Have you ever wondered why some people can drink an entire pack of beer without passing out while another person will vomit after having a shot glass of vodka? On the same note, why do some men and women develop severe health issues after long-term drinking, while others seem to get by with a pass? All of these questions can easily be connected to one simple phenomenon: alcohol metabolization. Simply put, some people can process alcohol much easier than others, which may explain why some people have a higher risk of alcohol-related health issues than their friends. Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about alcohol metabolization.
One Step at a Time, Please
Like any well-oiled machine, the human body can only react to a certain substance within a particular time frame. In the case of alcohol, our bodies can process a specific amount of the drug in an hour. For example, in a recent study, fasting male test subjects who consumed one standard drink recorded a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.00 in the span of 2 hours. In essence, every person will metabolize this drug at a different rate and in different amounts.
Toxic and Carcinogenic
After alcohol is consumed, the lining of the stomach and intestines immediately absorb the drug, triggering the release of enzyme that break down the alcohol. As part of the process, two liver enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) ensure the drug can be flushed out of the body. ADH, in turn, breaks alcohol down into acetaldehyde, a highly toxic carcinogen that poses extreme danger to surrounding tissue.
Scientists have speculated that an influx of acetaldehyde might be responsible for triggering behavioral and physical problems stemming from chronic drinking.
All about the Genes
Overall, the entire process depends on a human’s genetic code. Various combinations of ALDH and ADH have been connected to different genes that produce these liver enzymes. For example, a person with a relatively sluggish ADLH or ravenous ADH will suffer from acetaldehyde buildup, which triggers dangerous side effects like nausea, poor coordination, and more. As to whether these genetic variations are related to alcohol use disorder, scientists have yet to uncover more detailed information.
Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism
Although many people can drink a glass of wine or a shot of whiskey to prevent heart problems or strokes, you have to keep in mind that alcohol is a potentially toxic drug that has a high risk for abuse or addiction. The more alcohol consumed, the more harm people will inflict on their bodies. As a result (and in an ironic twist), you will end up destroying your heart and brain instead of protecting them. However, you can easily overcome your problem and become healthy once more.
If you are suffering from a severe case of alcoholism or alcohol abuse or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.