Alcohol and your body
By Kirby Edwards
You may have heard us speak of inflammation. Inflammation is when your body activates the immune system. It sends out inflammatory cells which are helpful in fighting against things that harm you. These can include bacteria, viruses, toxins (such as alcohol), fungi or damaged tissue from trauma. When your body sends out inflammatory cells when you are not sick or injured, you may have chronic inflammation. I like to think about the immune system in a very simplistic way, a fire fighter. Sometimes the body has lots of little fires (inflammation) and as a result of trying to fight lots of little fires, it cannot put any of them out entirely. Its overworked and spread too thin. We may need to make some modifications to give it a fighting chance.
Alcohol is just one of the things that can contribute to excessive inflammation. The body is incredibly resilient (I mean think about what we put it through and put into it daily and it still functions – amazing!) So, if you are constantly struggling with inflammation, perhaps removing/decreasing alcohol is the one thing that we have not noticed or removed. Removing the booze for a while or cutting back has some significant health benefits: it improves sleep, can result in weight loss, improve energy levels, lessen anxiety, better hydration (and skin often improves here too), save money, improve cognition, stomach may feel better/decrease nausea and reflux, your liver will be healthier. Some of us have never taken any time off the booze, it has just always been there in the background, either as 1-2 per day or just on the weekend.
Your liver has so many amazing functions, some of which you may know, including processing alcohol and other poisons. What you may not know is that it also helps the body to remove contaminants, regulate hormones, helps filter the blood and has an impact on blood pressure, helps with digestion by producing proteins, enzymes and bile, stores minerals and vitamins and assists the immune system, just to name a few of over 500 functions.
So, by removing alcohol, it gives your liver one less job (minimum) to do and allows it to get back to all its other jobs, including assisting the body to decrease inflammation, not to mention saving money!
So, what’s the connection to Osteopathy and Alcohol?
Well, as you know, Osteopathy looks at the body as a whole and what you put into your body is something that can really affect you. Aside from taking a break from the booze, we do suggest that you do not drink for 24-48 hours after a treatment. The treatment keeps tinkering away for following 24-48 hours after we see you and at this time, we encourage you to nourish your body, including drink lots of water, eat well and get some good sleep.
For those of us considering taking a break from the booze. Here are some resources:
A few Sobriety books or “Quit lit” :
A few websites/instagram to check out:
A list of places you can go and join ‘challenges’ or experiment:
A list of podcasts:
There is also:
So there is some resources, with July right around the corner, why not give Dry July a try?
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