5 Reasons Why You Should Limit Your Drinking This St. Patrick’s Day

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One of the biggest excuses to tie one (or five) on is right around the corner. St. Patrick’s Day has a long tradition of inspiring people all over the world to drink copious amounts of alcohol. And while many a good time is had, and many a good legend created, the truth is, the more alcohol a man drinks, the more he negatively impacts his biology.

Here are 5 reasons you may want to sit this St. Patrick’s Day out.

  1. Excess Alcohol Changes Your DNA

What is binge drinking? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking refers to having more than four or five drinks in a two-hour setting. Well that pretty much describes most 21-40-year-old’s St. Patrick’s Day.

When you partake in binge drinking, you can ACTUALLY change your genetic makeup, according to a study, published in December 2018 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. This DNA change results in your body craving more alcohol, and the vicious cycle begins.

  1. An Increased Risk of Developing Cancer

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) cites several studies, such as one published in August 2012 in the journal Annals of Oncology, that have shown consuming alcohol increases your risk of developing a range of cancers, including cancer of the throat, mouth and breast. Yes, men get breast cancer, too! And in men that are heavy drinkers, this risk skyrockets.

  1. You Change Your Gut Microbiome – And NOT for the Better!

Right now, as you read this, there are TRILLIONS of microorganisms – mostly “good” bacteria – living in your digestive tract. These organisms do things like digest your food and help your body produce vitamins.

Alcohol interferes with your gut’s delicate microbiome according to a study published in 2015 in the journal Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. It turns out alcohol can cause bacterial overgrowth (of the “bad” kind), which ultimately leads to gut problems like stomach pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and even skin issues like rosacea.

  1. Negatively Impacts Your Brain’s Structure

Not only does binge drinking lead to temporary memory loss in the form of blackouts, but consistent alcohol consumption can lead to long-term problems with brain function. Heavy drinkers in particular are at risk for changing their brain’s “hard wiring,” which can eventually lead to overall cognitive problems. Research has also shown heavy alcohol consumption can erode brain tissue and raise a man’s risk of stroke.

  1. Leads to Erectile Dysfunction

You may have had a night of partying and found that you had a hard time, well… getting hard. Studies have shown that too much alcohol affects your brain and your penis. This is because alcohol can reduce blood flow, and it’s blood flow that helps you gain and maintain an erection. Alcohol reduces the intensity of your orgasm as well, so even if you were able to have sex, it would not be as pleasurable.

But it’s not just short-term erectile dysfunction (ED) that you need to worry about. The risk for long-term erectile dysfunction has been linked to chronic heavy use of alcohol. In fact, studies have shown that men who have formed a dependency on alcohol have a whopping 60-70% chance of suffering from sexual issues including ED, premature ejaculation and loss of libido.

And to think, all of these health issues can start just by binge drinking ONCE, because remember, that changes your DNA and gets you to want more and more alcohol, and before you know it, you have a problem.

The moral of the story is, this St. Patrick’s Day, go ahead and have some fun, but use your head. Limit your alcohol consumption to one pint of Guinness instead of 6.

 

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