Alcohol and Health: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

But there’s plenty of research to back up the notion that alcohol does lead to weight gain in general. In reality, there’s no evidence that drinking beer (or your alcoholic beverages of choice) actually contributes to belly fat. Steatotic liver disease used to go by the name fatty liver disease. For example, it may be used to define the risk of illness or injury based on the number of drinks a person has in a week.

The risks increase largely in a dose-dependent manner with the volume of alcohol consumed and with frequency of drinking, and exponentially with the amount consumed on a single occasion. Surrogate and illegally produced alcohols can bring an extra health risk from toxic contaminants. The context of drinking plays an important role in the occurrence of alcohol-related harm, particularly as a result of alcohol intoxication. Alcohol consumption can have an impact not only on the incidence of diseases, injuries and other health conditions, but also on their outcomes and how these evolve over time. Though alcohol seems woven into the fabric of our social lives, drinking can have harmful health effects, even in small doses.

The Impact of Alcohol on Your Body

Generally referred to as “alcohol,” ethanol is the substance that makes you drunk. By Yvelette Stines

Yvelette Stines, MS, MEd, is an author, writer, and communications specialist specializing in health and wellness. Health, safety and socioeconomic problems attributable to alcohol can be reduced when governments formulate and implement appropriate policies.

NIAAA can help people find information and resources about AUD and treatments that might work best for them. If you are on any medications, talk to your health care provider about how alcohol may affect them. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, don’t hesitate to contact a healthcare professional or a professional organization that can offer appropriate help.

Underage And Young Adults

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to symptoms of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD can cause a range of neurodevelopmental and physical effects in the child after birth. NIAAA Director George F. Koob, Ph.D., said that as of May 2023, the institute is not aware of specific health guidelines on alcohol consumption for transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals.

Alcohol is a key player in impairing anti-inflammatory cytokines and also promotes proinflammatory immune responses. The gastrointestinal biome is severely manipulated by the use of alcohol over a long period of time, which in turn is found to have a link with the establishment of various complications [27]. Alcohol and its metabolites are found to promote inflammation in the intestines and they do so through varied pathways [28]. Alcohol being a teratogen is documented to cause abnormalities of the brain, limbs, etc [29].

Impact on your health

It also makes heartburn more likely because it relaxes the muscle that keeps acid out of your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth and stomach. Read about alcohol units to work out how much alcohol there is in your drinks. The previously held position that some level of alcohol was good for the heart has been revised. New evidence around the health harms from regular drinking has emerged in recent years. Many people will take a drink to stop the discomfort of withdrawal.

Alcohol’s health effects: What you need to know NIH MedlinePlus Magazine – MedlinePlus (.gov)

Alcohol’s health effects: What you need to know NIH MedlinePlus Magazine.

Posted: Thu, 10 Aug 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Signs and effects of alcohol on the body symptoms of withdrawal generally occur between 4 and 72 hours after the last drink or after reducing intake. Some people will feel unwell immediately after drinking alcohol. They may have an intolerance, insensitivity, or allergy to alcohol or another ingredient in a drink.