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Myths and truths about drinking

Myths and truths about drinking

Festivals, gatherings, the family? These and several other events have a common feature: they almost always involve alcohol. But drinking only on these occasions does not cause any health problems, right? Check out the myths and truths about alcohol consumption:

Only large amounts of alcohol cause hangover

Myth! A hangover occurs when the body becomes dehydrated due to the diuretic effect of alcoholic beverages. "The consequence is symptoms such as headache, nausea and fatigue," explains Rogério Alves, a hepatologist at the Beneficência Portuguesa Hospital.

Furthermore, hangover can be a "rebound" of the alcohol effect. This occurs when the body tries to compensate for the sedation caused by the drink, and the hangover happens when this mechanism is sustained even after the alcohol leaves. The symptoms of irritability, increased sensitivity to pain and migraine.

It can also happen that the irritation caused in the stomach and digestive tract by alcohol causes burning sensations, pain and nausea, says psychiatrist Braun.

Some people never stay drunk

Myth! Only those who do not drink do not get drunk. What may happen is that the person is accustomed to making use of the alcoholic beverage, and with that it does not show the effects much more.

In addition, alcohol action may be different depending on several factors - like eating,

The issue of drinking from time to time, even in small amounts, makes a difference because "anyone who drinks alcohol on a regular basis may end up developing a tolerance for drinking, with which to have the symptoms the person needs to ingest more and more, "explains Alves.

Only an alcoholic who drinks every day

Myth! Alcoholism occurs in varying degrees.It may be considered alcoholism if a person drinks frequently and / or enough to have behavioral changes for a year or more, and when there are frequent discussions with family members, dangerous directions and / or problems in the professional performance "It is a myth to believe that an alcoholic is only the person who drinks every day or who gets drunk to the point of falling into the gutter. "In more severe cases, even if a person does not consume alcohol every day, the loss of control is manifested by the inability to stay without drinking for prolonged periods or by unsuccessful attempts to drink less, often less or for shorter periods," explains the psychiatrist.

Alcoholism is characterized not so much by the amount consumed, but by the problems that consumption brings to the person's life in terms of health, professional performance, academic or social relationships.

Alcoholic amnesia can happen to everyone

It depends! Alcohol, in some cases more severe drinking, has an effect on the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for memory fixation. "This prevents one from remembering what she did or witnessed while she was under the effects of the drug," explains Ivan Mario Braun, a psychiatrist and behavioral therapist at the Institute of Psychiatry at the Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo (USP). "It is not possible to predict when alcohol amnesia will occur, but the cases are related to the amount of drink consumed and are indicative of more severe cases of alcoholism", says the expert.

Pregnant women can not drink

True! There are several diseases and problems related to alcohol consumption during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. "Alcohol can penetrate the placenta and cause various complications for the fetus, such as malformation, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, etc.," says Hevester Alves. In the first trimester, this consumption is even more harmful because it is when the baby's nervous system is being formed.Alcohol is only harmful to the liver

Myth! Alcohol consumption affects the functioning of the whole organism, and when used in excess can cause serious harm.

Alcohol attacks the heart, changes blood pressure, can cause psychiatric problems, neurological damage, stimulates obesity, accumulation of fat and various other maladies. "In addition, there is a disease called alcoholic heart disease, in which the heart increases in size because of excessive consumption of alcohol for a long time, and there is also festive heart syndrome, which causes arterial fibrillation," explains Bruno Valdigem, a doctor in cardiology by the Federal University of São Paulo.

Alcohol can also be toxic to the pancreas, heart, brain and vital organs in general. Each organ needs a specific amount of alcohol to have problems, in addition to the genetic issue that also influences.

You have to drink a lot to have cirrhosis

Myth! The amounts of alcohol that cause problems change for each organ and according to the sex of the person. "In the case of the liver, which suffers from cirrhosis, the damage only occurs in men who drink at least 60g of alcohol per day, while for women 40g they already present problems," explains Alves.

According to the WHO, the moderate consumption of the alcoholic beverage is 36g per day. That would be equivalent to three cans of beer or draft of 330ml, three glasses of wine of 100ml, or three doses of distillate of 30ml.

But calm, this frequency needs to be repeated between 12 to 20 years for the cirrhosis to finally appear . "During this period, alcohol can cause chronic damage to the liver with cell death, and this may lead to the replacement of organ tissue by fibrosis, which in the long run causes cirrhosis," concludes Alves. has an important role in these cases, since only one in six people who consume alcohol in excess develop cirrhosis. Other ways to develop the disease are through hepatitis B or hepatitis C infections, hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease, hepatic steatosis, among others, "says Alves.

It's better to drink a lot in one day than in a few others

It depends! Drinking alcohol, whether it is little in several days or a lot in a single moment, can do harm.It is precisely for this reason that it is difficult to classify which option would be less so. "Thinking short term, drinking too much in a single day may be worse since it can generate an acute liver injury which is quite serious. In the long run, it can increase the risk of diseases, "says Valdigem.

Drinking too much at a single time can also have nausea, vomiting, depressive symptoms and even alcohol. days increases the chances of diseases and damage to vital organs, "Alves added.


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