage of liver disease. There are a variety of health problems that can occur such as liver inflammation, cirrhosis, fibrosis, hepatitis, or steatosis. Try not to over do it on the amount of alcohol you consume, your liver will thank you later.
Pancreas: If you are a heavy drinker you have a higher chance of getting pancreatitis. Drinking too much over a long period of time will cause the pancreas to be inflamed. Once this occurs there are really no cures, just treatments to slow the process down. Don't let it get to this point!
Cancer: Drinking alcohol can cause mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, or breast cancer. You are at high risk for mouth cancer if you drink more than 5 drinks each day. Drinking less=reduce your risk for cancer!
Immune System: The more you drink the more likely you will get a disease because of your weakened immune system. Your body will be a much easier target to attack. There will be a greater risk of contracting pneumonia, tuberculosis, or even HIV. If you are already fighting some sort of infection it is highly recommended that you stay away from alcohol because your immune system will already be compromised.
The theme here is drinking in moderation!