Experts reveal what happens to your body when you quit alcohol for just four weeks, and the results are mind-blowing.
Getting drunk is fun, but waking up achy, nauseous, with a pounding headache and the feeling of regret is not cool. We all know alcohol isn't good for our bodies.
And when nursing a hangover, it's not unusual to vow to never allow alcohol to pass your lips again. Yet, a few days later, social drinkers find themselves in the same situation.
Though there might be some benefits of drinking a glass of wine once in a while, chugging one beer after another can seriously damage your health.
Alcohol has a detrimental effect on human health
Liver. Liquor can cause inflammation, leading to scarring, cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver disease, or liver cancer.
Digestive system. Excessive alcohol consumption inflames the lining of your stomach, causing indigestion or nausea. It also leads to an increased risk of ulcers, gastritis, and chronic heartburn.
Reproductive health. From erectile dysfunction to irregular menstruation, infertility, premature birth, miscarriage, or having a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), excessive alcohol use can lead to severe reproduction issues.
Central nervous system. Alcohol can cause dementia-like symptoms, memory loss, blacking out, depression, and other mental disorders.
Immune system. It lowers your natural immune system, making you prone to contagious diseases such as pneumonia or tuberculosis.
Pancreas. Alcohol causes abnormal activation of stomach enzymes, which can inflame the pancreas and cause pancreatitis.
A group of volunteers didn't drink alcohol for 28 days, and the results were shocking. They looked a lot healthier and younger.
Week 1: Increased appetite and sugar cravings
Alcoholics often feel the need to eat a lot of food, usually late at night. When you give up on alcohol, your appetite will increase at the beginning, and you may also deal with sugar cravings.
You'll have low blood sugar, headaches and sleep issues. But these effects will improve within a month.
Week 2: Improved sleep and overall health
In the second week, things will start getting better. Your sleep will improve, you'll look healthier, and the dark circles around the eyes will disappear.
Also, in Week 2, your urinary tract function improves, tooth enamel is stronger and there's a lower risk of cavities.
Week 3: Better overall health
The liver normally self-heal within 21 days. After three weeks, your skin complexion will be brighter, and most wrinkles will be gone. At this stage, blood circulation and digestion work perfectly.
Week 4: Low risk of cardiovascular disease, high confidence and improved mental state
At this time, you'll lose 6-8 pounds and have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Your blood pressure will return to normal, and you'll even be more confident.
According to a 2018 study conducted by the Royal Free Hospital, avoiding alcohol for an entire month provides the following benefits:
Low blood pressure and cholesterol
Low blood protein levels (anticancer effect)
Low risk of disease