A Glance at How Alcohol Impacts Your Body
Immune system: Alcohol can damage different organs and cells in the body that fuel our immune system, and kills the healthy microorganisms in our digestive system that promote immunity. Studies show that alcohol consumption leads to worsened lung diseases like pneumonia and other respiratory viruses, a particular concern in 2020.
Cancer Risk: Alcohol increases the risk for many different kinds of cancer. The US Department of Health and Human Services categorizes alcohol as a carcinogen, and there is substantial evidence that it specifically increases risk for head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer.
While this is just a snapshot of how alcohol impacts our bodies, it’s important to understand that there are very few systems in our body that escape the effects of alcohol. This is about informed consent: understanding what we are ingesting before we take a sip. This is also about empowerment, because we know that many of these issues are reversible when we abstain from alcohol for a sustained period of time. When we better understand how alcohol impacts our bodies, it makes it easier to remove it from our lives.
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Heart.org. (2019, December). Is drinking alcohol part of a healthy lifestyle? https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/alcohol-and-heart-health
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Alcohol and Heart Health: Separating fact from fiction. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/alcohol-and-heart-health-separating-fact-from-fiction
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Liver: Anatomy and functions.