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How Alcohol Effects the Body

  1. Straight to Your Head

    Thirty seconds after your first sip, alcohol races into your brain. It slows down the chemicals and pathways that your brain cells use to send messages. That alters your mood, slows your reflexes, and throws off your balance. You also can’t think straight, which you may not recall later, because you’ll struggle to store things in long-term memory.

  2. Your Brain Shrinks

    If you drink heavily for a long time, booze can affect how your brain looks and works. Its cells start to change and even get smaller. Too much alcohol can actually shrink your brain. And that’ll have big effects on your ability to think, learn, and remember things. It can also make it harder to keep a steady body temperature and control your movements.

  3. Does It Help You Sleep?

    Alcohol’s slow-down effect on your brain can make you drowsy, so you may doze off more easily. But you won’t sleep well. Your body processes alcohol throughout the night. Once the effects wear off, it leaves you tossing and turning. You don’t get that good REM sleep your body needs to feel restored. And you’re more likely to have nightmares and vivid dreams. You’ll also probably wake up more often for trips to the bathroom.

  4. More Stomach Acid

    Booze irritates the lining of your stomach and makes your digestive juices flow. When enough acid and alcohol build up, you get nauseated and you may throw up. Years of heavy drinking can cause painful sores called ulcers in your stomach. And high levels of stomach juices mean you won’t feel hungry. That’s one reason long-term drinkers often don’t get all the nutrients they need.

  5. Diarrhea and Heartburn

    Your small intestine and colon get irritated, too. Alcohol throws off the normal speed that food moves through them. That’s why hard drinking can lead to diarrhea, which can turn into a long-term problem. It also makes heartburn more likely – it relaxes the muscle that keeps acid out of your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth and stomach.

  6. Why You Have to Pee … Again

    Your brain gives off a hormone that keeps your kidneys from making too much urine. But when alcohol swings into action, it tells your brain to hold off. That means you have to go more often, which can leave you dehydrated. When you drink heavily for years, that extra workload and the toxic effects of alcohol can wear your kidneys down.

  7. The Steps to Liver Disease

    Your liver breaks down almost all the alcohol you drink. In the process, it handles a lot of toxins. Over time, heavy drinking makes the organ fatty and lets thicker, fibrous tissue build up. That limits blood flow, so liver cells don’t get what they need to survive. As they die off, the liver gets scars and stops working as well, a disease called cirrhosis.

  8. Pancreas Damage and Diabetes

    Normally, this organ makes insulin and other chemicals that help your intestines break down food. But alcohol jams that process up. The chemicals stay inside the pancreas. Along with toxins from alcohol, they cause inflammation in the organ, which can lead to serious damage. After years, that means you won’t be able to make the insulin you need, which can lead to diabetes. It also makes you more likely to get pancreatic cancer.

  9. What’s a Hangover?

    That cotton-mouthed, bleary-eyed morning-after is no accident. Alcohol makes you dehydrated and makes blood vessels in your body and brain expand. That gives you your headache. Your stomach wants to get rid of the toxins and acid that booze churns up, which gives you nausea and vomiting. And because your liver was so busy processing alcohol, it didn’t release enough sugar into your blood, bringing on weakness and the shakes.

  10. An Offbeat Heart

    One night of binge drinking can jumble the electrical signals that keep your heart’s rhythm steady. If you do it for years, you can make those changes permanent. And, alcohol can literally wear your heart out. Over time, it causes heart muscles to droop and stretch, like an old rubber band. It can’t pump blood as well, and that impacts every part of your body.

  11. A Change in Body Temperature

    Alcohol widens your blood vessels, making more blood flow to your skin. That makes you blush and feel warm and toasty. But not for long. The heat from that extra blood passes right out of your body, causing your temperature to drop. On the other hand, long-term, heavy drinking boosts your blood pressure. It makes your body release stress hormones that narrow blood vessels, so your heart has to pump harder to push blood through.

  12. A Weaker Immune System

    You might not link a cold with a night of drinking, but there might be a connection. Alcohol puts the brakes on your immune system. Your body can’t make the numbers of white blood cells it needs to fight germs. So for 24 hours after drinking, you’re more likely to get sick. Long-term, heavy drinkers are much more likely to get illnesses like pneumonia and tuberculosis.

  13. Hormone Havoc

    These powerful chemicals manage everything from your sex drive to how fast you digest food. To keep it all going smoothly, you need them in the right balance. But alcohol throws them out of whack. In women, that can knock your periods off cycle and cause problems getting pregnant. In men, it can mean trouble getting an erection, a lower sperm count, shrinking testicles, and breast growth.

  14. Hearing Loss

    Alcohol impacts your hearing, but no one’s sure exactly how. It could be that it messes with the part of your brain that processes sound. Or it might damage the nerves and tiny hairs in your inner ear that help you hear. However it happens, drinking means you need a sound to be louder so you can hear it. And that can become permanent. Long-term drinkers often have hearing loss.

  15. Thin Bones, Less Muscle

    Heavy drinking can throw off your calcium levels. Along with the hormone changes that alcohol triggers, that can keep your body from building new bone. They get thinner and more fragile, a condition called osteoporosis. Booze also limits blood flow your muscles and gets in the way of the proteins that build them up. Over time, you’ll have lower muscle mass and less strength.

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AN EPIDEMIC HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT? RADU BERCAN/SHUTTERSTOCK

The “opioid epidemic” continues to be the weight quietly sitting on the shoulders of the US. However, a dramatic rise in dangerously heavy drinking across the country suggests that alcoholism could be a new epidemic hiding in plain sight.

Latest figures show that 12.7 percent of people living in the US have some kind of alcohol-related disorder. That’s nearly one in eight people. These numbers have also increased by almost 50 percent compared to the previous decade, suggesting that the problem is on a sharp rise.

The statistics come from a study, recently published in JAMA Psychiatry, that compared the rates of alcoholism, alcohol use, and binge drinking between 2001 to 2002 and 2012 to 2013 in two surveys of 43,000 people and then 36,000 people, respectively.

Between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013, the number of people who drank alcohol (both problematically or casually) rose by 11.2 percent to 72.7 percent of the population.

Just under a third of people in the US indulge in “high-risk” binge drinking. In keeping with the US dietary guidelines, this was defined as drinking five or more standard drinks for men, or four drinks for women, on any day at least once a week. The rise in binge drinking was particularly noticeable among women (up 57.9 percent over the decade), elderly people, Hispanics, and African-Americans.

The study makes a “compelling case that the United States is facing a crisis with alcohol use, one that is currently costly and about to get worse,” according to one of the study’s authors, Professor Marc A Schuckit of the University of California, San Diego, writing in an editorial statement about the study.

Obviously, it is a massive risk to public health. Alcohol in excess is strongly associated with numerous types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, strokes, liver cirrhosis, and type 2 diabetes, to name but a few. In total it could cost the US economy upwards of $250 billion a year.

The reasons behind these increases were not explored by the study, however, the researchers suspect it’s likely to be “historically rooted in racial discrimination and persistent socioeconomic disadvantage both at the individual and community levels.”

It’s not likely to get better soon, either. “The proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health budget being considered in Washington in 2017 are potentially disastrous for future efforts to decrease alcohol problems and are likely to result in higher costs for us all,” said Professor Schuckit.

“If the proposed budget prevails, the National Institutes of Health will have serious problems keeping current research going, and it will be difficult or even impossible to fund new research. In addition, most of the problems raised here will escalate further if as many as 23 million people lose health care.”

I was watching a tv show recently and one of the women on there is going through a situation that I can relate to on a small-scale.  Something happened between her and her husband and plenty of people would like to tell her what she should to including leaving him.  Now granted she is in the public eye so she has a lot of social media and that to contend with and I am sure a lot of hate mail surrounding any decision she makes.  So my heart goes out to her.

Her husband is ill, he has addiction and he is in rehab and is trying to get better for himself, her and their children and trying to recover his faith in God.  I believe he has now been able to come home and the family has now said much as to what has happened further and what any progress has been made.  I am trying not to listen to other media because, well they take things out of context and its honestly none of my business.

What she said that has stuck with my though is “Just do the nest best thing for the next 15 minutes.”  All you have to do is get through the next 15 minutes, do the right thing to get you through 15 minutes, then do it again.  And that’s how you will get through your day.  Because I know its one day at a time, but that 24 hours sometimes scars the heck out of me.  But 15 minutes, I can handle that.  Well, most days.  Sometimes even 15 minutes is pushing it for my comfort level.  But you have to know your limits, know where you are at during each moment.

I will always remember that “just do the right thing for the next 15 minutes, then do it again.”  Because that’s exactly what I needed at that moment when I heard it.  God puts those little sayings in our lives when we need them.  I believe in things happening for a reason, everything having a purpose, and in faith.  I have faith in something that I cannot touch, see, smell, taste or hear….but I have to believe that it is there.  Well that’s all for today folks.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

Sober nation recently sent me an email talking about rebooting your recovery and I thought I would pass it on to y’all in case you have not signed up for their emails yet:

The truth is, is we are never as safe as we think.

It’s always terrifying and humbling to hear about friends or mentors relapsing after achieving multiple years of recovery. Addiction is a tricky foe, it has a way of sneaking up behind us when we are vulnerable.

Everyone (including myself) slacks off on their recovery from time to time. We get comfortable and we think to ourselves “I got this.”

I have seen many reasons for this…

  • Some of us no longer enjoy going to meetings, so we stop.
  • Some of us can’t afford weekly therapy sessions, so we stop.
  • Some of us lose friends or move and lose our support system.
We can help! There’s no need to white knuckle it. Let’s take action!

For the past 3 months, we have been quietly working on a 30 Day E-mail course that will Reboot Your Recovery.

This course is designed for everyone. If you have 30 days or 30 years, you will gain perspective, insight and daily exercises that will give your recovery a jump start.

I could go on and on about how amazing our course is, but I would rather show you. The course is a small $15 charge, less than you pay for Starbucks every week.

Except in this case, you can keep what you’ve learned and be able to apply it to a lifetime of recovery and life experience.

If you are feeling down, if you are feeling stagnant or if you are just interested in continuing to grow, this course is for you!

Take Charge and Start the Course

P.S. – If you have questions about what this entails, feel free to reply to this email. We only want to be of service. Here’s the link one last time

.

Much love,

Sober Nation

There is a cost for what they are offering but if you click on the link and check it out they explain it all and it might be worth at least checking it out.  I am not going to be participating in this, but I wanted to pass it on in case anyone was in the need.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

http://www.tvguide.com/news/whats-the-most-accurate-tv-show-about-recovery-mom-recovery-road-flaked/

 

Mom

On a lot of shows, alcoholism is a plot device. There’s a built-in dramatic tension when someone is on the wagon, so the push-and-pull of drunkenness and sobriety is the story and it doesn’t go any deeper than that. Mom is different, because it recognizes that there are many more stories about alcoholism to tell, and it goes all the way in on exploring all the myriad issues and minute details of recovery. There’s “will she relapse or will she stay sober?” but there’s also “how do you get your nonalcoholic boyfriend to understand why you have to go to meetings every day?” That’s a topic addressed in Season 3 episode “Beast Mode and Old People Kissing,” as is the heavier topic of “how do I get over the anger I feel and come to terms with the fact that the man who gave my friend the drugs when she relapsed and died deserves a chance to get sober, too?” Mom is aboutrecovery in a way no other show is, and therefore is the panel’s consensus choice for most accurate depiction of recovery.

“I would feel comfortable saying ‘Yeah, it’s like that’ to somebody who is not in recovery but watches this show,” says Kevin.

“You show this to anyone in recovery, and they’ll be able to relate,” says Zack.

The panel members appreciate how the show has a sense of humor about alcoholism and recovery, but takes it seriously, too. Bonnie (Allison Janney) resolves the issue of her boyfriend Adam (William Fichtner) not understanding AA by showing him the tape of her daughter Christy’s (Anna Faris) wedding, which she ruined by getting trashed and making a scene. Her drunken antics are played for laughs until the end, when Christy is crying and apologizing for her mother’s behavior.

“It’s important that they show the part with the daughter, where you realize it’s not just some funny bits,” says Zack. “There are actual consequences. She ruined her daughter’s wedding, and it’s not ‘Ha ha.'” And yet, it still manages to end on a laugh, when Adam quips that he’ll take her to a meeting right now if it ensures that never happens again.

Panel members ranked Mom as most accurate, followed by Recovery Road, then Flaked, thoughFlaked is accurate in a very specific way. They respect each show’s depiction of recovery as different, because every recovering alcoholic’s experience is different. And they think it’s a good thing that these shows exist, because representation builds understanding.

The Migraine Experience

Excedrin has been working with Migraine sufferers like myself to put together a virtual reality to show their loved ones what a migraine “looks like” when one starts for them – its an interesting video – https://www.excedrin.com/migraine-experience/ – when I saw the commercial on TV the first time I broke down crying – I have always looked for a way to do that…

Lyrics

Tell me, tell me, tell me your problems
I’m here for you
Just try, just try, just try to stay sober
It’s eating you
And they say you are a monster, but what I see’s a child
Your eyes, your eyes are glowing red
And your tongue has caught on fire

So let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

You play, you play, you play up to them
But they’re not around
Don’t be, don’t be so rough with me
When you are a gem

And they ask how I can love you, when all they see is this
But I see the things that you can’t contain and what it does to you

So let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

Let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

So let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

Let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

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http://www.sobernation.com/jodie-sweetin/

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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