According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 29.5 million Americans over 12 struggled with alcohol addiction in 2020. The effects of too much alcohol consumption can damage your body and brain and even lead to death.
If you’re a woman and have seven or more drinks a week, you’re at risk for developing alcohol use disorder (AUD). Men are at risk if they have 14 or more drinks a week — although some people may become addicted with fewer, depending on their physiology. Over time, alcohol addiction can significantly harm the body — including your brain, heart, liver and nervous system.
Thankfully, studies show that many systems can heal once individuals start to practice sobriety. The human body has an amazing capability to heal itself when supported with proper nutrition and protected from toxic substances like alcohol. If you would like to start that journey, keep reading to learn how you can reverse the effects of alcohol in your body.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body
When you drink alcohol, your body has to work to convert the ethanol in your drink into usable energy. This process is hard on your body, as it exposes the cells in your liver and other organ systems to toxic substances. When you experience a hangover, it’s your body eliminating those toxins and working to reset your physical systems so you can stay healthy.
Negative Impact of Drinking Alcohol
The negative impacts of alcohol on your body may include but aren’t limited to:
- Weight gain
- Damage to your liver
- Depressed immune system
- Nerve tingling and numbness
- Heart weakness
- Higher likelihood of cancer
- Memory trouble
- Higher risk of dementia
- Anxiety and high cortisol levels
Alcohol negatively impacts every system in your body and is essentially a toxin. Abstaining from alcohol has a massively positive impact on every system in your body, from your heart to your liver, brain health and your immune system.
Your liver is the organ most sensitive to drinking-related damage. In your body, the liver works to filter out toxins. If it becomes overloaded, a type of scarring called cirrhosis can occur. Too much scarring can reduce the organ’s function and put your life in danger from toxic overload. Some people may require a liver transplant to survive their alcohol use disorder.
Benefits of Not Drinking Alcohol
When you choose to abstain from alcohol, you’ll start to see benefits very quickly. Your body will filter out the remaining toxins from your last drink and get to work on healing itself. Of course, everyone’s healing journey is different. People who are heavy drinkers may experience stressful or even dangerous withdrawal symptoms, and many need professional help to detox safely.
A good rule of thumb is to start by drinking less. Even drinking one fewer drink a week is a step in the right direction. If you find this difficult, you’ll know it’s time to seek professional help and a support group. It can be difficult to near impossible to break an addiction on your own. You have a higher chance of success if you enlist the help of other people early on in the process.
How to Heal Your Body From Alcohol
The first and most important step to reverse the effects of alcohol is to achieve sobriety. This means you are completely free from alcohol use in day-to-day life. When you eliminate alcohol from your diet, your brain and body have a chance to heal itself. The longer you avoid drinking, the healthier your body will become.
There are several other impactful steps you can take to recover after an alcohol dependency. Eating healthy food and improving your nutrition gives your body the building blocks it needs to regenerate cells and heal. You can also consider detox programs and working with a medical professional to help you make progress as quickly as possible.
Working out has incredible benefits for your body and can help balance your hormones and improve brain health. It releases dopamine in the brain that boosts your mood in a natural, healthy way. Over the long term, exercise improves blood flow and positively affects every system in your body — the opposite effect of drinking too much alcohol! Every time you exercise, you invest in your body and its healing journey.
2. Positive Choices
Pursuing hobbies is one way to regain joy and interest in your life. Other ways to improve your mental health include finding a community of people who share similar interests, listening to calming music, spending time in nature and engaging in genuine laughter. Every positive choice you make adds up — eventually, you may find you don’t crave alcohol anymore.
If you decide you want to change, it’s possible to completely turn your life around.
Investing in your physical body with special treatments can also help you heal. Joining a professional rehab facility can give you the support you need when you first start out. Completing a 30-day treatment program can make a major difference, especially at the beginning of your journey. Some people partake in additional treatments like NAD+ IVs, which can help support your body during detox.
Many people drink too much because they struggle with relationships, finances or other personal stressors. Alcohol may feel like an easy way to numb, especially if you deal with chronic anxiety, depression or loneliness. However, as long as you’re drinking too much, you’ll never be able to heal the underlying cause that drives this self-destructive behavior.
Reverse Alcohol Damage With Professional Support
Sobriety is never easy, but it is possible. You can achieve freedom from alcohol dependence if you’re willing to make changes, ask for help and take one step forward at a time. You can reverse many of alcohol’s effects if you change your lifestyle.
It will take longer to heal if you don’t commit to the process fully. Reaching out for professional help is one of the best ways to ensure you reach sobriety and develop habits that can keep you there. You don’t have to heal from your addiction alone — you are much stronger with a community behind you.
During withdrawal, it can be especially important to work with medical professionals. You may have to navigate mild to extreme withdrawal symptoms, which could stop you from completing the recovery process. Learning more about the connection between your body and mind can help you create and practice healthier habits moving forward.
There’s nothing like healthy relationships to help you heal. When you encounter compassion, kindness and warmth from others at your lowest point, you’ll find the strength you need to change your life and become someone you can be truly proud of. Rehab and support groups can help you and your family navigate the strain of healing from an addiction to alcohol — and its underlying cause.
Are you ready to heal? Reach out to the Sanctuary at Sedona and take the first step toward a healthy future today. With our holistic approach, you can heal and even reverse the negative effects of alcohol on your body. Sanctuary at Sedona offers a multifaceted approach to help you heal quickly — one that includes exercise, community, nutrition support and counseling.
Find freedom from alcohol so you can recover your sense of identity. There is joy on the other side of addiction if you are willing to walk through sobriety and healing first. Don’t wait to start this journey — the sooner you receive treatment, the less damage your body will have to work through, and the faster you can begin living a life you’re proud of. Contact us today to learn more!