Dec 14, 2018

Alcohol and Ailments

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“Ask The Experts” is written and provided by Scholarship Media. It does not reflect the views of The Collegian or its advertisers.

I haven’t felt like myself lately. For the past few months, I’ve been feeling lethargic and kind of sick. I don’t necessarily feel sick to my stomach, but I’m having some gastrointestinal issues, and I get headaches sometimes–usually after a night of drinking. To me, it’s no mystery why I’m feeling this way: it’s because I’ve started drinking regularly for the first time in my life.


My friends say I’m nuts, though–they drink more than me and insist that it’s not affected their bodies in the same way. They say it’s the way I eat (which, I admit, is not well) that’s giving me stomach issues, not the beer. Who is right?


From the information that you’ve provided, it’s impossible to say whether your stomach issues and other symptoms are the result of your drinking, your diet, or some other undiagnosed issue. However, we can tell you this: everything you’ve described can be caused by drinking, despite what your friends say.


Alcohol is a part of our culture, and it’s possible to drink in a healthy way. The retailers at Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor Outlet of Lawrenceville, New Jersey sell everything from hard liquor to beer, and everything they sell can be part of a healthy lifestyle–but it’s also worth noting that the diverse array of alcohols available to us can have different effects. For instance, red wine has more of a thing called congeners, which is why it’s scientifically proven to cause worse hangovers (really!).


As for beer, it has a lower alcohol content than wine or liquor–which means that you ingest more liquid per drink. Combine that with alcohol’s dehydrating effects, which can inhibit reuptake of liquid from your intestines, and–well, you get the picture.


That’s not all that alcohol can do, say providers at Richmond University Medical Center’s Staten Island immediate care center. Heavy and regular drinking can mess with everything from your heart to your attention span. (And all of this is to say nothing of the immediate effects: alcohol is involved in so many accidents, overdoses, and crimes that it ranks as the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States. If your drinking takes the form of binge drinking, you need to rethink it immediately).


Your diet could absolutely play a role here. Greasy, fatty foods aren’t great for the digestive system. It’s easy to feel tired and sick when you’re not eating a nutritious diet. But consider as well that your drinking habits may be helping to fuel your poor eating habits: you may find yourself indulging in empty calories at (or after) the bar, and the greasy breakfast that helps your hangover is certainly not helping your waistline.


So by all means, push back against your friends’ false statements and cut back on your drinking. You may find that it helps your health. If your symptoms continue, however, you should see a doctor–in fact, that may not be a bad idea regardless. With more detailed information on your diet and drinking habits, a doctor could give you the insights you need to feel healthier and more energized.


“It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

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