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Eight ‘hidden’ symptoms that show you have an alcohol problem without realising

Eight ‘hidden’ symptoms that show you have an alcohol problem without realising

It can lead to serious health concerns

Drinking alcohol is considered to be deeply ingrained in British culture, but many probably believe they drink low to moderately.

Unfortunately, what we perceive as being a decent amount of booze, could actually be enough to raise alcoholism concerns, with many unable to recognise the signs.

There are eight dangers to be aware of which can tell you you're drinking too much:

Feeling tired all the time

Because alcohol interrupts the rapid eye movement stage of sleep, people can wake up feeling like they’ve barely caught a wink.

Dr McLaughlan explained that it interrupts this part of your sleep as the body will metabolise the alcohol in your system as you sleep.

They said to the Daily Mail that too much booze can cause ‘macrocytic anaemia’ where ‘symptoms can include tiredness, loss of balance, pins and needles, mood disturbance and stomach upsets.’

Changes to your sex drive

This symptom has long been noted by experts, with Dr Penman sharing that even though alcohol may boost your sex drive initially, when used over a long period of time, it’ll cause your serotonin, dopamine and testosterone levels to reduce.

They said: “Over time, these levels will reduce, which lowers the amount of sexual drive a person will experience and could potentially lead to incidences of depression or anxiety.”

Alcohol can cause issues with your vision and mood. Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Stock Image
Alcohol can cause issues with your vision and mood. Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Stock Image

Issues with your vision

According to Stephen Hannan, the services director at Optical Express, too much alcohol can cause you to feel dizzy, have double vision or blurred vision.

It can also cause 'symptoms associated with dry eye'.

He explained: “Long-term alcohol abuse can actually permanently damage the optic nerves within our eyes, which are the connections responsible for sending visual information from the eyes to the brain.”

Anxiety and feeling low

You may not know that alcohol is a depressant, and in small quantities it can chill you out.

But Lisa Gunn, the mental health prevention lead at Nuffield Health, said that when it ‘wears off, we typically see a rebound effect where anxiety levels spike’.

She said: “When we drink, we become inebriated and 'carefree', which can cause us to say and do things we wouldn't do when we're sober.

“If we go into 'blackout' (periods of alcohol-induced memory loss) during a period of acute intoxication, we are even more likely to wake up with feelings of anxiety, fear, worry, and dread.”

Your immune system will weaken

Carolina Goncalves, superintendent pharmacist at Pharmica, explained that even ‘short-term alcohol consumption can hinder the activity of immune cells such as macrophages, T-cells, and B-cells, which are essential for identifying and combating pathogens.’

She added: “Alcohol can impact cytokine production — proteins which control inflammation — leading to an imbalanced immune response."

You'll be tired. Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Stock Image
You'll be tired. Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Stock Image

Your cycle will change

Ms Goncalves told the outlet that the ‘ethanol in alcohol’ can ‘impact the maturation of ovarian follicles and how ovulation is triggered, resulting in hormonal and physiological changes that may cause irregularities in menstrual cycles.'

Fertility issues

According to the British Fertility Society, too much alcohol causes reproductive hormones to be thrown out of whack, and even a small amount of booze is enough to reduce your chances of conceiving.

The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend cutting alcohol out of your diet if you’re trying to conceive.

Because it also lowers testosterone, lowering good sperm, it’s recommended that men also cut down too when trying for a baby.

High blood pressure

Nathan Penman, clinical manager at Nuffield Health, said too much alcohol can cause your blood vessels to ‘become narrower’ which makes your heart work ‘harder to push blood around your body, increasing your blood pressure’.

High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and even dementia.

Do you recognise any of these symptoms?

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Alcohol, Food And Drink, Health