Home » Changes in the body caused by drinking alcohol, especially for women?

Changes in the body caused by drinking alcohol, especially for women?

by archyde

WHO: Alcohol is a class 1 carcinogen

To prevent cirrhosis and liver cancer, hepatitis B vaccination and alcohol should be abstained. [사진=게티이미지]

According to statistics on the causes of death in 2021 released by the National Statistical Office on the 27th, the number of alcohol-related deaths, including alcoholic liver disease, was 4928, an average of 13.5 per day. The alcohol-related mortality rate was 9.6, 6.1 times higher in men (16.5) than in women (2.7). Learn about alcohol and health

◆ Not even 1 or 2 cups a day… WHO: Alcohol is a class 1 carcinogen

There are not many people who know that a little alcohol is good for health. However, alcohol, the main component of alcohol, is a class 1 carcinogen designated by the World Health Organization (WHO). Even small amounts of alcohol can cause cancer. It increases the risk of not only liver cancer, but also esophageal cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer. In 2016, the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare changed the national cancer prevention rule, which had been ‘drinking no more than 2 drinks a day’ to ‘avoid drinking even a small amount of one or two glasses of alcohol a day’. There is no ‘healthy’ or ‘safe’ amount to drink when it comes to cancer.

◆ What happens to your body when you drink alcohol? Why women are more at risk

Alcohol is bad for health because a toxic carcinogen called acetaldehyde is produced during the process of absorption and decomposition of alcohol in the body. Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde in the liver, which causes inflammation and tissue damage. If you drink alcohol every day, you can create persistent carcinogenic inflammation in the esophagus, mouth, and colon. Women, in particular, have higher blood levels of alcohol despite consuming less alcohol than men and do not metabolize alcohol as quickly as men. The sequelae are greater because alcohol remains in the body longer.

◆ If you drink too much… what happens to the liver

Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the main causes of cirrhosis of the liver. Acetaldehyde causes damage to the liver tissue, preventing the liver tissue from performing its original function properly. The liver cannot break down fatty acids, so fat builds up in the liver. Eventually, the liver becomes hardened and fibrosis progresses, increasing the risk of cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver can be caused not only by drinking alcohol, but also by chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C, obesity, and the use of liver toxic substances.

◆ Feeling tired all the time and discomfort in the stomach… What are the symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver?

In the early stages of cirrhosis, there are fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal discomfort. As it progresses, jaundice, spider hemangioma of the skin, erythema of the palms, and sexual dysfunction may appear. Once liver cirrhosis progresses, it is difficult to restore the original normal liver. Liver transplantation should be considered when life-threatening cirrhosis patients have a life expectancy of less than 1 year.

◆ Prevent the development of liver cancer… Liver health law?

Patients with cirrhosis are at high risk of developing liver cancer. Epigastric ultrasonography (abdominal computed tomography, if necessary) and alpha fetal protein (AFP) should be checked at least every 6 months. The cancer mortality rate was highest in the order of lung cancer (36.8 cases), liver cancer (20.0 cases), colorectal cancer (17.5 cases), stomach cancer (14.1 cases), and pancreatic cancer (13.5 cases). For people who drink heavily, coffee may help lower the risk of cirrhosis of the liver. Hepatitis B vaccination is also essential, and it is necessary to refrain from alcohol on a regular basis.

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