Alcohol: What quitting alcohol does in the body

Alcohol: What quitting alcohol does in the body

According to the company, the first non-alcoholic bar opened in Berlin in 2020 and, especially in January, people talk about their four-week break from alcohol. According to the yearbook Addiction 2023, the consumption of alcohol in Germany has also fallen slightly compared to previous years. While the consumption of pure alcohol per person aged 15 and over was 10.7 liters in 2018, it fell to 10 liters in 2020.

“Although alcohol consumption has continued to fall compared to previous years, significantly more alcohol is still drunk in Germany than the global average,” said Prof. Dr. Norbert Scherbaum, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the German Center for Addiction Issues (DHS). Germany is considered a high-consumption country by addiction experts: millions of people in the Federal Republic drink too much alcohol.

Alcohol: Drink only in small amounts

Too much alcohol is reached faster than many people think. According to the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), you should not drink alcohol at all for at least two days a week so that you don’t get used to it. On the other days, you should not drink too much alcohol: for women, this is a small glass of beer (0.3 liters) or a glass of wine (0.125 liters) per day. Men should consume no more than twice the amount of alcohol.

Alcohol can be harmful to health. It is a cellular toxin. It’s not the case that when you’re completely intoxicated, countless nerve cells in the brain die immediately. But the alcohol only causes communication problems in the brain, which disappear again after the intoxication. However, if you drink a lot on a regular basis, you can permanently damage your brain. There may be problems with concentration or character changes.

The silent suffering of the liver

The liver in particular can be affected by heavy alcohol consumption. Serious changes in liver function can occur in people who drink a lot of alcohol. It usually takes a long time before the damage to the organ is discovered – the liver suffers silently. Fatty liver can develop, increasing the risk of inflammation and liver cancer. Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. The tissue of the liver is destroyed and the organ loses its functions. It is a chronic disease that cannot be cured. In the final stages of the disease, a liver transplant is necessary.

The good news, however, is that in people who have not yet developed cirrhosis, the liver can also recover by not drinking alcohol. In addition to the brain and liver, alcohol consumption can also result in diseases of the pancreas, heart, nervous system and muscles. Alcohol is also one of the substances that can cause cancer, the DHS informs.

Less alcohol, more fitness

“People who drink little or no alcohol feel fitter overall, both physically and mentally. And they live comparatively longer,” said Professor Ulrich John. He is an alcohol researcher at the University Medical Center Greifswald and author of the yearbook Addiction. Giving up alcohol can increase your lifespan. For women, an average of at least 16 years more. According to the yearbook Addiction, it is even ten years longer for men.

What exactly happens in the body when you give up alcohol is shown in the picture gallery. Of course, how long the body needs to recover from alcohol consumption always depends on how much alcohol a person regularly consumes and what the physical condition was like before abstinence.

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Source: Stern

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