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What is alcoholism?

By admin
01 August 2013

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it weakens the functioning of the nervous system (including the brain)

Alcohol addiction includes a craving for alcohol and continued drinking even when the habit causes problems like job loss. Besides the cravings, other symptoms of addiction include:

  • Not being able to limit the drinking.
  • Having physical reactions like sweating and shaking when trying to stop.
  • Increased tolerance, which means you need to drink more to get the same high feeling.
  • Denying there is a problem, even when it is clear to everyone else.

Move! tip An alcoholic is someone who can’t stop drinking because their body physically depends on the alcohol. They need professional help and support from friends and family.

Effects of alcohol

. According to www.mediclinic.co.za, an average sized person’s body can break down about one drink an hour. The rest stays in the bloodstream until it can be broken down, slowing your thinking and actions.

Facts about alcohol

  •  Alcohol affects judgement

You might think that alcohol makes you feel more confident, but in fact it just affects your judgment. For example, a drunk driver may think he’s driving much better than usual.

  • Alcohol damages skin

Drinking a lot of alcohol over a long period of time leads to tired and sagging skin known as a phuza face. Drinking can also lead to pimple breakouts, and it reduces Vitamin A, which is needed for healthy looking skin.

  • Alcohol causes weight gain

There is a connection between alcohol and the famous beer belly. Dr Sibahle Vilakazi, a general practitioner from KwaZulu-Natal, explains that too much alcohol damages the liver, causing the body to be unable to break down fat properly. The fat is then dumped in places like the stomach in men and hips in women.

  • Alcohol is linked to cancer

Too much alcohol use causes swelling in the mouth and stomach, which could lead to cancer in those areas, especially if drinkers smoke as well.

  • Alcohol is linked to gout

Alcohol might not cause gout, but it definitely increases the risk of getting gout. Dr Vilakazi says patients who already have gout are advised to cut down on alcohol.