Pour the champagne and make a toast to a special someone. Alcohol has long been associated with celebrations and festivities. All that fun can make people forget about the dangerous health effects of alcohol. April is National Alcohol Awareness Month. Read on to learn more about how alcohol can affect your health.
- Liver disease (alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis)
- Dementia and neuropathy
- Cardiovascular disease (cardiomyopathy, hypertension, arrhythmia, and stroke)
- Pancreatitis (alcohol use is associated with at least 65% of all cases)
- Immune system weakness (respiratory infections, pneumonia, and tuberculosis)
- Increased risk for many cancers
- Hormonal deficiencies, sexual dysfunction, and infertility
- Early menopause and menstrual irregularities
- Abuse of alcohol lead to depression
- Pregnant women who drink alcohol are likely to cause Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) in their babies (read more online at Regional Medical Center).
Other Consequences of Alcohol Use
- Increased chance for car accidents leading to injury or death
- Other accidents such as burns or firearm accidents
- Dependency that can impair your ability to do daily functions
- Unstable relationships with family, friends, and other loved ones
- Poor judgment leading to dangerous or illegal behavior
- Suicide attempts
- May become a target for crime including physical or sexual abuse
- Drinking alone
- Drinking causes tardiness at work
- Drinking causes worry for family
- Drinking after you’ve promised yourself you won’t
- Blackouts or memory loss while drinking
- Headaches or hangovers after drinking
Tips to Limit your Drinking
- Keep a count of your drinks.
- Set a limit before your first drink and stick to it.
- Avoid places where people will be drinking heavily.
- Seek medical help and support from loved ones.
- Do not keep an excessive amount of alcohol in your home.
Safe Alcohol Consumption
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published The Dietary Guidelines for Americans which recommends that women do not exceed one drink per day and two drinks per day for men. People who should not consume any alcohol include: those under age 21, those who cannot limit or control drinking, pregnant women, people who will be driving, anyone on medication, those with certain medical conditions, and people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.
Regional Medical Center can help you or a loved one handle your alcohol use. Visit us online to learn more about Alcohol Abuse. This April, during National Alcohol Awareness Month, begin making smart choices about alcohol that will last you the rest of your life.