Effects of alcohol -Ready for Review

Effects of alcohol -Ready for Review

what is alcohol?

Alcohol is an intoxicating substance in which is used for science, and or mixed with fruits or other ingredients to create an alcoholic drink. It is produced by a process called fermentation, Yeast, sugars and starches are used during this process to create ethanol. 

Scary fact, Every day, 20 people die as a result of their drinking.

Why do we drink alcohol?

Many different studies have shown multiple different outcomes. Some people enjoy an alcoholic drink to socialise with others, where as others may be dependant on it, it's very important to understand the difference between enjoying alcohol and being dependant on it. Most people enjoy a good alcoholic beverage... You just need to make sure your not miss-using it, and using it as an escape from reality. 

How does it affect our relationships?

Everyone knows that once you have had a couple of beers, or glasses of wine, your whole mood changes, whether thats a positive change or negative. Drinking alcohol can affect our mood inhibitions, Affecting decisions we make every day. We are also much more likely to make rational decisions whilst under the influence of alcohol.

If we are abusing alcohol and not watching our alcohol intake, we wont just be affecting our moods and decisions. It can also begin to affect our partner or loved ones. The anxiety it can give someone, and the tension it can create is it really worth it? Without realising, not fulfilling your responsibilities is a side effect of alcohol. Everyone knows that after a couple of drinks you loose the ability to be as organised as you was sober. Meaning you everyday responsibilities will not be completed. This is very important as some responsibilities are more important, especially if you are older and have children and go to work 5 days a week. Could lead to neglection and or ignoring the needs of your partner/ loved one

What is the relationship between alcohol and mental health?

Some people use alcohol as an escape hatch, they use it to escape reality and manage symptoms of anxiety and depression without realising that it is more than likely to make them symptoms worse. Alcohol has been described as the UK's favourite and most popular 'coping mechanism'. Most people don't realise that by using drink as a coping mechanism, you aren't helping yourself if anything you are making yourself worse. Using alcohol in this way can mean that the underlining mental health issues wont be addressed. 

Drinking alcohol also has so many physical affects.

Body PartSide Effects
BrainThe side effects for the brain can either be immediate or long term. 
The immediate side effects are slurred speech, Once you have had a few too many, your brain cant work at its normal rate. Which also leads to slow reactions and memory loss.
In the long term, heavy drinking for a long period of time, can cause brain damage. 
Mouth And ThroatThe main side effects from alcohol in the Mouth and Throat is multiple different cancers in different places of the throat. Mouth, Larynx (Voice box), Pharynx (upper throat) and Oesophagus (food pipe).
Risk increases if you are also a smoker.
HeartConsuming Alcohol is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The risk can rise if consuming above 14 units a week, Heavy drinking can also be associated with the risk of having a stroke.
Breasts50 studies have shown that alcohol is a risk factor or breast cancer.
StomachStomach ulcers can begin to form if you are drinking a high amount in a short period of time. As well as that, It may also lead to uncomfortable reflux.
LiverIf your liver is having to constantly break down alcohol, it's going to eventually become less efficient. Long term drinking can lead to a fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Reproductive SystemIf you have become dependant on alcohol, your sexual organs may begin to shrink. Men may also suffer with temporary impotence after a lot of drinking.

How can it affect my exersize?

Alcohol makes our kidneys produce more urine, which causes dehydration. To be able to exersize properly and safely you need to be hydrated, alcohol does the exact opposite Alcohol also interferes with the way our body generates energy. Reason being, whilst our liver is busy breaking down the alcohol, its not able to produce glucose. 

Some people also use exersize to help reduce stress and improve our moods. Alcohol does the opposite to this, so the reason you are exercising may be lost, meaning loss of motivation. After you have been to the gym or done any form of exersize, for the first hour or two after exersize, our bodies go into repair mode, Alcohol may interfere or stop this process which could result in an injury. 

If you plan on doing exersize, choose an alcohol free option.

How many calories are in alcoholic drinks? 

An alcoholic drink is the home for sugars. You don't realise how many sugars and how much fat is in the drink. One gram of alcohol provides 7 calories (7kcal). Meaning that one unit of alcohol contains an estimated 8g which provides 56 kcals. Not even just in the ethanol in the alcohol, but other ingredients are added to make an alcoholic drink which also contain calories. For example sugar, cream and some fruit juice. 

Are you drinking too much?

Use the table below as a guide to work out roughly how many units your drink every week.

Units (approx)Multiply ByHow Many Consumed Per Week=Subtotal
Bottle Of Wine
10% ABV
Bottle Of Wine
12% ABV
Bottle Of Wine
14% ABV
Large Can/Bottle(500ml)
Beer/Cider 5% ABV
Small Can/Bottle(330ml)
Beer/Cider 5% ABV
Large Can/Bottle(500ml)
Beer/Cider 4% ABV
Small Can/Bottle(330ml)
Beer/Cider 4% ABV
Spirits 35ml measure 40 ABV1.4X


NOTE; This table is only to be used as a guide only. See your doctor if you have any concerns about your health or alcohol consumption. 

Online help is also an option,

  • Adfam

A national charity working to improve life for families affected by drugs and alcohol.

www.adfam.org.uk (020 3817 9410)

  • Al-Anon

Provides support to anyone whose life is, or has been affected by someone else's drinking, even if the person isn't drinking anymore.

www.al-anonuk.org.uk (0800 0086 811)

  • Bottled up

Offers information and advice for family members living with someone who is dependant on alcohol.