Substance abuse

The Metabolism of Alcohol

What Is A Metabolism

Alcohol addiction is serious. Dependency on alcohol is common in people who drink it regularly or binge on it.

Heavily drinking can cause a lot of health problems. It can harm your liver, heart, and even start other issues. Diabetes and cancer can both be caused by drinking heavily.

Everyone’s body metabolizes alcohol differently. That’s why some people get drunk faster or have a higher chance of becoming addicted. Metabolizing is the bodies way of breaking down alcohol and removing it from the bloodstream.

A person’s body can only manage so much alcohol to metabolize at once. When there’s too much alcohol blood concentration raises. That means a person is drunker and for a longer amount of time. This is because the body can’t process it fast enough.

How Does It Effect You

The body metabolizes alcohol because it sees it as a toxin and wants to be rid of it.

Alcohol goes right to the stomach to be absorbed into your blood. There’s nowhere else for it to go. We have enzymes that do all the hard work for us. They break down those nasty harmful chemicals in what we call “metabolizing”.

The two enzymes are Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). They are liver enzymes. That is because the liver is what processes the alcohol. Heavy drinking can take its toll on your liver over time. This is why liver cirrhosis is so common for alcoholics.

What Damage Can It Do?

A liver is only meant to process so much. Alcohol can severely irritate it and cause damage to it. If it can’t metabolize and process toxins, your body is in danger because there are natural toxins that have to be processed.

The ADH enzyme turns the alcohol into acetaldehyde, and that is what damages your liver. It leaves carcinogens in your body, and those cause cancer as well.

Also, alcohol isn’t always processed out. Sometimes the body takes in small amounts. Over time these amounts build up. They can form into compounds that can really hurt you and your organs. This specifically can harm your pancreas and liver. Yes, your liver really takes some damage from metabolizing alcohol.

How Can They Test Your BAC?

Blood and alcohol concentration is often tested by breathing into a breathalyzer or having urine tested. This is because not all alcohol leaves your system. That’s the whole problem with alcohol. It builds up.

You can be tested to see how drunk you are and you can be tested to see if you’ve drunk in the last six months. Technology is amazing.

Remember the acetaldehyde that’s formed and how it can hurt your liver? This is because the liver is where the party is at. The liver’s job is to take care of you, and that means keeping alcohol from poisoning you.

The body’s metabolism is one of those magical processes we rely on upon without thinking about. That shouldn’t be the case, because we need to look out for our bodies and not overdo it.

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