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What alcohol does to your brain

Updated on July 10, 2016
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A 28yr old student Doctor with a passion for writing. Sharing my passion everywhere I get the opportunity to.

Firstly, it is important for us to note that all alcohols are not the same, some are more damaging than others. However, there are some general damaging characteristics that they all share, those are the ones we will be highlighting.

Alcohol by definition is a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid, which is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits and other drinks. This same substance that we so willingly ingest is also used as an industrial solvent and as fuel.

Ethanol, especially is considered as an intoxicating agent when present in fermented and distilled liquors.

What alcohol does to the human brain

Because of the change in behavior experienced when a person ingests alcohol, it is safe to say that alcohol does have an effect on the brain. Whether it's difficulty walking, slurred speech, impaired memory, blurred vision, or slow reaction time or maybe even an overwhelming feeling of joy, everyone experiences something. However, only if you drink for an extended period of time and on a frequent basis do the symptoms become more damaging.

Excessive and heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to memory slits, blackouts, brain damage and even liver disease. The chemistry behind the effects of alcohol on the brain is simple. Alcohol affects the level of neurotransmitters - the chemical messengers that transmit the signals throughout the body that control our thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Alcohol also simultaneously increases the levels of dopamine in the body, tricking the brain into thinking that it feels great. The effects of all this is that it causes some people (especially those who are drinking to overcome some emotional stress), to drink more.

Some studies even state that women are more vulnerable than men to the damaging effects of alcohol. Within fewer years of drinking than men, women are more likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol induced heart disease and nerve damage. However men are more susceptible to becoming dependent on alcohol than women.

Alcohol is the cause and the solution to many of life's problems!

Diagram illustrating how alcohol affects he brain

So, when can you tell if alcohol is beginning to take a toll on your brain, and or body. Well, if you find after one drink, you begin feeling the effects of the alcohol right away, this is a good sign that perhaps you should not longer be drinking. If, it leaves you feeling tired and lacking luster this is also a tell tale sign that your dopamine receptors have been damaged. If you are experiencing interruptions in your usual sleep patterns and your eating habits are changing drastically causing malnutrition in your diet, these are also signs that alcohol has taken a toll on your body.

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What can be done to reverse the damage that alcohol has done to the body.

The first step to healing the body from alcohol abuse is of course to stop drinking alcohol. In addition to the change in lifestyle a detox is highly recommended. Detoxing the body will cleanse out all the toxins that were left behind by the alcohol that was poisoning your system. It will also create a clean new slate upon which your body can begin to heal and rebuild itself.

Thee are some great supplements out that provide a great means of cleansing the damaging effects of alcohol, with the main focus being the liver. These products go a long way in helping the body. In some cases though emotional support is also required, and it is important to seek the correct medical assistance in order to fully recovery from the damage that the alcohol has done. In addition, seeking emotional help will go a long way in ensuring that you do not go back to over drinking any alcoholic substance.

Video showing the effects of alcohol on the brain

All this being said, all things in life are to be enjoyed. Enjoying alcohol in moderation should not produce any long term damage to the body or the brain. So drink responsibly and enjoy life.

Alcohol; doesn't solve any problems, but yet again, neither does water.....

— Anonymous

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