What are the benefits of alcohol abstinence?
There are endless positive benefits to your general health and mental health when you decide to completely cut alcohol from your life. Whether you are looking to stop for good or have decided to take some time away from drinking, it is always a good idea to be fully educated and prepared for the mental and physical changes that may come your way.
Social changes when abstaining from alcohol
Many individuals who abuse alcohol are often held back from quitting or reducing the amount they drink through fear of losing their social life, friends, and hobbies they once enjoyed that had been focused around alcohol. A sober life is not the end of your social life. You will have more time to re-discover yourself, what your passions may now be; you have the opportunity to delve into new friendships that focus on living in the moment and sustaining good health and fitness.
Long term health risk of an alcohol disorder
Excessive drinking can take a toll on your mental and physical health, which allows your body to become more susceptible to long-term conditions or terminal illnesses such as:
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Irregular heartbeat, medically known as Arrhythmias
- Mental health issues ranging from depression and anxiety to bipolar
When you begin to limit your alcohol intake and start taking care of yourself, your body will start to heal itself; every day, you will start to feel slightly more alive.
Alcohol abstinence health benefits
There are various health benefits associated with alcohol abstinence that will allow you to move forward with your life healthily and positively. Within the first couple of weeks, your skin will be one of the first changes people notice.
Vibrant, younger-looking skin
Heavy or long-term alcohol consumption has been heavily linked to psoriasis, skin inflammation, deep wrinkles, and collagen reduction, leading to saggy skin and heavy eye bags.
When you decide to stop drinking, your skin will begin to heal itself quickly, elasticity will return, your heavy eye bags will start to disappear, redness and dry skin will slowly disappear, and your face will begin to glow.
Your immune system will increase
Alcohol significantly interferes with your body’s immune system. The toxic chemicals within the drink prevent the body from creating enough white blood cells to fend bacteria, viruses, and germs. This leads to the majority of long-term, heavy drinkers struggling to shake various diseases such as tuberculosis, constant pneumonia cases, the common cold, and the flu.
Your memory and problem-solving skills will increase
Long-term heavy drinking can cause the hippocampus, which means the part of your brain responsible for learning and storing memories will shrink. Depending on the individual, this can end up being an irreversible change, but for the majority of individuals who suffer from an alcoholic disorder, abstaining from alcohol can reserve the adverse effects that alcohol had caused; this can include improvement in:
- Attention and focus
Reduce your risk of cancer
Alcohol is a known carcinogen; this means that there is a direct link to alcohol causing cancer. There is a significant amount of data that has proven drinking substantial amounts of alcohol will increase the risk of cancer in the form of:
Data from 2009 published in the American Journal of Public Health
Trusted Source estimated that about 3.5 percent of cancer deaths in the United States were alcohol-related.
Lowered cardiovascular risk
The liver metabolizes alcohol and enzymes, medically referred to as dehydrogenases. When an individual drinks excessive alcohol, the dehydrogenases become saturated and are metabolized by an entirely different enzyme.
When the body metabolizes the alcohol in a separate process, it will naturally produce a significant amount of radicals which are known to oxidize bad cholesterol; this will result in arteries becoming blocked, which can further lead to a high risk of:
- Heart failure
- Hemorrhagic stroke
- Myocardial infarction
- Artical fibrilliaiton
- Ischemic stroke
Every single outcome listed above can result in death, depending on the severity. The best way to avoid damaging your heart further is to limit the amount of alcohol you drink daily.
Ready to stop drinking?
These benefits are just the beginning of a very long list of positive outcomes of alcohol abstinence. The longer you go without consuming alcohol, the more benefits you will see regarding your internal, physical, and mental health.
The road to recovery when abstaining from alcohol will not be easy, especially within the first couple of weeks; however, the outcomes will be worth it. You will need to try your hardest to be patient and allow your body and mind to heal and start a new life without alcohol consumption. Renew your connection with day-to-day life without using alcohol with the help of Shoreline Sober Living in San Diego.