Here’s What Happens To Your Body After You Quit Booze For 28 Days
Life can be stressful. It’s important to remember to not be caught up in the hustle bustle of your everyday life and to find time to relax and unwind every now and then. For some folks, this means going for walks or working out at the gym. For others, it means laying down and binging their favorite Netflix series. Either is acceptable, as stress can do some seriously terrible things to your body and health, so it’s important to manage it.
However, it’s also important to be careful to not overindulge in those things that help you relax. We know, it’s terrible how life is just one big complicated balancing act. Relaxing and having fun can become addictive, and anything done in excess can be as or even more dangerous to your health than stress. Especially when certain substances are involved, such as alcohol, which we all know can do a number on you. But what happens when you quit? Let’s find out…
We’re not here to trash alcohol entirely. When imbibed responsibly, it can lead to some pretty great times.
Occasional enjoyment of spirits can certainly lead to fun and improve your mood, especially at parties. We’ve all been there, so we’re not gonna judge.
However, we all know the dangers of drinking too much. It impairs your senses and decision making, and you should never drive while intoxicated. But beyond in the moment dangers of alcohol, it can do a number on your body over time…
Risks Vs. Benefits
Here’s a before and after picture of a couple that drank heavily and then quit. As you can see, it improved their lives.
The findings of a 2018 research conducted by the Royal Free Hospital released in the British Medical Journal showed that quitting alcohol for a month can do wonders for you.
It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, leads to weight loss, improves sleep, lowers risk of disease, decreases blood protein levels (cancer protection) and best of all: saves you a ton of cash.
So what exactly does excess alcohol do to you? You’ve likely heard that too much drinking can cause liver problems.
That’s no myth, and what it actually does is pretty darn nasty. Your liver filters bad stuff that goes into your body, but it can only do so much.
The liver is seriously damaged by alcohol use, and it can become inflamed, leading to scarring and cirrhosis, as well as alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver disease or liver cancer. As crucial as your liver is to your health, damage to this degree is catastrophic.
Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to some serious issues with your digestive system.
And we’re not just talking about the type of indigestion you get after eating half the Taco Bell dollar menu at 2 A.M., although that ain’t great for you either.
Excessive alcohol use can inflame the lining of the stomach, causing indigestion or nausea, as well as an increased risk of ulcers, chronic heartburn and gastritis. And issues like that last way longer than your hangover.
Everyone knows that you’re not supposed to drink when you’re pregnant because anything you consume, your unborn child is also getting.
But what are the risks? Premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth or having a child with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) just to name a few.
And too much alcohol can cause reproductive problems before you even get pregnant, and it affects men, too. These issues range from erectile dysfunction to irregular menstruation and even infertility. And don’t think that excessive alcohol is a great birth control, because it leads to other problems…
Before And After
Here’s another before and after quitting alcohol picture to show you just how big of a change it can make in your life.
Seeing these photos side by side is a powerful way to show just how much damage you do to yourself when you’re overusing the substance.
Oh, and by the way, all those nasty issues we mentioned? That was only the start of it. Because alcohol abuse can lead to even worse things in your body, as you’ll soon see…
You know how if you haven’t gotten enough sleep over the course of a couple of days you feel completely run down?
In this state, you’re much more likely to get sick. Guess what? When you abuse alcohol, you’re in this state constantly.
Alcohol lowers the natural defenses in the immune system and makes you prone to contagious diseases, including pneumonia or tuberculosis. Even extra vitamin C won’t help, so don’t think you’re slick by just switching to mimosas and screwdrivers.
Quick quiz: do you know what your pancreas does? You don’t have to Google it, we’ll just tell you.
Odds are, unless you’re a doctor or a med school student, you didn’t know offhand, but knew that it was important.
Your pancreas produces the insulin and secretes it into the bloodstream, where it regulates the body’s glucose or sugar level. It also helps break down food that has left the stomach. Oh yeah, and alcohol causes abnormal activation of stomach enzymes, which can inflame the pancreas and cause pancreatitis. Ouch.
Drinking too much can lead to overall health issues, because it throws your whole circulatory system out of whack.
It can cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, breathing difficulty and trouble pumping blood through the body. As you’d imagine, these issues could leave you completely incapacitated.
And it gets worse. It can even lead to death via blood clots, stroke, cardiomyopathy, heart attack and other heart diseases. So if you thought drunk driving was the only way to be a fatal statistic of this substance, think again.
Central Nervous System
Okay, by now you’re starting to get the idea of just how bad too much alcohol can be for you.
Unfortunately, we’re still not done. Besides your physical health, abuse of drinking can also cause harm to your mental well-being.
The brain and central nervous system are deeply affected by alcohol consumption. But you already know that because, well… it gets you drunk. But it can do much, much worse, such as causing dementia-like symptoms, memory loss, blacking out and depression.
As you’d imagine, there are numerous benefits to not drinking alcohol, and they were documented in detail.
A group of volunteers gave up drinking alcohol for 28 days and showed off the effects of their experiment. First of all, their physical appearance changed.
As you can see, not drinking can do wonders for your skin. Again, we’re not saying you should quit drinking altogether unless you have a problem. That said, what exactly happens when you give up alcohol altogether?
According to one recent study, an average income earner drinks nine and a half liters of alcohol annually.
And this is just at home. This number increases drastically in the case of people who drink casually, like when they go out with friends or after a stressful day at work (aka, most days).
We know how the problem begins. But what happens when it ends? Let’s look and see what happens to you week by week when you give up regularly imbibing booze.
Quitting can be hard, and at first it might even feel like the less healthy option because of what happens to you.
At first, you will feel an increase in appetite and sugar cravings. When drinking, many people feel the need for a lot of food, especially late at night.
If you don’t drink, your appetite will increase initially, and you’ll get sugar cravings, but it’ll change after a month. Also, the volunteers had a drop in their blood sugar levels, slept poorly and experienced headaches.
However, this first week is generally the most difficult, but things improve drastically if you can make it to week two.
Here, you will experience better sleep and overall health. The volunteers noticed their sleep improved, they looked healthier and the dark circles around the eyes disappeared.
Their sense of taste and smell also improved, as well as the function of the urinary tract. The lower saliva production also strengthened tooth enamel and lowered their risk of cavities.
Okay, so week two was pretty good. Week three was even better, so if you’re just starting to quit, stick with it!
After 21 days you will experience even more improvement in your overall health. Here’s exactly what’s going on with your body at this time:
The human liver recovers within three weeks, so the skin complexion of the volunteers improved. And that’s not all. Their wrinkles disappeared because their circulation was improved, and their digestion improved as well.
If you make it a month without drinking, congratulations! You should feel great about yourself!
And you will, physically and emotionally as well, because 28 days is when you reach lower risk of cardiovascular disease, higher confidence in yourself and a better overall mental state.
During the last week, some of the volunteers lost six to eight pounds, their risk of fatal diseases and conditions were reduced and their high blood pressure was lowered. Also, their brain started working more efficiently.
Break The Habit
We understand that quitting is much easier said than done, so let all this knowledge be inspiration and motivation.
It’s all about creating new habits. How long does that take? According to experts at alcoholchange.org, it takes three weeks to break a habit.
If you need help, there are countless resources out there, and never be too proud to reach out to friends and family for support. It may be difficult, but once you start experiencing all these benefits, you’ll never want to go back.