Moderate alcohol use (taking one drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men) is less likely to hurt your health. It is heavy drinking (taking 4 drinks a day or more a day for men and 3 drinks or more a day for women) that is likely to cause health problems. Heavy drinking can lead to liver damage, heart disease, and digestive problems.
What Are the Symptoms of These Issues?
Tell-tale signs of liver damage include dark urine, extreme tiredness, abdominal pain, nausea, jaundice and swollen legs and ankles.
Symptoms of heart disease include neck pain, tiredness, numb or painful legs or arms, shortness of breath, persistent cough and an abnormal heart rhythm.
If you have an unhealthy digestive system, you might experience bloating, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, bleeding and heartburn.
Why Does Alcohol Have This Effect?
Drinking large amounts of alcohol too fast can damage your liver cells. Over time, this can lead to liver cirrhosis and fatty liver disease.
Heavy alcohol use causes platelet activation, which leads to blood clots. Blood clots narrow or block arteries, causing a spike in your blood pressure. When your blood pressure is high, the chances of heart disease and stroke increase.