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Heed the toxic effects of alcohol

Sunday, February 20, 2011 by: Danna Norek
Tags: alcohol, toxicity, health news

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(NewsTarget) There is a reason that the word "intoxication" was chosen to explain the effects of alcohol on the body. Intoxication is derived from a Latin word meaning "to poison".

Even though getting intoxicated by drinking excessive alcohol means you are essentially poisoning your body, millions of us enjoy this national pastime on a regular basis.

The biological process by which alcohol impairs our movement, judgment, and speech is actually a fairly simple one that can occur very quickly. The rate at which one becomes intoxicated depends on a variety of variables, including individual tolerance, amount of food in the stomach and weight.

Eating food before drinking can considerably buffer the intoxicating effects since it is delayed from hitting the blood stream all at once.

Alcohol is attracted to the membranes of our nerve cells, where it concentrates and thus affects their function. This is how alcohol impairs your motor functions, speech and many times your natural inhibitions and overall judgment.

Long term alcoholics may even experience a more permanent disorder, termed "alcohol induced neuropathy". The nerve cell damage from years of drinking alcohol manifest in symptoms such as numbness in the lower extremities and weakness in limbs.

In addition to peripheral nerve damage, long term alcoholics tend to die at an early age because of the damage done to multiple organs. Alcohol can seriously damage the liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart, and gallbladder over time, which can lead to early organ failure, cancer or disease.

Alcoholic beverages also cause inflammation of the stomach lining, and they irritate the entire digestive and waste elimination tract as well. It can increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, various digestive disorders, and ulcers.

Often times, heavy drinkers starve their bodies of real nutrition without even knowing it, using alcohol as one of their main sources of sustenance. When your main source of "nutrition" is alcohol, the damaging effects can become even more pronounced.

The only thing alcohol contributes is caloric substance. It does not contain any minerals, vitamins, fats, fiber, or proteins necessary for basic bodily functions. You are essentially drinking empty calories when consuming alcohol, as well as contributing to toxic activity within the body.

Alcohol even causes temporary harm to the body for those who only occasionally indulge in drinking. It dehydrates the body because it impairs the function of our anti diuretic hormone, or vasopressin. This hormone helps us to maintain a proper balance of hydration and electrolytes.

When this hormone is suppressed, we urinate too frequently, ridding our body of hydrating fluids too quickly for the body to catch up. This is why you may wake up with a headache or a feeling of extreme thirst in the morning after a night of drinking.

Alcohol also impairs the other hormones which are responsible for kidney function, which over time can cause damage to this vital organ. In extreme cases, or in cases of alcohol poisoning, one may experience convulsions due to a severe electrolyte imbalance.

In less extreme cases, this imbalance of fluids can lead to mental impairment, low blood sugar, and impairment of important antioxidant enzyme activity.

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About the author

Danna Norek is the owner and primary contributor for several natural health blogs and websites, where she frequently shares her experiences and knowledge on herbal supplements, natural remedies, vitamins, and healthy lifestyle habits. You can find information on a 100% natural, chemical free deodorant here at Natural Effective Deodorant and an all natural sebum-neutralizing, SLS, paraben and chemical free Acne Soap with lavender, lemongrass and tea tree essential oils here at All Natural Acne Soap.

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