Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on November 24, 2020.
Most people realize that excessive alcohol consumption is not good for you. There is a link between long-term use of this highly addictive substance and a variety of health concerns, from liver damage to cardiovascular disease. What few people know is how alcoholism impacts your body in terms of premature aging. Alcohol misuse can make you look and feel older than you should. Here are just a few of the ways alcohol addiction ages your body — inside and out.
If one night of heavy drinking dries out your skin, just imagine the impact of alcoholism on your complexion in the long term. Alcohol can potentially cause a variety of irreversible skin conditions and worsen existing skin issues. For example, you may notice the following:
Your body’s stress system works hard to maintain a delicate equilibrium, expertly controlling levels of cortisol and other stress-related hormones. Alcohol consumption throws off this balance, and excessive use can put your body at greater risk of stress-related harm. Because alcohol stimulates the release of high amounts of cortisol, this hormonal shift changes the way your body perceives and responds to stress.
The stress alcohol puts on your body can manifest in a variety of different ways over time. Some people experience the following issues:
In a very short amount of time, heavy drinking can lead to weight gain. Almost all alcoholic beverages can cause you to gain unwanted weight. Alcohol contains a surplus of calories, plus its ability to decrease self-control and promote appetite could encourage you to do some unnecessary snacking while under the influence. Excessive drinking also causes your body to redistribute fat.
Alcohol addiction’s impact on the brain cannot be underestimated. It puts you at high risk for dementia and promotes shrinkage of the brain’s overall volume. There’s also a link between alcoholismand a serious neurological disorder called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, or wet brain. These factors can lead to a premature decline of cognitive ability characterized by confusion, agitation and extreme memory loss.
If your drinking has escalated or you notice that someone you care about is finding it difficult to control their alcohol consumption, you or your loved one may be struggling with alcohol addiction. The services available at Diamond House Detox will help you break free from addiction and reclaim your health. To learn how we can help, contact Diamond House Detox today.