Alcohol & the Brain
Are you someone who enjoys a cold beer at a baseball game, a glass of wine with dinner, or a cocktail at a work event? Recent statistics say that 55% of adults report drinking each month. While the occasional adult beverage is not a risk to your health, moderate to heavy drinking does come with health implications.
You’ve maybe heard that alcohol is a depressant. This means that with consumption of alcohol, the brain slows down its activity and function. At low levels of intoxication (1-3 drinks), neurotransmitters responsible for communication in the brain act to create a state of relaxation in our body, slowing our reaction time and causing us to feel a sense of calmness. At the same time, the brain also releases dopamine, our body’s “happy hormone”. This is why you may feel increased pleasure in the early stages of drinking that some refer to as “tipsy”.
As alcohol consumption continues to the stage of legally intoxicated (0.08 blood alcohol content and above), the brain becomes further affected. At this level of intoxication, vision disturbances (occipital lobe), slurred speech (temporal lobe), poor body control (frontal lobe) and coordination deficits (cerebellum) are likely. When the blood alcohol level surpasses 0.18, the hippocampus becomes affected and can result in loss of short-term memory, also known as blackouts.
While the effects of alcohol can be harmful, the good news is that our brains and bodies are resilient and can recover. It’s also a good reminder that when you do choose to have the occasional drink, to indulge in moderation.
At Chiropractic Health & Wellness we use chiropractic care, good nutrition, and supplements when needed to help keep your body prepared to recover faster. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation!