Binge drinking is not a friend to your body. A recent study revealed that a rise in binge drinking is likely the reason for the large number of young Americans, both men and women, dying from liver disease. This is because the risk of life-threatening cirrhosis increases when a person engages in this type of heavy drinking.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as “a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above.” This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks or women consume 4 or more drinks — in about 2 hours, notes the NIAAA.
Binge drinking isn’t just dangerous in the long-term, it also has some pretty serious short-term effects. In fact, even one single night of binge drinking can cause inflammation of the pancreas, stomach and liver.
Here are a few more ways binge drinking can harm your body in the short-term and long-term.
In the short-term, binging on alcohol can increase your risk for…
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unintended pregnancies
- Unintentional injuries like falls, burns, car crashes, and drowning
- Sickness like hangovers and vomiting
- Dehydration (especially if vomiting is involved)
- Hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar levels)
The long-term effects of binge drinking include an increased risk of the following:
- Alcohol use disorder
- Certain cancers
- Dementia and declining mental function
- High blood pressure, stroke, or other cardiovascular issues
- Liver disease
- Nerve damage
- Neurological damage
- Suppressed immune system
Getting Help for an Alcohol Use Disorder
Binge drinking on a regular basis can be a characteristic of an alcohol use disorder. If you think that you or someone you love needs help to stop drinking, don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us today to find out about our specialized treatment for alcohol dependency. Call: 305-558-6400.