Consuming alcohol more than three times per week may harm your health. You are likely to be at a high risk of early death even if you drink alcohol moderately, such as three or more times a week. According to CDC and other federal agencies, moderate intake of alcohol refers to drinking no more than a single drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men. So, there is a substantial difference between the recommended alcohol dose between men and women. But why is that so? This is because of the way how your body metabolizes alcohol.
Let’s understand the difference between the metabolization of alcohol in men and women.
Women’s bodies are generally smaller and have less amount of body water. Women also tend to have a higher liver-to-lean-body-mass ratio. As a result of these two factors, women reach their peak blood alcohol levels faster than men. This means that women metabolize alcohol more quickly as compared to men. As a result, the recommended weekly dose of alcohol for women is significantly lower than for men.
Furthermore, according to some research and studies, women are more sensitive to organ damage due to alcohol consumption than men. It has also been seen that men become more mentally and physically dependent on alcohol than women.
What are the risks of excessive alcohol consumption?
Excessive consumption of alcohol has never been kind to anyone’s brain and body. And when you drink too much, you might get into health issues. Alcohol consumption has adverse effects on almost every body organ, including the nervous system. Moreover, the intensity of these adverse effects directly relates to the quantity of alcohol consumed.
Your brain has neurotransmitters that are disrupted due to excessive alcohol consumption. This has severe effects on the functioning of your nervous system and the impairment of your motor skills. Similarly, your liver metabolizes alcohol, but it can process one alcoholic beverage per hour. So, if your drink alcohol excessively, the drink is likely to be saturating and circulating within the body. This causes potential liver damage, including cirrhosis, fibrosis, steatosis, and alcoholic hepatitis.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also be linked to heart diseases and cancers.
Excess alcohol consumption is associated with permanent heart damage. It can cause heart-related issues such as Arrhythmia/irregular heartbeat, cardiomyopathy, heart attack or stroke, and increased blood pressure. Furthermore, when you consume more than recommended amounts of alcohol regularly, you are at an increased risk of cancer development in some body regions, including the liver, mouth, breast, and throat.
Excessive intake of alcohol ultimately becomes an addiction.
Heavy alcohol use can become an addiction for many people. This addiction is often termed an alcohol use disorder. This disorder is often associated with the inability of an individual to limit drinking and continue drinking despite its negative impact on your life, obtaining the desired effect that requires you to drink more and more, or wanting to drink so badly that you can not think of any other option.
So, how many times a week should you drink?
It varies from person to person. However, you should keep one important thing: your liver can only metabolize a single drink per hour. Therefore, consuming more than one drink per hour can cause severe damage to your vital organs.
Furthermore, according to the NIAAA, drinking for women is considered heavy when women consume seven or more drinks per week, whereas 15 or more drinks per week are regarded as heavy drinking for men.
It is essential to know that consumption of large amounts of alcohol for an extended period disrupts the connection between your brain, immune system and endocrine system, as a result of which you face hormonal imbalances. This further ends up in various kinds of complications.
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