I enjoy a beverage with alcohol in it as much as anyone. But I also am aware that too much is detrimental to your health, and more. Any disruption to the physical functioning of the body is hazardous to your harmony. Consuming too much alcohol is one of those hazards.
There are a few benefits to drinking alcohol. The same is said about dark chocolate. We love to justify the things that, if we don’t have the discipline to limit them, can harm the harmonious functioning of the body, mind, and spirit.
(1) Drinking too much alcohol is linked with many types of cancer: mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast cancer. Chronic alcohol use suppresses the development of T-cells and may impair the ability of certain cells to attack tumor cells. This makes you more exposed to bacteria and viruses, and less capable of destroying cancerous cells.
(2) Alcohol can have lasting effects on the brain. Alcohol can cause your neurotransmitters to relay information too slowly so you feel extremely drowsy. Alcohol related disruptions to the neurotransmitter balance also can trigger mood and behavioral changes, including depression, agitation, memory loss, and even seizures. These disruptions affect judgment that results in motor vehicle accidents, homicides, and other intentional injuries.
(3) Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
(4) Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including: cardiomyopathy (stretching and drooping of the heart muscle), arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), stroke, and high blood pressure.
(5) Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver. Not only does alcoholic liver disease affect the function of the liver itself, it also damages the brain. The liver breaks down most of the alcohol a person consumes. But the process of breaking alcohol down generates toxins even more harmful than alcohol itself. These toxins damage liver cells. The damaged liver cells no longer function as well as they should. They allow too much ammonia and manganese to travel to the brain. These substances proceed to damage brain cells, causing problems like sleep disturbances, mood and personality changes, anxiety, depression, shortened attention span, coordination problems, including asterixis, which results in hand shaking or flapping, coma, and death.
(6) Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Chronic alcohol use reduces the ability of white blood cells to effectively engulf and swallow harmful bacteria. Excessive drinking also disrupts the production of cytokines which can leave you open to infection. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
(7) With binge or long-term drinking, brain mass shrinks and the brain’s inner cavity grows bigger. These changes may affect a wide range of abilities, including motor coordination; temperature regulation; sleep; mood; and various cognitive functions, including learning and memory.
You have a choice—to bring harmony and peace to your body, mind, and spirit or to take a chance on destroying the perfect functioning of the magnificent physiology of your body by over-indulging in alcohol, whether it’s an occasional binge thing or a daily habit.
Alcohol is one of those indulgences that can disrupt your life slowly or destroy it in a heartbeat. Remember these things every time you choose to drink. Make a decision before it’s too late – reduce the hazards to your harmony.