What a Month Without Alcohol Really Does to Your Body
Flic Everett - The Telegraph
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September 27, 2022
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What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol (The Infographics Show)

As many of us decide to cut back for Sober October, will this really benefit our health in the long term? Sober October may not just benefit physical health, says Dr Catherine Carney, of Delamere rehab clinic in Cheshire.

“Alcohol can also affect sleep quality, so you’ll have more energy,” Dr Carney says. “Regular and excessive alcohol consumption can also have a detrimental effect on mental wellbeing. While 56 per cent of the UK say they consume alcohol for relaxation, it’s only temporary relief, and may leave your mental wellbeing in a worse state overall.”

When it comes to physical health, “drinking large amounts of alcohol over a prolonged period of time can increase blood pressure to unhealthy levels”, says Dr Carney, “and result in more health complications down the line. When you give up alcohol, your blood pressure will reduce, which can help to prevent heart failure, strokes and heart attacks.”

GP Dr Ross Perry lists the benefits of a month off the booze. “After your last drink, the liver starts working overtime and the pancreas starts producing extra insulin,” he says. “It’s important to drink lots of water, as your body will be flushing out toxins via the liver and kidneys, so you’re going to the loo more.”

If you don’t feel better immediately, he adds, “it takes up to 72 hours before you mentally and physically feel ‘normal’.”

After two weeks, “you will likely see a drop in body weight, eye bags reduced and far less overall bloating around the stomach, as well as clearer skin”, he goes on. “After three weeks, blood pressure may reduce. A month in, skin and eyes will look brighter and clearer – liver fat reduces by up to 15 per cent, increasing its ability to flush out toxins.

Mild liver disease, such as fatty liver can be reversed completely [how long this takes will depend on the state the liver is in and how old the person is] over time, if a person stops drinking alcohol altogether, he concludes. “When there is no alcohol in your blood for several months, often, the liver cells can gradually repair and return to normal.”

Most of us feel we drink “moderately” but counsellor and author of Sober on a Drunk Planet, Sean Gay, found his drinking was out of control and stopped at 31. “We are conditioned by society to believe that drinking and hangovers are ‘fun’,” he says. “But for a lot of people, the empty wallets, shaky mornings and anxiety are far from it.”

Sean believes “a lot of people have spent their entire adulthood using alcohol as an emotional aid – so just having a month off won’t suddenly undo all the physical, mental, emotional and financial issues caused when they may have been using alcohol since their teenage years”.

Read the rest at The Telegraph

Related: Want to Improve Your Mental Well-Being? Stop Drinking Alcohol Entirely (Study Finds)

Related: Physical Signs of Alcoholism (Alcohol Campaign)

Notice: This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.

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