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Acknowledging Alcohol Addiction in America

Every April, we recognize Alcohol Awareness Month. We toast our successes. We drown our sorrows. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! The world is filled with reasons to pour a drink, yet even a single drink can affect your body. And too much can have a long-lasting impact that isn’t always reversible. It can be a touchy subject. In a positive light, alcohol can be fun, flirty, and a reliable resource to have a good time. It’s often a must-have for major social events like bachelorette parties, weddings, and birthdays. Of course, every coin has two sides, and alcohol is no different. For some, alcohol is addictive. It can be damaging, messy, and used as an excuse for abhorrent behavior.

Did You Know? Alcohol remains the number one drug of choice for teens in America today. It’s more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined. Alcohol Awareness Month is sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, this month encourages community organizations to host events to increase the public’s awareness and education that too much alcohol can do to you. 

SHORT-TERM HEALTH RISKS

Your liver is the largest organ in your body. It breaks down and filters out harmful substances in the blood and manufactures the proteins, enzymes, and hormones the body uses to ward off infections. 

When you indulge in excessive alcohol use, certain risks internally and externally are higher. 

  • Injuries: car crashes, falls, drownings, and burns
  • Violence: homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and partner/familial violence
  • Alcohol poisoning 
  • Miscarriage/stillbirth in pregnant women

All of the health risks stated above are devastating, life-altering consequences. At times, these ailments can be preventable. Alcohol fuels emotions, causing a person to perhaps do something more extreme than they would with a clear mind. In addition to short-term health risks, alcohol also comes with long-term health concerns. 

LONG-TERM HEALTH RISKS

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive issues 
  • Cancer: breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and rectum
  • Weak immune system
  • Dementia
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Social problems, family problems, and job-related problems
  • Alcohol dependence

Any of the conditions laid out above can be severely damaging. Furthermore, alcohol-related disorders can impact every facet of the human life experience.  At Any Lab Test Now®, we offer a comprehensive test called the Hepatic Function Panel. It measures the blood levels with seven tests that you may want to see how well your liver is working. It’s encouraged if you’re suffering from symptoms related to liver disease, on medication that affects the liver, or if you’ve been exposed to hepatitis A, B, or C. 

The Liver Function Panel includes the following tests:

  • Total protein
  • Albumin
  • Total bilirubin
  • Direct bilirubin
  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • AST
  • ALT

Labeled as the leading preventable cause of death in the United States by the CDC, excessive alcohol use is said to shorten the lives of those who die by a staggering 29 years. Alcohol abuse can also impact one’s mental health leading to symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Now is the best time to get ahead of your health. Liver function testing provides both you and your doctor the information needed to monitor the impact of alcohol on your body.

An Ounce of Prevention is a Worth a Pound of Cure

As we continue into 2022, it’s important to keep the momentum of self-care going. Any Lab Test Now® offers you extensive and inexpensive lab testing options, so you can keep living your best life. It’s our priority to make these tests as convenient as possible for working people. This is why we provide business-friendly hours, for those with busy schedules. Each of our 200+ locations nationwide provides a clean, safe facility for your lab testing needs. Book an appointment online or walk into your neighborhood Any Lab Test Now®  to test your liver health. 

A Downside to Holiday Cheer. What Alcohol Really Does to Your Liver.

The holidays give us a reason to celebrate. For many of us, alcohol plays a big part in the festivities. But too many glasses of good cheer too often can lead to something less than cheerful — an overworked liver. 

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the average American sees a 100 percent increase in drinking habits. Holidays aside, Americans are drinking more and for longer periods of time than ever before. The pandemic played a role in the increase, but research suggests we’ve upped the ante on alcohol use long before the COVID-19 crisis started.

Alcohol and Your Liver

The liver is the largest organ in your body. It helps digest food, store energy, and remove toxins. When you drink alcohol, an enzyme in the liver breaks down the alcohol so it can be removed from your body. 

Our bodies can only process one unit of alcohol per hour, which means if you drink more than one drink in that time period, your body is not able to process all that extra booze. This can trigger your liver to generate harmful substances that can damage liver cells, cause inflammation, and weaken your immune system. 

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, which causes liver inflammation and eventually cirrhosis, which creates scarring in the liver and may potentially develop into liver cancer. Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease is considered a silent disease, with few or no symptoms. The damage begins when you drink as little as four drinks a day for men and two drinks a day for women. 

Here are what experts consider to be a problem when it comes to consuming alcoholic beverages. 

Heavy Drinking – Consuming four drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks per week (men) or three drinks on any day or more than seven drinks per week. 

Binge Drinking – Consuming five or more alcoholic drinks (men) or four or more drinks (women) in two hours. 

Check Your Liver Health 

You owe it to yourself to know if your drinking is hurting your liver. The Liver Function Panel at Any Lab Test Now consists of a simple blood draw that is used in seven tests to see how well your liver is working. This test doesn’t require fasting, and we provide the doctor’s order, so you can walk into your local Any Lab Test Now for a same-day test — no prep necessary. 

If you are drinking excessively, there are organizations that can help. SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a free, confidential 24/7 365-day a year helpline and can be reached at 1-800-622-HELP (4357). 

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including testing to determine the health of your liver.  We want to be a committed partner in helping you manage your wellness routine so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life.

 

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.