Alcohol is one of the go-to drinks for relaxation and stress relief. These, coupled with its allure as a mood enhancer and socializing elixir, make most men find it irresistible.
But beyond the feeling it provides, it can have a string of unattractive effects on men’s health. This guide sheds light on the true impact of alcohol on the body, as well as the hidden dangers that every man should be aware of.
- How Alcohol Can Affect the Male Body?
- The Impact of Alcohol on Mental Health
- Risks of Accidents and Injuries
- Men’s Health Problems Associated with Drinking Alcohol
- When to Ask for Help?
- Resume: Excessive Alcohol Use is a Risk to Men’s Health
How Alcohol Can Affect the Male Body?
In order to get a grasp of how alcohol affects the male body, it is important to understand what happens after drinking it.
Contrary to what you may think, alcohol does not get digested; instead, it moves quickly from the mouth into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to all the parts of your body, including your brain, kidney, liver, lungs, and heart.
The liver breaks down alcohol. On average, it breaks down one unit of the drink within about an hour.
While this is completely normal, when taken in excess amounts, alcohol can overwhelm it and ultimately lead to damage over time.
It is worth noting that factors such as your weight, age, gender, and metabolism can influence the time the liver needs to break down alcohol .
Alcohol can interfere with processes necessary for optimal male health, including testosterone levels and hormone regulation, among others.
This can lead to a wide range of health problems, such as high blood pressure, liver disease, and cancer . Below is more information on the health problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
The Impact of Alcohol on Mental Health
The impact of alcohol on men’s health goes beyond physical implications; it could also affect their mental well-being. In fact, it makes its first stop at the brain, right after it enters the bloodstream.
While many turn to it to help cope with stress, anxiety, or downtime, it can be counterproductive.
It could also increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, including mood disorders. This is not to mention the fact that it can be addictive.
Research suggests that men who consume alcohol excessively may face a higher risk of experiencing depressive disorders .
If you’re worried about the impact your use of alcohol may be having on your mental health, you should consider abstaining from it. Doing that could improve your mental health and overall well-being.
Risks of Accidents and Injuries
People who take alcohol excessively are typically more prone to accidents and injuries. This is because the drink may cause confusion and a temporal decline in cognitive function and motor skills.
What’s more, alcohol reduces inhibitions, making people who drink too much more likely to do things they wouldn’t normally do with a clear head.
While this may not seem like a serious issue, it is true, especially for men, as they are more likely to engage in risky behavior when drunk.
This includes high-risk sexual behavior and criminal & violent acts. Alcohol can lead to increased aggressiveness and a higher risk of self-harm or physically assaulting another person .
Accidents associated with drunk driving are a major concern for men who engage in excessive alcohol consumption.
Statistics show that about 37 people die in drunk-driving crashes in the US every day and that males account for 80% of all drunk-driving fatalities .
Men’s Health Problems Associated with Drinking Alcohol
Earlier in this guide, a couple of alcohol-related problems have been covered. Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of those concerns and what they could mean for a man living with them.
Taking alcohol excessively over some time could lead to liver diseases such as hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis.
These problems could affect the liver’s proper function, ultimately influencing your overall health and well-being.
Excessive alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure and cause palpitations and cardiomyopathy.
Frequent rises in blood pressure can put a lot of strain on the muscle of the heart that can ultimately lead to cardiovascular diseases. This can also increase the risk of a stroke and a heart attack occurring .
Low Testosterone (Low-T) and Other Reproductive Problems
Heavy alcohol consumption can lower the blood levels of testosterone. This sex hormone plays an important role in the regulation of sex drive (libido), production of sperm, and distribution of fat.
Besides libido, low testosterone levels can also affect fertility and overall reproductive health in men.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt the normal flow of blood around the body, including to the penis. This can make it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection long enough for optimal sexual function.
Fortunately, certain oral medications, such as Viagra and Cialis, can help improve the condition and ultimately enhance sexual performance in men.
It is worth noting that the effectiveness of such meds greatly lies in using them correctly.
For example, you should know that practices such as combining Red Bull and Viagra or other ED meds could reduce their effectiveness and even increase the risk of adverse effects. It is advisable to consult a doctor for guidance before starting treatment with any medication.
When to Ask for Help?
While alcohol intake is not bad altogether, it is important to know when to seek professional help. The first step to knowing when to ask for help is to learn to recognize the signs of alcohol misuse.
One of the very first signs to have at the back of your mind is increased tolerance. If you realize that you now need to consume larger amounts than you previously needed to achieve the desired effects, it could be time to consult a healthcare professional.
Another sign to watch out for is withdrawal symptoms. If you start sweating or experiencing nausea, tremors, or anxiety whenever you attempt to reduce your alcohol consumption, it could be a sign that you’re addicted to alcohol.
And if that turns out to be the case, you should see a doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible.
What’s more, if you find yourself going back to alcohol even when it’s clearly affecting your health, work, and relationships, it may mean it’s time to seek help.
While experiencing one or more of these signs may not necessarily mean you’re abusing alcohol, experiencing all 3 of them or more signs could be cause for concern.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it, as it is the right step towards improving your overall health and well-being.
Resume: Excessive Alcohol Use is a Risk to Men’s Health
The effect of alcohol on men’s health in itself is not really bad. However, consuming it excessively can have detrimental effects.
It can cause health risks ranging from mental health problems to liver damage and sexual concerns like low testosterone levels and ED.
It may also cause heart disease and certain reproductive problems. Being able to identify all the risks associated with excessive alcohol use and knowing when to seek help are some steps that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It is important to check with your doctor before getting into alcohol use. They can help you determine whether you need to cut back your intake or abstain from it altogether.
- What Happens When You Drink Alcohol? Retrieved: July 20, 2023. Nidirect.gov.uk
- How Does Alcohol Affect Men? Retrieved: July 20, 2023. Drinkaware.co.uk.
- Alcohol and Depression: The Link Between Alcoholism and Depression. By Stacy Mosel, L.M.S.W. Medically reviewed by Ryan Kelley, NREMT. Retrieved: July 20, 2023. Americanaddictioncenters.org.
- High-Risk Behavior in Patients with Alcohol Dependence. By Anupama Korlakunta and C. M. Pavankumar Reddy. Retrieved: July 20, 2023. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
- Excessive Alcohol Use and Men’s Health. Retrieved: July 20, 2023. Cdc.gov.
- Drunk Driving Statistics. By Elizabeth Rivelli. Edited by Maggie Kempken. Retrieved: July 20, 2023. Bankrate.com.
- Drunk Driving | Statics and Resources | NHTSA. Retrieved: July 20, 2023. Nhtsa.gov.
- Alcohol and Your Heart – Your Questions Answered – BHF. Retrieved: July 20, 2023. Bhf.org.uk.
Jean Smith is a fitness enthusiast and blogger who focuses on fitness and a healthy lifestyle. She is passionate about assisting people in living healthier lifestyles and is constantly on the lookout for new and creative methods to stay fit and healthy. Her articles are excellent resources for anyone interested in improving their health and fitness.