Well, being a booze enthusiast, I very well understand how much we love dripping in the magic beverage, BUT also we do love our well-being and good health as well, don’t we?
So yeah, that’s a bit contradictory as alcohol does have effects on the brain, and as the brain is the ‘CPU’ of our body, so that reflects the effects on our body as well.
As soon as alcohol enters the bloodstream a human becomes affected by alcohol. The liver rapidly filters alcohol in a healthy individual so that the body gets rid of the drug. When a person drinks excessively, however, the liver cannot filter alcohol quickly enough, which causes rapid brain alterations.
While it is unlikely that drinking would create health concerns from time to time, moderate drinking or severe drinking might affect the brain. And over time, misuse of alcohol might produce shortcomings.
You and Alcohol
Alcohol has a rapid impact on your body. It is taken into the bloodstream through the lining of your belly. It travels throughout your body once there enters tissues. In only five minutes alcohol reaches your brain and begins affecting you in 10 minutes.
Your liver starts alcohol treatment after 20 minutes. On average 1 ounce of alcohol may be metabolised each hour. It takes about five and half hours to exit the system for a blood alcohol level of 0.08, which is the legal limit of drinking. Alcohol will last up to 80 hours in the urine and up to three months in the hair follicles.
“Intoxication happens when the consumption of alcohol surpasses and breaks your body’s capabilities in metabolising alcohol,” explains Jeffrey T. Johnson, DO of the board-certified Northwestern Medical Group in Medicine.
How is alcohol affecting your brain?
When alcohol is routinely used over time, it can damage the brain particularly in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellar areas. The prefrontal cortex is connected to executive processes like planning and decision-making, with balancing and motor functions in the brain. This might lead to multitasking issues, short term memory, organisation, walking, balance, normal thinking, talk and alertness when certain parts of the brain are damaged.
Factors that influence brain effects
According to a study , A variety of factors impact how alcohol affects the brain and to what extent :
- how much a person drinks, and how often;
- The age he or she first started to drink and the time he or she was drinking;
- Age of the person, educational level, gender, genetic background and alcohol family history;
- Whether he or she is vulnerable to prenatal exposure to alcohol; and
- His overall condition of health.
The entire body absorbs alcohol, but the brain actually suffers. The brain communication channels are impaired by alcohol. It can also impact how you process information in your brain.
Alcohol poisoning occurs in various stages:
- Sub-conscious intoxication – This is the initial phase of drunkenness with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from 0.01 to 0.05. You may not seem as though you were drinking, but you can slightly change your response times, conduct, and judgment. Most men and women get into this stage after a drink, depending on their weight.
- Euphoria – Your brain releases more dopamine during the early drinking phases. This product is related to pleasure. You may feel comfortable and confident throughout bliss. But you may have somewhat diminished judgement and memory. This phase is sometimes called “tipsy” when the BAC is between 0.03 and 0.12.
- Excitement- You are now legally inebriated at this level with a BAC from 0.09 to 0.25. The occipital lobe, temporal lobe and forehead lobe are affected in your mind by this amount of poisoning. Too much drinking can produce adverse symptoms, including impaired vision, slurred voice, and lack of control correspondingly, which are distinct to each lobe. Parietal lobe is also impacted by the processing of sensory information. You might lose fine engine abilities and a slower response time. This period is typically characterised by changes of mood, disorderly judgement, and sometimes nausea and vomiting.
- Confusion- A BAC between 0,18 and 0,3 is typically disoriented. Your co-ordinating cerebellum is affected. You may thus have to walk or stand. At this time, there will also be blackout, or brief loss of consciousness or short term memory. This is due to the hippocampus, the brain area that makes new memories and doesn’t function correctly. It can also raise your chance of damage, with the greater pain thresholds.
- Stupor –You could develop indications of alcohol toxicity if you attain a BAC of 0.25. All mental, bodily and sensory processes are significantly affected at this period. There is a significant danger of transmission, asphyxia and harm.
- Coma- You risk entering a coma with a BAC of 0.35. This is related to impaired breathing and circulation, motor reactions and reflections. A person is at danger of death at this point.
- Death – A BAC above 0.45 can lead to death because of alcohol toxicity or brain inability to manage the critical processes of the body.
Drink ‘or’ Drive!
You may assume you still can drive irrespective of your BAC because of the poor judgement you have in alcohol use. BAC drivers of 0.08 or above are 11 times more likely than non-drinking drivers to collapse in a single-vehicle collision. In certain areas persons with high BAC (0,15 to 0,20 or more) suffer greater fines because of the increased risk of fatal accidents.
Alcohol’s short-term effect on the brain-
They may blackout if a person drinks enough, meaning he can’t recall what happened. One poll shows that about 40% of students who have acknowledged drinking had blacked out at least once in the previous year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The changes in brain chemistry linked with drinking can affect a person in a variety of emotions, including elation, sadness, mania, aggressiveness, rage, and bewilderment. Drinking too much can slow the respiration of a person and the heart rate, which can cause a coma within a short amount of time.
In a short period of time, consuming excessive volumes of alcohol in alcohol is a hazardous and perhaps lethal result.
Alcohol’s long-term effect on the brain-
“If heavy drinking continues over a long period of time, it causes chronic changes in neurotransmitter activity and even structural abnormalities. Imaging studies done on patients with alcoholism show atrophy in the brain regions responsible for short-term and long-term memory, balance and emotions,” said Tsoy Podosenin
Long-term health hazards from chronic use of alcohol include heart, hep and digestive disorders, cancer, weakening of the immune system, mood and mood disorders and the growth of other mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.
Alcohol can cause permanent damage to your brain and lead to organ shrinking called the hippocampus. Researchers tracked their drinking behaviours and brain health for 30 years in a study by the University of Oxford. The likelihood of hippocampal shrinkage in those drinking 4 or more drinks a day is approximately 6 times higher than in nondrinkers.
What about my Mental Health?
You can have better social interactions or general well-being emotions with modest use of alcohol. However, it is crucial to realise that alcohol use might represent a risk to mental health, general mood and cognitive performance owing to their influence on brain chemicals. The consumption of alcohol—in particular overuse of alcohol—can worsen existing psychiatric associated illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. Alcohol can lead to sadness and anxiety in others.
In most serious situations, obvious effects of alcohol use may include memory loss, learning difficulties, and dementia. The first step in preventing or reducing the harmful effects of alcohol on the brain is to seek the treatment of alcohol addiction.
No matter how bad your position may feel, it’s always time to change your life around. Get assistance today and get the attention you need. You may recover your life and avoid or lessen many of the hazards connected with alcohol misuse by looking for addictive therapy.
Does alcohol kill brain cells?
It is a mere misconception that alcohol destroys cells in the brain. Alcohol, for example, affects the brain by destroying the terminals of neurons in different ways instead. This can make the transmission of crucial nerve impulses harder for these neurons. The risk of strokes, head wounds and accidents might increase harm caused by the alcohol to the brain.
Help yourself if you need one-
Regardless of the length of your drinking issue, it’s ideal time to stop drinking now. Removing alcohol can help cure some brain damage associated with alcohol, avoid premature mortality, and minimise the chance of future damage.
An Alcoholic is not an insufficient person. The correct balance of mental health, including treatment, is also necessary to stop drinking. The proper atmosphere may also change a lot so you must avoid individuals and places who triggers drinking.
If this is not achievable, rehabilitation might provide an atmosphere in that it feels more doable to start soberness.
Or Please do call the doctor or consider Alcoholics Anonymous if you or someone you know needs help.