Effects of alcoholism on family Effects of alcoholism on the brain Effects of alcoholism on family members Effects of alcoholism on the brain and body Effects of alcoholism on relationships Effects of alcoholism on marriage Effects of alcoholism on body E. What Happens to Your Body When You're an Alcoholic

Full disclosure before we start: I am an alcoholic. Effects of alcoholism.

We don't need to do the weird backhanded bragging so many ex-drinkers like to engage in where I try to tell you nonchalantly just how much I used to consume - suffice it to say I drank enough that I felt like I should stop drinking, which I did four years ago and haven't really looked back.

While my body feels better now than it did when I was drinking, it certainly still bears some of the outward physical effects of alcohol abuse. I have a weird bloated stomach even though I'm skinny everywhere else. My eyes still have those dark circles under them. I still have that scar on my arm from the time I tried to start an impromptu rodeo while in the middle of a cow tipping excursion (I deserved it).

I have only sympathy and solidarity for my still-boozing brethren and this article is not an attempt at conversion. I have no patience for moralizing or proselytizing, and what you do with your body is up to you. That said, it's hard for me to read article after article about what alcoholism does to your body and not feel relieved that I got out when I did.

Effects of alcoholism on family Effects of alcoholism on the brain Effects of alcoholism on family members Effects of alcoholism on the brain and body Effects of alcoholism on relationships Effects of alcoholism on marriage Effects of alcoholism on body E

Obligatory last note before we dive in: If you know someone that's struggling, help them. If you think alcohol is hurting your quality of life, stop drinking it. The internet is full of resources and there are meetings near you no matter where you are. I didn't use a program so it would be disingenuous for me to recommend one, but hey - if you want to talk to someone about it you can email me at and I'll at least listen to your story.

The mix in your Margarita? Sugar.

The Red Bull in your Jaeger Bomb? More sugar.

Effects of alcoholism on family Effects of alcoholism on the brain Effects of alcoholism on family members Effects of alcoholism on the brain and body Effects of alcoholism on relationships Effects of alcoholism on marriage Effects of alcoholism on body E

When you're drinking alcohol, you're never just drinking alcohol, that would kill you - plus it would taste terrible. Tasting is your body's primitive detection system for telling you what belongs inside of it and what doesn't; alcohol tastes bad to us because it's poison. In fact it's our body's reaction to these toxins - getting just a little poisoned - that accounts for the euphoric feeling of being drunk (and then the sick one after you've had too much). What the sugar does is override these defense mechanisms and trick your body into thinking that this is a thing that is good for your body so that you can choke down your poison a little easier. As such, almost any cocktail that you buy from a bar is basically just fermented sugar mixed with processed sugar - and shockingly, all that sugar can take its toll on a body.

Sugar is a combination of two molecules: glucose and fructose. Glucose we need for a bunch of important biological functions. Fructose on the other hand, is good for next to nothing, and consuming an excess of it (like you do when you go drinking or trick-or-treating) forces the liver to process the surplus by metabolizing it directly into fat. So yes, all those fun mixers that look so pretty and taste so good are really just converting directly into not-so-pretty excess mass.

Fructose further screws you over by making your brain resistant to the hormone leptin, which is what tells your body that it's got enough fat. When individual fat cells reach a certain size, they secrete leptin telling the brain, in essence, "I'm good." When the brain gets that message from enough cells that it thinks you could survive, say, a long weekend locked inside a bank vault, it ramps down on the fat production. Fructose, dirty rat that it is, raises triglyceride levels in your blood, and those triglycerides in turn block your brain's ability to detect the leptin. Basically your body thinks you still look like [young, fit] Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull when your mirror is telling you actually look like [old, fat] Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull.

Effects of alcoholism on family Effects of alcoholism on the brain Effects of alcoholism on family members Effects of alcoholism on the brain and body Effects of alcoholism on relationships Effects of alcoholism on marriage Effects of alcoholism on body E

Throw in to this mix the fact that sugar is every bit as addictive as alcohol, if not more so, and what you have is a perfect cocktail of bloating. You're drinking fat and cutting it with fat, both of which make you want more fat while simultaneously impeding your ability to know you're fat. Thanks, alcohol!

Posted by at 09:24AM

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