Alcohol puts a lot of strain on the human body. While the occasional drink may be fine for some people, excessive drinking will take its toll. In fact, there’s a strong relationship between alcohol and aging. If you want to take care of your body, look younger and feel younger, then it’s time to stop drinking.
Below are the different ways that alcohol and aging are interrelated.
As you get older, the body has less water. Plus, you feel thirsty less often. When you combine this with drinking alcohol, it’s easier for the body to become dehydrated. Dehydration can affect your performance and mood, leading to fatigue and exhaustion.
Additionally, alcohol can dry out your skin. This might not be a problem when you’re young, but as you get older, the skin gets thinner and drier. Drinking alcohol can lead to extrinsic aging, which is where your skin ages faster than it should because of your lifestyle.
Weaken Vital Organs
Some changes you can’t see on the outside of your body, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. Alcohol can affect the way some vital organs work. Heavy drinkers are more likely to have cirrhosis of the liver, but even moderate drinkers can develop fatty liver disease.
Not only does alcohol take a toll on your liver but also your kidneys, heart, nervous system and pancreas. Heavy drinking can also cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol, two risk factors for heart attack and stroke.
Slow the Brain
Every time you take a sip of alcohol, it goes straight to your brain. This is why people experience difficulty walking, blurred vision and slurred speech when they start drinking. But there are long-term effects to be aware of, too.
Heavy drinking can shrink brain cells and result in alcohol-related brain damage and certain types of dementia. Symptoms include anger issues, a lack of judgement, impaired memory and trouble staying focused.
Weaken the Immune System
Another way that alcohol ages your body is by weakening the immune system. This can be an even bigger problem for someone who is older, as they won’t be able to fight off life-threatening illnesses like pneumonia. Researchers are also studying the possibility that alcoholic liver disease is caused by the immune system attacking healthy tissues.
People who drink when they’re older often notice that the alcohol hits them harder. This isn’t necessarily a good thing – it means that the body is taking longer to break down the alcohol and remove it from the system. This happens because the body loses muscle and gains fat.
Because the alcohol stays in the body longer when you’re older, hangovers are usually worse. And, you’ll need to know how your medications may interact with your drinking. For example, mixing aspirin and alcohol raises the risk for internal bleeding or stomach problems.
Stop Drinking Today
Even though alcohol is legal, socially acceptable and even encouraged at times, it is a dangerous drug that has long-term effects. Drinking in excess will cause the body to age faster. If you are struggling with a drinking problem, contact Wolf Creek Recovery Center. Our alcohol treatment center in Arizona treats alcohol use disorders of all severities.