Alcohol consumption may increase, but experts warn that it is harmful to human health in any quantity.
While most people are aware that alcohol consumption is detrimental to health, the truth is that there is a significant increase in annual alcohol consumption. Drinking at gatherings, formal parties and weekend gatherings has become so routine that one rarely doubts whether this publicly accepted practice is detrimental to health. According to a study published in The Lancet magazine, annual alcohol intake in India has increased by 38% from 2010 to 2017 from 4.3 liters per adult per year to 5.9 liters per adult per year. The study also indicates that there is a worldwide increase in alcohol consumption by 70% annually from 1
Most people in urban India find that a few drinks a week or over the weekend can not do much harm, But ask the doctors and you will be surprised to find that there is no safe limit for alcohol consumption. "No amount of alcohol is safe. Any amount can have an impact on health and affect the liver, "says Dr. Mahesh Gopasetti, senior consultant for hepatocellular biliary and liver transplantation, Fortis Hospitals. Is there a standard accepted by the medical community for how much alcohol is harmful? "Can there be a standard for how much poison you want to take?" Asks Dr Dheeraj Karanth C, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Vikram Hospital, Bengaluru.
Alcohol is harmful to health and there is no organ in the body that is unaffected by alcohol use, says Dr. Dharmesh Kapoor, Senior Consultant, Hepatology, Glenagles Global Hospitals, Hyderabad. "Everyone knows that alcohol affects the liver. There is a spectrum of liver conditions that it can cause. This can cause Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (AFLD), Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (ASH), Alcoholic Cirrhosis, in which the liver is a scar and may be irreversible and ultimately liver failure or end-stage liver disease requiring transplants he. "About 20 to 30 percent of liver transplant cases are alcohol as a primary cause."
Alcohol affects most other organs of the body. "It can cause alcohol pancreatitis, alcoholic neuropathy, nephropathy, CNS damage affecting neurocognitive function, affect the heart causing cardiomyopathy, and also affect insulin producing cells," says Dr. Kapoor. Alcohol use is also a disadvantage, especially when not taken with food. "It can also cause infectious disease, neuropsychiatric disorder, cancer, cirrhosis, pancreatitis and intentional and unintentional injuries," adds Dr. Carrant.
"It can also cause sleep problems and psychological problems such as depression. Of course, there may also be social issues such as job loss, family problems due to increased consumption, ”says Dr. Shalini Joshi, Internal Medicine Consultant, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road. "And there is always the risk of addiction and even drug abuse, many times it goes."
Alcohol reacts differently across racial groups
A study published in BMJ found that light to Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of multiple cardiovascular outcomes. And many other studies have praised the health benefits of red wine. "But what we forget is that such surveys are for a different population. We are genetically programmed to eat cereals, not wine and cheese, as is the practice in Europe. Such studies cannot be extrapolated to Indians, ”says Dr. Joshi. "Alcohol reacts differently across racial groups. In Indians, it is metabolized differently than Europeans, ”she explains. "The genetic makeup of a person plays an important role in how alcohol affects him," adds Dr. Gopasetti. He believes that there are many factors that determine how alcohol affects a person and that is why different people are affected by different amounts of alcohol.
Why Drinking is Bad "Drinking alcohol causes a sharp rise in blood alcohol levels. It affects all the cells of the body, it has an effect on the heart, the brain, causing immediate effects such as dizziness and others, ”says Dr. Joshi. "Drinking alcohol is called dangerous alcohol consumption and it will affect your organs faster," added Dr. Kapoor.