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What happens to your body when you give up drinking alcohol?

give up drinking alcohol

Whether it is an ice-cold beer or a well-aged whiskey, many enjoy the timeless tradition of relaxing with a drink after a long day. However, when one or two drinks transforms into a daily custom, many problems arise, leaving only one choice—booting the habit. 

According to a Los Angeles-based physician, Damon Raskin, MD, who is board-certified in addiction medicine, there are well-founded benefits in kicking your drinking habit.

The doctor says, “Taking a break from drinking alcohol, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks, is a good idea, especially if you’re regularly consuming more than the recommended daily limit.” For those who want to know, two drinks a day is the limit for men.

As alcohol abuse can have negative implications on one’s life, affecting personal relations and work, it is imperative to take a step back at times and put your drink down.

We look at some of the benefits you can expect the from getting onto the water-wagon:

Improved sleeping patterns

While alcohol might make a person fall asleep faster, a study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research claimed drinking before bed increases alpha wave patterns in the brain. This is a form of cerebral activity that usually occurs when you’re awake, but resting. Because of this, drinking before going to bed causes disrupted sleep.

Without alcohol, you will see an improvement in your mood, concentration levels and mental performance, as your ability to get a good night’s sleep increases. 

Eating healthier portions of food.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that alcohol is one of the biggest reasons for overeating.

According to a study published in the journal Obesity, this may be due to alcohol heightening our senses. Researchers discovered when people received an alcohol “infusion” equal to about two drinks; they ate 30% more food than those who received a saline solution.

Your skin clears up

Within a few days of giving up on alcohol, you will notice your skin looking and feeling more hydrated.

Dr Raskin says this is because alcohol is a diuretic, resulting in you urinating more. Alcohol also cuts the body’s production of an antidiuretic hormone, which helps the body reabsorb water.

A healthier liver

Cirrhosis of the liver can occur over time in people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

Amitava Dasgupta, PhD, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston, and author of the book The Science of Drinking explains drinking excessive amounts of booze can result in fatty changes in one’s liver. But these changes are reversible, and the liver can become normal again if you quit drinking.

You reduce your chance of cancer

By giving up alcohol, you can save yourself the traumatic experience of cancer.

The National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists alcohol as a known human carcinogen in its Report on Carcinogens.

According to the report, a person’s risk of developing alcohol-associated cancer increases dramatically overtime when consuming more and more alcohol.

The following cancers are linked to extensive alcohol consumption:

  • Head and neck
  • Esophageal
  • Liver
  • Breast
  • Colorectal

With people chasing healthier lives via supplementation, clean diets and training regimes, it almost seems strange that many people do not erase the obvious health risks in their lives first, such as drinking.  

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