Could you have a problem with the amount of alcohol you drink? Most of us think of drinking as a problem only if we reach the point where we feel a need to do it, or where a day without it becomes distressing – but while addiction is a serious concern, it’s possible to run into trouble long before you reach that point. If any of the issues here apply to you, it may be time to think about cutting down.
You can’t get a good night’s sleep
If you routinely struggle to get to sleep, then you may feel that alcohol helps. It certainly makes you feel tired. The trouble is that it interferes with the way you sleep, so you may well wake up feeling fatigued or find that your sleep is interrupted by stressful dreams. Over time you can get used to a low level of fatigue, so you may not realize how bad the problem has become until you cut out drinking for a few days and rediscover how good it feels to get a refreshing night’s sleep.
Your sex life is disappointing
If you’re struggling to get an erection or maintain your level of physical arousal during sexual intercourse (a problem that can also affect women), there’s a significant chance that alcohol is part of the problem. You can now buy ED pills online, so it’s easy to treat the symptoms discreetly, but the best way to tackle the underlying cause is to cut down on drinking alcohol and work on improving your hydration. This can also help if you have been struggling to conceive.
You have frequent tummy trouble
Excessive alcohol consumption doesn’t just cause generalized damage to your body – it does direct damage to the cells lining your gut. This can cause stomach aches in the immediate aftermath of drinking and diarrhea the following day. It can also cause general intestinal pain that interferes with your sleep or makes it hard to concentrate at work, and it can kill off the friendly bacteria that help you to digest your food. If you keep drinking too much, this kind of damage can become hard to reverse.
You suffer from muscle cramps
Over time, drinking too much alcohol damages muscle tissue. It also means you’re more likely to become dehydrated, and both these factors can lead to cramping. It is most common in the large muscles in the arms and legs, but it can also affect your fingers and toes and can manifest as pins and needles. You may suffer from headaches and general circulatory problems. The sooner you reduce your drinking, the less likely this is to persist.
You’re losing your looks
Alcohol has an aging effect on the face, drying out the skin, and making it look rougher at an earlier stage in life. It can cause capillaries to burst, creating little red lines and blotches, especially around the nose and eyes. Because it dehydrates the skin, it also makes lines and wrinkles look deeper. If you’ve noticed yourself looking quite a bit older lately, too much drink may be part of the problem, and the great news is that you can start to look younger again if you cut down.
You’re losing friends
Letting go of your inhibitions a bit can be fun. Do it too much, however, and you may become more obnoxious than you realize. Often people don’t notice that they’re making a bad impression on people until they look around suddenly and wonder why so many friends have drifted away. Others have problems holding down relationships or find that their marriages become fraught. If this sounds like you, it’s time to ask if you might not be as much fun when drunk as you thought.
What to do
If you’re worried that you may be drinking too much, an excellent way to begin tackling the problem is by staying sober for a week and seeing how you feel. Think about how often you drink on an average week and try to have more completely alcohol-free days. Remember that far as your health is concerned, a glass of wine with dinner is just as big a deal as a bottle of beer in a bar.
If you feel that you need help to manage your drinking, talk to your doctor, and ask about the types of treatment available in your area. If you catch the problem in good time, you won’t necessarily have to give up drinking – you can just find a better way of controlling it so that it doesn’t end up controlling you.