What You Need to Know About the Health Benefits of Quitting Drinking
There are many benefits to quitting drinking, including social, mental and physical. You may not realize it at the time, but alcohol affects many parts of your body and well-being, far beyond just your liver. People who frequently drink often experience a decreased quality of life due to poor health caused by drinking. When you make the decision to quit drinking, you may be surprised by the many health benefits you will enjoy. Keep in mind that many of these effects are not immediate; some may take months or even years, depending on how long you have been dependent on alcohol and how much damage your body has sustained. Read on to learn about some of these health benefits to help you determine if you are ready to quit drinking.
Drinking has many effects on your brain. Due to decreased communication between the neurons and neurotransmitters, which affects many of your gross motor functions like moving and speaking. By quitting drinking, you will have more control over these functions. Alcohol also kills brain cells, so quitting drinking may improve your thinking. Quitting alcohol may also improve your mood and help with any issues with mood.
Your immune system is responsible for fighting off infection. Alcohol lowers your immune system’s capabilities by weakening your white blood cells. When you quit drinking, your immune system will build back up its strength, and you may find yourself getting sick less often.
Most people attribute drinking alcohol with damage to the liver. The liver is responsible for ridding the body of toxins, and an overload of alcohol can lead to a number of issues. If you have been drinking heavily for some time, it is important to quit drinking in order to avoid more liver damage. Some liver damage can be reversed, such as fatty liver, but once you have cirrhosis or fibrosis, those will not go away.
Decreased Risk of Cancer
Alcohol can increase your risk of cancer because it destroys the antibodies that fight cancerous cells. Studies have shown that alcohol leads to 20,000 deaths from cancer each year. By quitting drinking, you can reduce your risk of cancer.
Alcohol contains a lot of calories, so frequent drinking increases your caloric intake, which leads to weight gain. When you quit drinking, you will be consuming fewer calories. You may be surprised to find that you lose some weight after a few weeks of no alcohol. Of course, if you replace alcohol with high calorie drinks like soda or juice or if you start eating more to avoid drinking, you may not see as much of an effect.
Alcohol makes you feel sluggish and tired. When you quit drinking, you will begin to get your energy back. You will have a better quality of life, as you will feel more active and have more energy to participate in activities.
Younger Looking Skin
Alcohol dehydrates your body, which causes all sorts of problems. One of these problems is that alcohol can make your skin look older by causing wrinkling and premature aging. Fortunately, once you stop drinking, your skin will begin to look better as it is getting the hydration it needs.
Better Heart Function
Alcohol affects the muscles of your heart and hinders their proper functioning. Drinking frequently can lead to many heart problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and even heart failure. By quitting drinking, you can improve your heart function and avoid these potentially life-threatening diseases.
Many people drink to help with sleep problems like insomnia. While early on, drinking may help you get to sleep, over time it only contributes to insomnia. Drinking before bed can also lead to nightmares and more trips to the restroom. Once you quit drinking, your sleep should begin to improve. If you have an issue with sleep, there are many other treatments that are much more effective than alcohol.
Now that you know the many health benefits of quitting drinking, it is time to decide if you are drinking too much. If you think drinking is having a negative effect on your health, then it is time to stop drinking.