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Hidden Dangers of Alcohol

Alcohol does a number on the liver, but do you know why? A healthy liver can process about 1 oz of alcohol per hour. The rest of the alcohol goes through your system and is ‘stored’ in other parts until the liver can metabolize it. This storage can cause serious problems, such as muscle pain, arthritis pain, heart failure and brain injury.

The liver is a very important organ and while it is consumed with the processing of the alcohol, it cannot do what it is supposed to. One of the chief concerns is that medications are not processed in due time. Any back up of medication in the system can cause the medication to be more effective. So, if you are taking a medication to reduce your heart rate, taking alcohol with it can cause your heart to slow further. Plus, with alcohol being a depressant, the medications can turn fatal quickly.

The toxic by-products and additives are also not processed while the liver is consumed with alcohol. These toxic additives, like preservatives, colorings and artificial sugars, then are stored in fat tissue. Because our body knows it will poison itself if that fat tissue is used for energy, you are unable to lose that fat tissue no matter how hard you exercise. Thus, alcohol makes you fatter.

Over time, the alcohol starts to destroy the liver itself. This is why heavy drinkers often die of liver disease. When the liver begins to degrade, its ability to process fat and chemicals decreases. These fats and chemicals are stored in the body, particularly in the liver and fat cells. The liver swells and fat tissue swells and drinks obtain the ‘beer gut’. Even casual drinks begin to see this effect.

Drinkers often develop diabetes. This is because one of the pathways for the processing of alcohol turns the alcohol into sugar. It’s similar to drinking a soda. In addition, drinkers often have poor diets. With the onset of diabetes, the alcohol processing is slowed. Any complications from diabetes is increased, such as blindness and amputation.

Different descent can play a factor as well. People of Asian descent are better able to process alcohol, but pay the price because the toxic by-products build up far quicker than the body’s ability to process them. Caucasians face the challenge of not breaking the alcohol down as quickly, so it remains in the system longer.