December is an uplifting month for most if not all Nigerians. The month carries an important date. A day is used to mark the birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas). The 25th for Christmas and the 26th for Boxing Day. Some decide to fix their weddings after Christmas and some are born in the same month. The month is always filled celebration upon celebration, and parte after parte. With celebration comes consuming alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and drinks, eating, dancing, and then rinse-repeat-recycle. At this point, some are engaged with consuming beyond the required beverage intake, eating beyond the stomach can take, and being actively involved in all the activities as the case might be. This poses a serious threat to our health in general. Yes, you are having fun outwardly but inwardly, the human system is barely keeping up with the fun because of the work it needs to do to assimilate what you are feeding it. The dangers of feeding more than the necessary the body can take overwork certain organs like the kidney and liver, to say the least. If continued or not knowing the status of the organs can lead to it not functioning properly
Excessive drinking can be applied to alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks including water. Taking beyond the moderate level for either alcohol or non-alcoholic content is excessive drinking. Also when you take more than the required level of water the body needs per day, it would be termed as overhydration. When the water level in the body is high, certain substances in the necessary blood begin to get diluted.
Dangers of Excessive Alcohol Intake
Taking more than 2 drinks in a day for a man and more than a drink per day for a woman is going above moderation. The CDCestablishes excessive drinking into 2 categories; binge and heavy drinking. In binge drinking, you consume 4 or more drinks for a woman, 5 or more drinks for a man on a single occasion. For heavy drinking, a woman will consume 8 or more drinks per week and 15 or more drinks in a week for a man.
The dangers involved can be classified into psychological and physiological.
Psychological: Alcohol gets to the brain in 5 minutes, begins to affect within 10 minutes, and after 20 minutes, the liver begins to work on the alcohol. Taking it in excess is an excess adverse effect in 10 minutes. Its ability to destabilize the mind and behavior will bring about violence, erratic behaviors, risky sexual conduct, low concentration span, and accidents.
Physiological: Internally, some dangers are associated with excessive intake. This can lead to so many diseases that are chronic in nature and more. These diseases are associated with too much intake:
• High blood pressure
• Weak immune system
• Heart disease
Dangers of Excessive Non-Alcoholic Intake
Non-alcoholic beverages refer to carbonated drinks, non-alcoholic beers, fruit juice, non-alcoholic wine, coffee, energy drinks, and sparkling water. While certain non-alcoholic beverages like coffee, energy drinks, and sparkling water have healthy benefits, the rate at which consumption is soaring higher can override the health benefits and present the dangers associated with it. Generally looking at the non-alcoholic beverages, their increased consumption has led to diseases like obesity, diabetes, etc.
Carbonated drinks are high in calories and this accounts for overweight and obesity. That said, certain chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases (CVD). A popularly known disease is Type 2 Diabetes Miletus. Also, studies have shown that excess consumption has led to lower bone density. Certain diseases like osteoporosis have risk factors like excess intake of soft drinks. The study has gone on to show that this is a result of people involved in such habits tending to eat less.
It was earlier stated that some alcoholic beverages had some health benefits, but due to the high intake and the wrong age group and certain people indulging in it, and increased negative effect has been recorded. The caffeine in energy drinks poses various risks to children and pregnant and nursing mothers. For children, seizures and cardiac abnormalities are some of the health risks that can be found. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised to take more than a cup of coffee per day. If possible, avoidance will be an advantage for both the mother and the child. Decreased birth weight and combination of malformations affecting more than one body part (Congenital Malformation).
Dangers of Excessive Water Intake
Believe it or not, drinking too much is bad. Water is a purifier and in its own a form of medicine. But you must have heard that “too much of everything is bad.” So, everything is within moderation. Moderation for different substances will always differ. The effects of overhydration at its worse can lead to death.
The kidney goes through 800 – 1000 mL of water per hour. Taking water beyond the processing range per hour can be a problem for the kidney. It is quite simple, an overworked human can break down and even get stress-induced diseases. When you consume more than the required, the excess goes into the blood cells and dilutes the electrolytes. Due to the absence of these substances, the excess water tries to create a balance by filling in causing swelling of the cell. This is what would be termed as water intoxication. And so yeah, alcohol intoxicates, water does too on a cellular level. This swelling of the cells tends to affect the region of the brain. The brain is enclosed in a skull that can’t expand with brain expansion. The expansion would cause pressure to be accumulated leading to headaches and drowsiness. In extreme cases as the pressure rises, the person risk having brain damage, coma, and possibly death. Other complications are high blood pressure (hypertension) and low high rate (bradycardia).
There are signs to show you are drinking too much water:
• If the color of your urine is often clear, then you are consuming much water
• Making frequent stops at the toilet to urinate. This might also be a symptom for diabetic patients, but knowing your medical status and observing this sign can help you tell one apart from another.
No matter how much you eat, when the sunsets today and rises tomorrow, you will get hungry again. Eating to satisfy 2 days' hunger is a bad practice. That aside, some people engage in excessive eating. It is a daily routine or seen as fun for them. Whatever category you fall under, the dangers surrounding overeating are quite numerous. Dangers such as:
• It may increase the risk of getting certain diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes
• It can negatively affect memory or impair brain functions
• It will make you sluggish and sleepy
• It can make you nauseous and increase indigestion
• It can affect the kidney.
The damage is done but can be repaired if tackled on time. Certain blood tests can give you a comprehensive health status after the festive season. Starting the year in clean bill health is attainable if the right things are done. First off, you might want to consult with a doctorto get a better understanding of what needs to be done or you may go ahead to order some tests then present them to a doctor for further interpretation. Tests listed below are advisable:
Surjen Healthcare wishes you a prosperous new year.