‘I’m a Doctor Here’s How Your Body Changes After a Month Without Alcohol’
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‘I’m a Doctor Here’s How Your Body Changes After a Month Without Alcohol’

‘I’m a Doctor Here’s How Your Body Changes After a Month Without Alcohol’

One way to represent the average drinker may be to focus on people who don’t have a history of alcohol dependence. This is exactly what one study, published in the British Medical Journal, did in 2018. Research shows that most people believe that drinking can make them feel better. However, when alcohol makes up part of your typical routine, drinking can become something of an automatic response, especially when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. It’s possible to develop a better relationship with alcohol and make more mindful, informed choices about drinking without total sobriety. When you’re having a good time, you find it hard to stop, especially in the company of friends having the same amount.

If you want to level up your health, cutting back significantly on alcohol yields several physical and mental health perks. Hangovers, or alcohol withdrawal, cause hormonal changes, too, which explains why we might feel so crummy after drinking. Alcohol has quite deleterious effects, as ethanol, an organic compound in alcohol, is a toxin to our body, Scheller explains. If you are thinking about quitting drinking, talk to your healthcare provider. Medical supervision, behavioral health treatment, and mutual-aid groups can help you through alcohol withdrawal and stay stopped.

  1. Making a plan and setting a limit on how much you are going to drink – and how much you are going to spend – can be useful.
  2. These programs involve working with a team of mental health professionals in a group and individual setting.
  3. Poor gut health and microbiota imbalance can ultimately weaken one aspect of how our body protects us from illness.
  4. It can be helpful to write down your reasons for quitting and the difficulty of withdrawal while it is fresh in your mind.
  5. But even moderate drinking, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as two or fewer drinks for men per day and one or fewer drinks for women, comes with health risks.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, alcohol should be consumed in moderation — up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Cutting out alcohol for 30 days can have benefits for those who drink more than the recommended limit of two drinks a day for men and one drink how to help someone with a drinking problem a day for women. Research shows that drinking large amounts of alcohol before bedtime leads to decreased sleep onset and disrupted, poor quality sleep later in the night. Excess alcohol consumption may cause weight gain, which means that cutting out alcohol could lead to weight loss for some people.

With alcohol out of the equation, though, these chemicals cause withdrawal symptoms. Over time, however, the body builds a tolerance to alcohol, and a person may have to drink more and more to get the same feeling. Meanwhile, the brain is producing more and more neurotransmitters, making a person further imbalanced. So, while we can metabolize around a unit of alcohol an hour, if you drink a lot, everyday, your body has to rid your system of those toxins.

Steering clear of alcohol, however, gives the liver a chance to regenerate. « Cutting out and abstaining from alcohol can recover a substantial portion of liver function, » Wirtz says. « When we stop drinking, we can begin to repair some of the long-term effects of alcohol use. » Symptoms can range from headache, elevated blood pressure, heart palpitations, and nausea and vomiting to tremors, hallucination and in severe cases death. Alcohol and heavy drinking can cause long-term, negative impacts on the brain, including poor memory and slower reflexes.

‘I’m a Doctor—Here’s How Your Body Changes After a Month Without Alcohol’

While occasional social drinking may not result in significant changes when you decide to quit, you may experience more significant effects if you have been drinking heavily for an extended time. In the long run, it can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety because drinking affects the neurotransmitters in our brains that are needed for good mental well-being. Alcohol decreases the levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which helps to regulate mood. « Alcohol can reduce your sexual sensitivity, meaning that you enjoy sex less, and it can interfere with a man’s performance, so that sex becomes difficult, » Dr Sim says.

Ketone drinks: a buzzy and safe alcohol-alternative?

Along with anxiety and irritability, you may also experience mood swings when you give up alcohol. Alcohol does the same thing, so it’s very possible that when you give up one substance that causes happy-making chemicals to float around your brain, you’ll be more likely to reach for the other. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, alcohol is one of the biggest drivers of overeating. It’s also important to note that everyone responds to alcohol differently and your height, weight and gender all play a part, as well as how much you have eaten and how much sleep you’ve had. A pint of 4% beer – or a medium glass of wine – equals 2.3 units of alcohol.

Some say mindful drinking, where you really think about what you are drinking and why, helps them develop a more positive attitude to alcohol. Socialising often revolves around alcohol, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Getting support from friends and family can help keep you on track too, so telling them you are cutting down can be helpful. https://sober-house.net/ There are several ways you can help cut down the amount of alcohol you’re drinking. Making a plan and setting a limit on how much you are going to drink – and how much you are going to spend – can be useful. « Firstly, a lot of people don’t realise that alcohol causes dehydration and one place that really shows is your skin, » Dr Sim says.

Other benefits of not drinking alcohol

In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. If you turn to alcohol to manage emotional distress, the added overwhelm can prompt the urge to drink, making success seem even more out of reach. Turner notes the importance of bringing along a trusted support person when attending events that involve alcohol. It’s often easier to turn down a drink when you don’t have to do it alone.

Your doctor or substance abuse therapist can offer guidance and may prescribe medication like benzodiazepines or carbamazepine to help you get through it. Enjoying alcohol socially in reasonable amounts can boost your mood and help you bond with others. But if you drink alone, or down multiple drinks a day, it could turn into an unhealthy habit. If you can’t control it, it may lead to a condition called alcohol use disorder. Giving up drinking may let you focus on your relationships, work, and health. If you need a break from alcohol, going alcohol-free for a month or more can bring about many physical and mental health benefits.

The warning signs of a drinking problem

Sunnyside uses a psychology-based approach to help you drink more mindfully, no matter what your goal is. You’ll get a 100% custom plan, then daily texts to track your progress and help you stay on target. You’ll get a 100% custom plan, then use daily texts to track your progress and help you stay on target. Drinking can send your hormones into a frenzy—it impacts our endocrine system, which allows our body to respond appropriately and cope with changes in our environments. Severe alcohol-induced hormone dysregulations can sometimes cause serious issues like reproductive deficits, thyroid problems, and behavioral disorders over time. But once you fall into slumber, it can wake you up repeatedly in the night.

If you experience ongoing anxiety or depression, it’s important to reach out to a health care provider to discuss treatment options. “Quitting alcohol isn’t just about physical health; it’s a profound transformation for mental well-being too,” says Dr. Kellogg. “Although no amount of alcohol is recommended, even cutting back on frequency or portion size can seriously help to reduce your cancer risk,” she says.

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