What happens to the alcohol you drink? – Good advice by Dr Harold

What happens to the alcohol you drink? – Good advice by Dr Harold


It is festive season and almost everybody has fun and interacts socially with friends and alcohol seems to be the link for such festivities. Imagine going to a party and no alcohol to drink, and that would be the dullest and boring interaction, as well go for meditation.

Now what happens when you drink your first glass of Scotch? 20 percent of that Scotch gets absorbed from your stomach into your blood stream and the rest is absorbed through your small bowel.

From your blood, alcohol goes straight to your liver through the portal veins. It is then metabolised and processed through enzymes produced in the liver.

If you drink more alcohol quickly, your liver cannot process all that alcohol and tends to accumulates in your body, including your brain.
This accumulation of alcohol in your body waiting to be metabolized can make changes in your behaviour: cause reduced inhibitions and may react differently to your normal self and love ones. Your memory can be impaired when the alcohol gets into your brain. Your speech may be slurry and confused. You wouldn’t be able to add two and two due to the difficulty to concentrate. Due to gastric irritation, especially if you drink on an empty stomach, you may feel nauseas and vomit. Your balance will be impaired and walking will be unsteady.

Among the older people the alcohol remains longer in the liver, as the functions of the liver would be slower, especially those taking medication. So the alcohol will be processed slower in the older people, and the blood level may record a high rate than younger people when you are checked up by RBT.

Alcohol seems to stay in a woman’s body longer due to higher percentage of fat in women.

If you have food in your stomach absorption rate will be slower and the concentration in your blood and body will be lower. Unfortunately, it is customary among Sri Lankans to drink until you get an appetite and feel relaxed. In such a situation the blood level of alcohol may be high by the time you sit down for your meal.

If you are small made the effects of alcohol will be more, and may remain in your blood for a longer time. Larger framed individuals will be less affected. That does not mean that big made guys should drink more.

Certain medications can interact with alcohol and you should not mix the two… All antibiotics, antidepressants, diabetic medication and allergy medications are a few among many others.

Alcohol is eliminated at the rate of 0.015 per hour. For example if your reading is 0.08 when tested by RBT, which is over the legal limit, will take around 5.5 hours to metabolize in the body and get rid of it. According these finding having one drink per hour may not be within the normal limits of below 0.05 reading. You need to be careful driving your vehicle the day after the booze. The Breathalyzer testing can detect alcohol up to 24 hours after the last drink.

Those husbands who ’swives don’t drink and can drive, are at an advantage to have more than one drink at a party.

If you consume two drinks a day at home the liver can process comfortably for men and one drink a day for women.
Though a drink or two are recommended, it is better to have two drinks a week. In that situation, your risks of getting a fatty liver from alcohol is less and also you are at less risk of getting a heart attack and stroke, cancer, disease of the nervous system, including the brain, such as neuropathies, and dementia.

Furthermore your chances of meeting with road accidents will be very much less, especially all drivers keep off drinking alcohol during the week.

Conclusions: Be aware that over-indulge is fearsome, as far as alcohol is concerned. Take no risks.
(Some reference to article written by Nicole Galan for MNT)

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