While heavy drinking is bad for everyone, it can have specific health issues for men. Along with having a negative impact on their professional and social lives, it can also affect their ability to reproduce and lead a healthy life. Here are some of the effects alcohol addiction has on men’s health.
What Is Alcohol Addiction?
Having the occasional pint or a glass of wine with dinner doesn’t make a person an alcoholic. However, if you find it difficult to stop at one drink, if you crave alcohol at any time of day, or if drinking has affected your daily routine, then you may be addicted to it and you should seek help to stop drinking. Being addicted to alcohol affects all aspects of your life including your health.
Health Consequences of Drinking
Long-term heavy drinking takes a great toll on the entire body. It affects most of its organs and also the mind. One of the consequences of heavy drinking, which includes binge drinking, is that it increases the risk of developing cancers involving the colon, liver, oesophagus, mouth, and throat. Worldwide, alcoholism has been linked to three percent of all cancer-related deaths.
Harmful to Heart
Although studies have shown moderate drinking can protect the heart by raising the levels of good cholesterol or HDL, having two drinks every day can adversely affect the heart. Other studies have found that two daily drinks increases the risk of atrial fibrillation by 17%. Having an irregular heartbeat attributed to a-fib makes it four times more likely for strokes to occur and triples the risk of heart failure.
If you want to keep your good looks, then you need to slow down on the alcohol. Alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate and increases the risk they will break, which is responsible for the bloodshot eyes and reddened skin called rosacea that many alcoholics sport. Skin also appears puffy because the heart pumps harder to produce fluids to counteract the dilation of arteries and veins caused by alcohol.
Effects on Reproduction
For men trying to get their wives pregnant, having five drinks a week can keep it from happening. Research in Denmark shows that alcohol can cause sperm counts to drop and lower testosterone levels, which can make it harder to have a baby. If you or your loved ones are concerned about your excessive drinking, there are addiction centres in Ireland where you can get help addressing alcohol addiction and stop drinking.
Forget Getting Pumped
If your goal is to achieve bigger muscles, you could be wasting your time in the gym if you drink. Muscle fibres are torn when you lift weights but they are repaired by protein, which causes muscles to get bigger and stronger. However, alcohol triggers hormonal and inflammatory responses that make it harder to repair the damage done to your muscles, which can prevent you from getting ripped.
Fortunately, some of the physical effects of alcohol can be reduced or reversed if you quit drinking, which should motivate men who want to protect their health.