It’s not easy to stop drinking alcohol.
Social obligations and the occasional need to destress make it necessary. Nevertheless, too much of it isn’t a good thing. Do you know what happens to your body after you stop drinking alcohol? Here are the changes, on a timeline.
The harmful effects of alcohol
You probably know, all too well, the heady feeling you get after downing a few glasses of your favorite wine. But excess alcohol sends your body into a tailspin. Here’s what it does within a month.
First of all, the clearest sign of too much alcohol is a hangover. Your body may shake uncontrollably for up to 24 hours after it enters your body.
Also, your sleep patterns are likely to go awry. Because alcohol is a diuretic, it dehydrates you and prompts your body to purge fluid as sweat. You’ll find it hard to sleep because you’ll need to visit the bathroom during the night. This study shows that it has adverse effects on sleep and daytime sleepiness.
Furthermore, alcohol irritates your gut. It causes a host of digestive problems such as gastric reflux (GERD) when stomach acid rushes up your throat and burns it. According to this study, heavy alcohol use results in inflammation.
3 to 4 weeks
If you drink too much, you may start to notice your urine darkening. Your skin may itch as well. Fatigue, which is chronic, may overwhelm you. These are signs of liver problems. Your blood cells may enlarge. Consequently, you may find it hard to breathe because they cannot send oxygen to your lungs efficiently.
Alcohol isn’t all bad
Having an occasional drink, however, won’t result in a disaster. It has a few surprising health benefits.
First of all, it lowers the risk of heart disease. Studiesshow that alcohol raises HDL (High-density lipoprotein) or ‘good’ cholesterol. The Catholic University of Campobasso found that alcohol lengthens a person’s life by about 1.8%. As an indicator, the glass that you sometimes grab after dinner is enough.
It’s also a defense against erectile dysfunction. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that erectile dysfunction decreased by about 25 to 30%. Another way alcohol helps us is by preventing colds. Carnegie Mellon University researched cold susceptibility in smokers and non-smokers. They discovered that a glass of wine prevented colds in the latter group.
Furthermore, it is a protection against dementia. A 1977 study published in the Journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatmentfound that moderate drinkers were 23% less likely than non-drinkers to experience cognitive decline.
Finally, alcohol lowers the risk of endocrine-related diseases like diabetes. A Dutch study found that one or two glasses a day reduced Type 2 diabetes.
These 5 things happen three months after you stop drinking alcohol
Moderation is the key. So, when should you stop drinking alcohol? The answer is when you start experiencing the symptoms described above. There are many reasons you should purge excess alcohol from your body.
1. Your blood sugar levels will become regular within 24 hours
First of all, you’ll normalize your blood sugar levels within a day of quitting drink. Taking in more food and vegetables will prevent a blood sugar rush.
2. You’ll detoxify within 2 days
You’ll also detoxify within 48 hours. If you have lingering headaches, you can get rid of them by applying a little lavender.
3. Your hangovers will stop within 3 days
Hangover effects will also disappear after you stop drinking alcohol. It takes about 72 hours to get rid of them.
4. You’ll sleep better within a week
Furthermore, you’ll find yourself sleeping better after a week. You’ll also look younger and fresher than before as your body re-hydrates.
5. Your weight problems disappear within a month
Moreover, you’ll have no more weight problems. Belly fat reduces by about 15%.
In all, alcohol, taken in moderation, is good for you. You may want to stop drinking alcohol when you experience its negative effects.