Is beer harmful?
Indeed, is there a danger of a few glasses of beer for an adult man? Can women and teens drink beer?
Is beer harmful? To begin with, beer, like vodka, cognac, port, dry wine, is an alcoholic drink, because it also contains ethyl alcohol.
Now everyone knows that drinking alcohol leads to inflammation of the gastric mucosa. cirrhosis of the liver, damage to the pancreas, severe diseases of the heart and blood vessels. But many underestimate the most insidious property of alcohol – to form a pathological dependence, a painful attraction to alcoholic beverages, that is, alcoholism. The transition from the habit of “drinking a little” to alcoholism occurs, as a rule, imperceptibly.
Those who think that only strong alcoholic drinks are dangerous to health are deeply mistaken. Determined that. after drinking two glasses of beer, a person gives his body the same alcohol load as if he had drunk 100 grams of vodka. In order to verify this, we will perform the simplest calculation. We will use the conventional unit “absolute alcohol”. thanks to which you can compare alcoholic beverages of any strength. So, it is known that 100 grams of 40 – degree vodka contains 40 grams of absolute alcohol. The strength of the most common types of beer is 3.5 – 4.5 °, which means that 100 grams of beer contains about 4 grams of absolute alcohol.
They drink beer in circles, and in each – 300 – 500 grams. With the first beer, 20 grams of absolute alcohol enter the body, with two – already 40 grams, that is, the same amount as in half a glass of vodka. Everyone can continue these calculations further and understand what damage the lovers of this low alcohol drink inflict on their body.
Those who systematically drink beer experience the same alcoholic overload as when drinking strong alcoholic beverages. This is clearly confirmed by the observations of narcologists in countries where beer is a traditional drink.
Due to the low concentration of alcohol, beer, as already mentioned, is usually drunk in large quantities. The mere entry into the body of a significant amount of fluid adversely affects the activity of the cardiovascular system and kidneys. Lovers of this drink form a so-called bull heart, or beer heart; at the same time, the heart rate increases, arrhythmias occur, and often there is an increase in blood pressure. The vessels dilate on the face, it becomes flabby, puffy, with characteristic “bags” under the eyes.
Beer lovers, as a rule, do not associate their poor health with addiction to it. On the contrary, as one of the patients told me, trying to improve his well-being, he often began to drink beer. In the future, his condition worsened: attacks of tachycardia, shortness of breath occurred even with minor physical exertion. edema on the legs periodically appeared – The examination revealed that he had an expansion of the borders of the heart, a violation of heart tones, and changes in the ECG. The dynamics of painful disorders in this patient is quite typical. Under the influence of alcohol, toxic alcoholic dystrophy developed in the muscle of the heart, and this entailed severe heart failure, that is, the failure of the heart as a pump that ensures normal blood circulation.
The inevitable companion of beer abuse is overweight, obesity. Indeed, depending on the variety, beer contains 4 – 10% of easily digestible carbohydrates. And since the excessive deposition of fat in the subcutaneous tissue at first sometimes gives a person a deceptively healthy appearance, this stage of “false fatness” has generated naive ideas about the health benefits of beer. In fact, already during this period of “temporary well-being” the body breaks down the metabolism and the liver suffers. Working with constant overload, this vital organ over time ceases to cope with its barrier functions. This leads to the fact that unreinforced alcohol enters the bloodstream and has a toxic effect on the cardiovascular system and kidneys. The composition of the blood also changes. Its ability to coagulate decreases, the permeability of small vessels increases. The normal activity of the pancreas is also disturbed, which entails the disorders characteristic of diabetes mellitus.
A complex of adverse changes in the body creates the conditions for the development of such serious conditions as cerebral hemorrhage, pulmonary edema, which can occur against the background of even a minor infectious disease.
I remember with pain one young man, my patient, a big beer lover. who has a brain hemorrhage with severe paralysis and speech impairment.
But maybe beer is harmless in small doses? Unfortunately, the practice of drug treatment facilities suggests that it is beer that often serves as a launching pad on the way to a painful addiction to alcohol, culminating in alcoholism. Tolerance, that is, the body’s resistance to the action of alcohol, is produced quite quickly. And very soon there comes a moment when instead of one or two glasses of beer a person drinks five – six, or even more, and even with the addition of vodka.
The illusion of beer harmlessness is especially dangerous for those who have undergone a course of treatment for alcoholism. Even one glass of beer drunk during this period, as a rule, leads to an exacerbation of the pathological craving for alcohol, which negates the results of treatment achieved by considerable work.