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How does alcohol impact health?

Alcohol can affect your body in different ways based on the quantity you consume, your pattern of consumption, your underlying health issues, your genes, etc. It is a psychoactive substance (a substance that causes a change in moods and behaviors) with dependence-producing properties. The ill-effects of alcohol include:

  • Liver damage: Your liver metabolizes alcohol, producing toxins. consumption of alcohol can lead to a fatty liver, its inflammation and, eventually, the formation of scars (a cirrhotic liver). This usually ends in liver failure

  • Brain shrinkage: Alcohol can actually shrink your brain. And that impacts your ability to think, learn, and remember things. It can also affect your balance while walking

  • Lipids, abdominal obesity, and diabetes: The consumption of excess alcohol leads to a rise in triglycerides, which get stored in fat cells and lead to visceral obesity. This can then develop into insulin resistance, progressing towards a prediabetic or diabetic state

  • Heart damage: Although the general view is that moderate consumption of alcohol is ok, there is evidence that this is not necessarily true for persons of South Asian origin. Binge drinking, in particular, can cause heart rhythm problems and sudden death

  • Erectile Dysfunction: Although alcohol may kindle the desire, it has a negative impact on the ability to perform

  • Insomnia: The consumption of large amounts of alcohol adversely affects the quantity and quality of REM sleep


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