What Happens to Your Body After Drinking? [Infographic]

What Happens to Your Body After Drinking? [Infographic]

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: March 30, 2016

Studies suggest that more than 85% of adults in the United States have consumed alcohol in their lifetime. Yet only a few people ever stop to consider what happens to your body after drinking. Unfortunately, much of what takes place is far from positive. Take a closer look at what happens to your body after drinking to see just how destructive excessive alcohol consumption can be.

What Happens to Your Stomach

If you wonder what happens to your body after drinking, the whole process begins in the stomach. After each sip, your stomach works hard to break down the alcohol. Enzymes turn ethanol, or alcohol, into a toxic substance called acetaldehyde.

What Happens to Your Liver

The acetaldehyde then reaches the liver, where it needs to immediately be turned into something less harmful to the body. Enzymes in the liver metabolize the acetaldehyde into acetate, which is similar to vinegar. The liver can only metabolize a set amount of acetaldehyde at a time, and the accumulating toxic acetaldehyde that can’t be processed by the liver may cause sweating, nausea and even vomiting.

What Happens to Your Heart

The body, typically, has a steady pulse or heart rate. After consuming alcohol, however, many people begin to see their heart rate climb. This puts unnecessary stress on the heart, which can accumulate and cause cardiac problems later on.

What Happens to Your Kidneys

Drinking alcohol causes the kidneys to send water to the bladder. This causes urination, and it also leads to extreme dehydration.

What Happens to Your Immune System

Perhaps the most notable way that alcohol can impact the human body is in the immune system. For as long as 24 hours after consumption, alcohol reduces the efficiency of the immune system, making drinkers more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses. What happens to your body after drinking is worrying, particularly among people with an ongoing drinking problem or binge drinkers. Call us to learn more about alcohol recovery programs that will change your life.