Some of us fight going periods of time – even just a few days – without alcohol . One of the reasons is because, as I mentioned in “Extended Periods of Alcohol-Free Days Strengthen Your Ability to MODER8,” alcohol is our [jealous, possessive] best friend. But to be moderate drinkers, we have to eventually build up to extended periods without drinking.
As “heavy drinkers,” we think that we are immortal – invincible – and that the damage that alcohol can cause to “normal” people doesn’t apply to us.
Well, guess what. We still have the same cells and physiological makeup – we still breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. We are still about 50-65% water and our cell membranes are made up of phospholipids and proteins. We all have the same basic digestive system, respiratory, coronary and central nervous systems, and while arguably moderate drinking has been shown to have some beneftis, routine heavy drinking does just the opposite.
Over time, this is what excess levels of alcohol can do to bodies like ours:
- Liver damage, inflammation and scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis.
- Disease in the pancreas and inflammation of the stomach.
- Stomach cancer for those that are susceptible.
- Cardio irregularities and weakening of the muscles of the heart.
- Disruption of the body’s natural control of blood fats and sugar levels, resulting in blood pressure problems and diabetes.
- There is mixed data on just how much “brain damage” alcohol causes, but one thing is for sure – it impairs the way our brain and our CNS functions, resulting in depression, sleep disorders and other complications.
Now I realize that scare tactics don’t work for most of us…that is a part of our personalities…that built in defiance…but next time you are seriously considering taking some time off from drinking, you can feel good that you are doing your body a favor as well as being on your way to accomplishing your goals and creating a better life!