How Drinking Alcohol Affects Men’s Health
Nowadays, it is rather difficult to find a man who doesn’t drink alcoholic beverages at all. Drinking beer or whisky for most men is a possibility to relax. However, alcohol is an insidious substance – on the one hand, a glass of beer is indispensable after a stressful day at work, on the other hand, it imperceptibly but rather severely affects your health by damaging the most vulnerable body parts.
- Reproductive system
Most men are terribly mistaken when they think that alcohol is an aphrodisiac, which helps enhance sexual performance. In small amounts, alcohol can have some positive effects, but its regular consumption is extremely harmful. Frequent alcohol abuse reduces the production of testosterone leading to decrease in libido. About 1/3 of men show reduced sexual function, including erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Alcohol also has negative impact on the quality of semen – it becomes less motile and can change its structure.
Alcohol causes widening of the blood vessels that at first provokes blushing. Gradually, blood circulation gets disturbed, the skin cells experience oxygen deficit and become fragile which results in broken capillaries on the face, redness of the skin, swelling and worsening of rosacea.
- Cardiovascular system
Those with alcohol dependence are at much higher risk of having heart failure or stroke; they have high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and are at 17% higher risk of atrial fibrillation. Alcohol produces negative and toxic effect directly on the tissues of the heart and blood vessels – it disrupts the metabolism in the cardiac tissues. Alcohol abusers tend to have increased heart rate and marked changes in their electrocardiogram, they also experience the feeling of not getting enough air during any physical activity.
Drinking too much alcohol makes the nervous system work under increased load. High doses of alcohol provoke unconsciousness by cutting off those parts of the brain that are responsible for breathing. Moreover, alcohol promotes the production of specific steroids that block the formation of the long-term memory. It triggers contradictory behavior of certain receptors which results in the blockage of the nerve signals that create memory. Such brain biochemistry can explain why those individuals who drink way too much cannot remember what they did the previous night.
Excessive alcohol consumption increases the intestinal permeability, it means that harmful bacteria and toxins leak from the gastrointestinal tract and get into the bloodstream. Such “leakage” can promote very dangerous immune systems responses eventually causing serious health problems. Alcohol increases gastric acidity and causes heartburn as well.
Over 90% of consumed alcohol is processed by the liver; therefore, it gets most of the damage. Due to the chemical reactions accompanying the breakdown of alcohol in the liver, its cells can be damaged which might cause inflammation and scarring of the liver. The formation of scars can destroy this organ, so it will fail to function and all toxic substances will remain in the body.
Alcoholic beverages will never go along with fitness and sport, even small amounts of alcohol have rather negative effect on the muscle growth and strength gains in the gym. The thing is that alcohol suppresses the formation of proteins in the muscle mass by about 20% and it also lowers the level of the growth hormone.
Moreover, according to the CDC, alcohol increases the risk of developing cancer of the liver, colon, esophagus, throat and mouth.
Sonia Howarth is a freelance writer and a Health blogger. She writes articles for the Health blog of Ok-Pharmacy trying to raise awareness and motivate people to live their lives in a healthier manner. To view more of her work, please, visit the Ok-Pharm Health blog, on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.