You may toss back a glass of wine or a martini without a second thought, but you might want to know that, even if you don’t feel buzzed, alcohol definitely affects you physically. We asked Gary Rogg, MD, a physician at Westchester Medical Center, to give us the details on what happens when alcohol enters your system.
“Occasional and moderate drinking may cause difficulty walking, slurring of speech, decreased reaction times, and impaired decision-making.”
In addition to a rapid or irregular heartbeat, Rogg says that some people may experience high blood pressure if they consume alcohol regularly.
Alcohol consumption makes you more susceptible to diseases like pneumonia, according to Rogg, because it reduces your gag and cough reflexes.
The liver can break down only a certain amount of alcohol per hour. Rogg warns that overloading the liver with too much alcohol can cause “loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain,” so it’s best to pace yourself.
“Alcohol produces excess stomach acid, which can lead to gastritis and reflux.”
“Alcohol affects the ability of your kidneys to properly filter blood and water, which can cause dehydration,” as well as overactive bladder.
Consuming alcohol “deprives the body of nutrients and vitamins that boost immunity.”