Saying and doing dumb things, crashing your vehicle into a ditch (or worse), DUI, terrible Tweets, uncomfortable dancing movements, hangovers.
Those are only a few of the usual nasty side effects of consuming alcohol of which you’re aware, maybe even from personal experience. We may go on: weight increase, drug misuse, belly fat, etc. But research points to numerous others that may surprise you.
1. Beer Goggles
Beer goggles are a genuine phenomenon, the study indicates. Psychologists from England’s Edge Hill University claim in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors that a few drinks do make your fellow bar-goers more desirable to you. The researchers visited nearby pubs and invited 129 heterosexual customers, men, and women, both sober and moderately inebriated, to perform a computer-based exam. For this exercise, participants were taught to report whether the letter “T” was rendered properly or inverted while ignoring any distracting facial expressions that were exhibited. It was discovered that only attractive faces distracted the sober individuals, but inebriated people were equally distracted by beautiful and repulsive faces. The researchers determined that alcohol “dampens the attentional biases toward beautiful faces.” In other words, when the beers flow and the “beer goggles” are donned, individuals may begin to see a larger range of potential friends as acceptable.
2. Nocturnal Enuresis
It sounds scientific, but you’re likely already acquainted with nocturnal enuresis; it’s more frequently referred to as bedwetting. An overflowing bladder may act as a constant reminder to go potty, much like an annoying notification on your smartphone. You may, however, disregard your body’s “I must go” signals if you’ve had a lot to drink beforehand. Alcohol inhibits an antidiuretic hormone that urges your kidneys to save water thus when you drink, your body creates more pee. According to the National Continence Association, alcohol also irritates the bladder. Say you drank a rum and Coke; both alcohol and caffeine are known to induce the detrusor muscle in the bladder to contract, causing you to pee even before your bladder is full. The ultimate effect may be wet pajamas if your alcohol-induced “coma” is greater than your urge to get up and go to the restroom.
3. Hives, Sneezing, Stuffy Nose
While you might be allergic to beer, most individuals merely have a sensitivity to some of the components in it. “The most frequent responses to beer are to varieties of grains, modified grain proteins hop, yeast, mold or barleys,” says Cleveland Clinic physician Mark Rood, MD, in Health Essentials. “Additives such as sulfites, sodium benzoate, or tartrazine, which are included in certain beers, may potentially cause sensitivities.”
Allergy and asthma symptoms may be triggered by a variety of other substances, such as sulfites, histamines, yeast, tannins, and egg whites (which are occasionally used as a filtering agent). In a poll in the German journal Deutsches Arzteblatt International, 8.9 percent of women and 5.2 percent of men experienced intolerance and/or allergy-like symptoms after drinking wine. The most frequent symptoms were flushing, itching, and nasal congestion.
4. Beer Potomania
This is a dangerous condition brought on by heavy consumption of alcohol, especially beer, five or more cans per day, and a bad diet. According to case reports published in the open-access medical journal Cureus, this particular kind of hyponatremia occurs when the sodium content in the blood is excessively low. Water balance in and around cells is regulated in part thanks to sodium, an electrolyte that is essential to human health. Patients with a history of alcoholism who are in the hospital typically have extremely low levels of this nutrient. Confusion, exhaustion, headache, nausea, and muscular weakness are all signs of “Beer Potomania.”
5. Disrupted deep sleep
A glass of fine cognac before bed may seem like a nice idea, and it certainly will be, but you’ll suffer for it in the early hours. Alcohol, even just one drink late at night, may impair deep sleep, the most regenerative state that occurs in the last stage of non-REM sleep. A large Finnish study of more than 4,000 people published in JMIR Mental Health found that moderate alcohol consumption (two drinks per day for men and one for women) decreased sleep quality by 24 percent while men and women who drank heavily (more than two a day for men and more than one for women) experienced poorer sleep quality by 39.2 percent. Alcohol is a short-acting sedative, meaning 2 to 3 hours after blood alcohol concentrations fall close to zero, a rebound begins, and alertness is triggered. Having a few drinks late at night will disturb your deep sleep since it takes the body around an hour to break down one glass of wine or booze. The takeaway: cease consuming alcohol at least 4 hours before night, says a 2009 review of research in Substance Abuse. For additional advice on obtaining a better night of sleep, check out 7 Healthy Diet Changes That Help You Sleep.
6. A red nose
Some people’s rosacea is made worse by alcohol’s ability to widen blood vessels in the face and, in particular, the nose. However, the larger, bulbous rosacea subtype known as “alcoholic’s red nose” is not caused by excessive alcohol use. Even teetotalers may develop rosacea, notes the National Rosacea Society. But many rosacea patients remark that alcohol, red wine, in particular, exacerbates flare-ups. Red wine includes histamine-like chemicals called tyramine, a recognized vasodilator. In a study of 700 patients by the National Rosacea Society, 76 percent experienced skin responses after consuming red wine. Of those polled, 41% had their noses all red with beer, with 21% getting theirs all red from Scotch. At least some good can come of red wine.
7. Reduced shivering
Taking a sip of brandy from a flask while skiing may warm your icy mountain soul, but it doesn’t stay long. Alcohol acts as a vasodilator, increasing the flow of blood through the capillaries in your skin. You’ll feel warm, but your body temperature may really be dropping. If you don’t understand how chilly you are feeling, it might be deadly. In addition, consuming alcohol might diminish your body’s capacity to shiver, its naturally warming reaction to cold conditions, according to research by the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine published in the Journal of Wilderness Medicine.
Alcohol may be regarded as a poison, and it can induce a range of changes to your digestive system that may lead to a rush to the next bathroom. Here’s how: Alcohol is inflammatory, according to a study published in the journal Addiction Biology. This indicates that alcohol consumption promotes digestive tract inflammation and interferes with the large intestine’s natural water-pulling function, resulting in watery stools. Both binge drinkers and chronic alcoholics may get diarrhea if their digestion is sped up too quickly and if their healthy gut flora is killed by alcohol.