Alcohol detox (1 month without alcohol) and health effects

In the Christian faith, for many years August has been the so-called month of sobriety. However, because it’s August, it’s worth considering whether 4 weeks without a drop of alcohol can have a beneficial effect on our body.

It doesn’t matter here what faith you are. As you know, alcohol is bad for one’s health, especially if drunk in excess, but it is always worth limiting it if at all possible. Today we will look at the month-long detoxification of the body in the case of people who have no problems with alcohol, as well as of addicts.

Why is alcohol harmful?

“Everything is for people, but in moderation” [1] … do you know this old saying? Unfortunately, alcohol, even in small amounts, consumed in a fairly regular manner (at least 2-3 times a week) negatively affects our health. It is most harmful to the liver, which begins to get fat, working less efficiently [2].

That’s how the vicious circle begins to form. Ineffective liver function leads to the accumulation of toxins in the body. They slow down its metabolism and generate digestive problems, affecting our overall health. Additionally, alcohol is dangerous for people suffering from heart or cardiovascular system diseases. Naturally, the problem gets worse for those who are addicted to alcohol.

Can a month of detoxification help?

Alcohol detox is simply a complete cessation of alcohol intake. For a certain period of time, we do not consume even a drop of it, trying to stick to such a resolution for as long as possible. However, many people do not see this need. It is true that nowadays we consume alcohol most often on weekends. We work hard until late at night and it’s not until Friday evening or weekend that we can afford some revelry.

These standard 5 days of a break in drinking, however, are not enough for our body. Remember that during the week you often reach for beer. While it’s true that beer is a low-alcohol beverage, it still negatively affects health. Research shows, though, that a month of abstinence is enough to significantly improve the functioning of your body and thus your health. Thus August can be a good opportunity to make the right resolution.

Alcohol detox in people without drinking problems

Let’s start with the most typical case. Most people admit to drinking alcohol from time to time. It’s summer now, and hence the barbecue and vacation season, so alcohol consumption is definitely higher. During this period, our bodies are really in overdrive. Will a month of detoxification change anything?

As it turns out – yes, by all means. Numerous studies on volunteers have been conducted around the world that clearly demonstrated the positive aspect of 4 weeks without a drop of alcohol [3]. After this relatively short period, the subjects showed a reduction in liver fat of up to 15%. Bad cholesterol also dropped significantly, even by up to 5%. Blood glucose levels also dropped dramatically. As a result, a month was enough for the metabolism to work more efficiently, while the susceptibility to developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes was reduced.

If this is not convincing enough for you, then it is worth mentioning the appearance. After a month, most of the respondents noticed a clear improvement in the appearance of their skin. Natural color, elasticity and proper hydration returned. Interestingly, people who refrain from alcohol for a month lose weight, on average about 1.5 kg. The respondents repeatedly emphasized that over time they felt better and better. The quality of their sleep improved, and the period of good concentration increased. Their bodies simply became more efficient.

As you can see, only a month of detox was enough for the health condition to improve significantly. We are aware that it is difficult to maintain an alcohol regime, especially during the vacation season, but we really recommend trying it to everyone. It is worth adding here that detox in this case is not characterized by an excessive desire to drink at the end of abstinence. Research shows that the majority of people after returning to drinking did it less often and took smaller doses of alcohol.

Alcohol detox in addicts

There’s no denying that the expression “alcohol detox” has a rather negative connotation in our society, as it is frequently associated with addicts. True, detox is the absolute basis of treatment, which in some cases literally saves such people’s lives. Detoxification alone, though, does not cure the basics of the problem, that is the reasons why one is struggling with alcoholism.

In this case, however, there is no chance of a month of withdrawal and a recovery from the problem. If an addict really wants to return to a normal life, he must forget about the drink forever. It is not without reason they say that the alcoholic is addicted until the end of his days. The purpose of detoxification is primarily to cleanse the body. Many years of alcohol abuse lead to extreme deterioration of many vital organs [4]. Detoxification aims at restoring their proper functioning at least partially, which will then enable the rebuilding of energy balance in the body.

The duration of such a process depends on the individual case and therefore detox is always carried out under the guidance of a doctor. Extremely addicted people must even go to closed centers. They are under constant supervision there, which minimizes the risk of secretly reaching for alcohol.

Is it worth undertaking an alcohol detox?

If you are not addicted and just want to take care of your health, we really recommend you take a “vacation from alcohol”. It does not have to be in the summer, when reaching for beer or wine gives the most pleasure, but it is worth thinking about at a convenient time. 4 weeks of abstinence is enough time to give the body a break and let it regenerate properly.

Bibliography

  • [1] https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/everything-in-moderation-quotes
  • [2] https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/addiction-heavy-drinking#1
  • [3] https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45283401
  • [4] https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-body
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