What Drinking Alcohol can do?

The human body always contains some small amount of alcohol, to the order of one or two grams. This happens because when carbohydrates, starch and sugar from a meal are decomposed they break down into alcohol. So even in the body of a person who does not partake, some alcohol is present. But this small amount of alcohol is metabolized by the liver without any adverse effects.

However intoxication occurs when the amount of alcohol in our body increases. This happens when a person drinks an alcoholic beverage and ingests more alcohol than the liver can metabolize. A normal human liver can, on average break down up to thirty milliliters of alcohol in every one and a half hour. When the limit of alcohol in our body increases beyond this amount in a relatively shorter time the alcohol starts getting absorbed into the person's blood stream. Through the blood it reaches the various parts of the body including the brain and muscles.

Alcohol is actually a narcotic agent, albeit a weak one at that. A narcotic is a substance that is absorbed into the nerve cells and has a paralyzing effect on them. But before the narcotic produces its paralyzing effect, it stimulates and excites the nerve cells. The first thing that happens when a person takes in alcohol is that it stimulates the mucous membranes of the mouth and the pharynx. This causes the salivary glands and the gastric glands to produce their secretion. This is why some people drink alcohol to stimulate the appetite before a meal. Thereafter comes the stage of impaired co-ordination and euphoria.

But when a person continues drinking they begin to feel sleepy and eventually fall into a stupor. After very high levels of consumption, the alcohol starts affecting the respiratory system of a person. The system becomes depressed and the person ceases to breathe and can even fall into a coma. In addition to these, other harmful effects that can be caused by excessive alcohol intake are Hypoglycemia, especially in younger adults, lactic acidosis and even serious renal failure. People who indulge in long term alcohol abuse can suffer from live failure that can lead to death.

Alcohol also affects the muscles of a body directly. It increases the amount of the fuels that the muscles can convert into work-energy. This leads to people performing physical work better, for short periods of time. But seeming increase in performance is followed by a period of heavy fatigue, so the sum total of the effects is not a positive one. Alcohol also stimulates the brain. A person talks and acts with more spirit.

The blood pressure rises and the heart beat and breathing become more rapid, as the skin of the person gets redder. But in truth it has a depressing effect on the brain just like it does on the respiratory system. It adversely affects the higher functions such as observing and paying attention. As the brain relaxes a person's reactions become slower and their judgment poorer, they lose their ability to think clearly.

The amount of alcohol a person has to ingest before these symptoms present themselves, depends on many factors, like total body mass, quantity of food and water taken with alcohol, natural resistance to narcotics and their effects et cetra. But none of this negates the dangers of an intoxicated state especially if the person still has to perform tasks demanding responsibility, such as driving or working.

When dealing with a acutely intoxicated person it is of utmost importance to make sure that they get proper medical attention as soon as possible. The symptoms of acute alcohol poisoning are stupor or severe confusion and unpredictable behaviour, lapse of consciousness and amnesia, vomiting while in semi conscious state, seizures, respiratory depression which causes the rate of breathing to slow down considerably, even up to under eight breaths a minute and pale and clammy skin caused by a lack of sufficient oxygen in body.

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The Easyway to Control Alcohol by Allen Carr: Allen Carr is an internationally best selling author. His books on how to stop smoking, lose weight and control alcohol have sold well over 11 million copies worldwide.

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice