Reasons to give up drinking alcohol
Is there a hangover cure?
The only real cure for a hangover is time. Drinking plenty of water and eating healthily, and getting somesleep are the only ways to help your body recover.You have poisoned your body, so it needs time to get rid of the toxins.
Drinking heavily not only makes you put on weight, it also fills you out, making your face look bloated and your skin much older. Heavy drinkers sometimes have ‘spider veins’ (actually capillaries) on their faces and a ‘whisky nose’ is a red nose full of broken capillaries. Nobody wants a hooter like that!
Fiona Milligan - Nutritionist
The following has been sourced from Fiona Milligan a wonderful nutritionist I met while doing a retreat in Wales.
Nearly everyone that abuses alcohol is malnourished. This leads to serious health risks. The good news is recovery and future health can be greatly enhanced with the right nutrition.
Millions of people around the world abuse alcohol. Cirrhosis of the liver resulting from alcohol abuse is among the 10 leading causes of death in the United States. Worldwide, 3.6% of cancer cases are alcohol related and that is a modest statistic.
95% of alcohol consumed must be metabolized in the liver. This process requires a lot of work and becomes a priority above other necessary functions.
Alcohol abuse can also lead to dehydration, anaemia, osteoporosis, leaky gut syndrome, ulcers, pancreatitis, gallstones and cardiovascular disease. And it increases the risk of hypoglycaemia, diabetes and neuropathy due to nerve damage.
Almost all alcoholic drinkers are malnourished and nutritional deficiency becomes serious. Alcohol robs the body of needed nutrients and interrupts vital functions. Many of the health problems that may occur are due to the depletion of needed minerals and vitamins. These may include calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C and most of the B vitamins. With liver impairment absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K is also reduced. The body receives a lot of calories and little nutrition. Cells weaken from starvation and become prone to disease.
Alcohol is a simple sugar that is rapidly absorbed. It contains empty calories and coverts to fat. One beer has around the same instant caloric value of 10 teaspoons of white sugar.
It can be a dual addiction of both alcohol and sugar. It's the reason many newly recovering alcoholics find they have a craving for sweets. If sugar is avoided when drinking stops the cravings for the sugar will diminish in a few weeks and usually disappear altogether after several months. However, if sugar consumption continues, the fluctuating blood sugar levels can trigger cravings for alcohol.
Diet and supplement therapy can play a big role in physical recovery. The use of plenty of fluids, alkaline foods and additional vitamins and minerals eases the initial detox. Adding more vitamin C and a B complex along with some specific minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium can help to replenish the body of these depleted nutrients. The amino acid L-glutamine is also useful to reduce cravings.
The body will begin to eliminate the alcohol and other toxins and it will also begin breaking down some of the fat. Due to fluctuating blood sugar levels, some basic hypoglycaemic protocols are suggested. This means avoiding sweets and refined foods. The more processed foods avoided the better.
The right foods can help to stabilize blood sugar and counter cravings. Protein and complex carbohydrates are needed. This would include a variety of vegetables and leafy greens with the addition of fruit, legumes, beans and whole grains such as brown rice, wild rice and quinoa. Some healthy fats to add (in modest amounts) can be olive oil, nuts, seeds, flaxseed and avocados. It's also important to get a lot of fluids. Drinking water throughout the day will help the process of moving alcohol and its by-products out of the body and aid in hydration.
A diet full of the nutrients can help to minimize some of the potential problems that can surface due to alcohol abuse. Following these suggestions can reduce cravings, aid in the physical recovery process and move you toward vibrant health.
There is a reason that the word "intoxication" was chosen to explain the effects of alcohol on the body. Intoxication is derived from a Latin word meaning "to poison".
Even though getting intoxicated by drinking excessive alcohol means you are essentially poisoning your body, millions of us enjoy this national pastime on a regular basis.
The biological process by which alcohol impairs our movement, judgment, and speech is actually a fairly simple one that can occur very quickly. The rate at which one becomes intoxicated depends on a variety of variables, including individual tolerance, amount of food in the stomach and weight.
Eating food before drinking can considerably buffer the intoxicating effects since it is delayed from hitting the blood stream all at once.
Alcohol is attracted to the membranes of our nerve cells, where it concentrates and thus affects their function. This is how alcohol impairs your motor functions, speech and many times your natural inhibitions and overall judgment.
Long term alcoholics may even experience a more permanent disorder, termed "alcohol induced neuropathy". The nerve cell damage from years of drinking alcohol manifest in symptoms such as numbness in the lower extremities and weakness in limbs.
In addition to peripheral nerve damage, long term alcoholics tend to die at an early age because of the damage done to multiple organs. Alcohol can seriously damage the liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart, and gallbladder over time, which can lead to early organ failure, cancer or disease.
Alcoholic beverages also cause inflammation of the stomach lining, and they irritate the entire digestive and waste elimination tract as well. It can increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, various digestive disorders, and ulcers.
Often times, heavy drinkers starve their bodies of real nutrition without even knowing it, using alcohol as one of their main sources of sustenance. When your main source of "nutrition" is alcohol, the damaging effects can become even more pronounced.
The only thing alcohol contributes is caloric substance. It does not contain any minerals, vitamins, fats, fibre, or proteins necessary for basic bodily functions. You are essentially drinking empty calories when consuming alcohol, as well as contributing to toxic activity within the body.
Alcohol even causes temporary harm to the body for those who only occasionally indulge in drinking. It dehydrates the body because it impairs the function of our anti diuretic hormone, or vasopressin. This hormone helps us to maintain a proper balance of hydration and electrolytes.
When this hormone is suppressed, we urinate too frequently, ridding our body of hydrating fluids too quickly for the body to catch up. This is why you may wake up with a headache or a feeling of extreme thirst in the morning after a night of drinking.
Alcohol also impairs the other hormones which are responsible for kidney function, which over time can cause damage to this vital organ. In extreme cases, or in cases of alcohol poisoning, one may experience convulsions due to a severe electrolyte imbalance.
In less extreme cases, this imbalance of fluids can lead to mental impairment, low blood sugar, and impairment of important antioxidant enzyme activity.