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What’s the Harm with Weekend Binge Drinking?

Weekend binge drinking can cause damage to liver that affects the health of your whole bodyLet’s say you’ve put in a hard week at work, it’s Friday night, and you’re ready to kick back and relax. You and your friends or coworkers decide happy hour at a local pub is the best place to start. You’ve never thought twice about what you drink on the weekends, because you don’t go out drinking during the week. So what’s the harm with a little weekend binge drinking?

The truth is a night of binge drinking doesn’t just cause a hang-over and an unproductive next day. It can be seriously harmful to your health. What scientists are finding is that it’s not just chronic alcohol consumption that is linked to developing alcoholic liver disease. New research has found that weekend binge drinking can cause lasting damage to the liver and make it more prone to liver disease. (This is also true of chronic drinkers who binge drink; there will be more injury to the liver.)

What researchers are also finding is that binge drinking is on the rise. An estimated 43 percent of men and 29 percent of women reported binge drinking at least once in the past year.  The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as five or more drinks within a two hour span for men, and four or more drinks for women.

And binge drinking isn’t just about injuring the liver, it can impact the health of the rest of your body. The liver is a major metabolic site for the entire body. Meaning, the liver affects multiple systems in the body, including nutrient metabolism and distribution, and systems involving the heart, kidney, blood vessels and brain.

One of the researches on this topic, Professor Shivendra Shukla said, “Binge drinking should not be associated with only liver damage. It creates an inflammatory response in the liver that is like a cluster bomb, sending out various damaging signals to systems in the body. If those organs are working at a lower level of function, then a whole host of physiological processes is affected.” (Missouri School of Medicine)

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