I’m a doctor… this is what happens to your body when you give up booze for Dry January | The Sun
2nd January 2023

A DOCTOR has revealed the impacts giving up booze for Dry January has on your body.

It's that time of year again the nation gives up the drink for four weeks and re-joins the gym.

As New Year's resolutions are in full swing, the majority of people have promised themselves to be healthier.

As well as saving your bank balance, cutting out your weekly pub meet-ups will dramatically improve your health.

Expert Dr Daniel said even though the first few days might be tough – especially after the festivities -the benefits will be soon clear.

He said the lifestyle change will give you a better nights sleep as well as making your eyes and skin brighter.

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According to Dr Daniel, your liver takes around four to six weeks to recover after a heavy drinking session.

Here are the seven benefits you might see from taking part in the detox:

Improved sleep

You'll wake up feeling a lot less tired and more energised after a week away from alcohol.

This is because alcohol interrupts your normal sleep pattern and makes your miss the important rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

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According to experts at The Priory Group, while you're supposed to have between six and seven cycles of REM sleep a night, you typically only have one or two when you've been drinking.

By cutting out alcohol you'll avoid this and get an additional five to six REM cycles a night.

Dr Daniel said giving up alcohol will also improve your sleeping pattern in the long run.

Better hydrated

Feeling completely dehydrated and suffering with a banging headache will soon be a distant memory.

Drinking alcohol means you lost around four times as much liquid than what you actually consumed.

And the headaches come from your organs taking water from the brain due to their own water loss.

Giving up alcohol will cut this completely – which in turn is hugely beneficial for your brain.

Your mood and concentration will be more stable and the frequency of headaches will decrease.

You'll look better

Giving up alcohol will have a great impact on your skin due to you having better levels of hydration.

Dr Daniel said over the month you don't drink, your skin and eyes will be more radiant.

He said the daily vitamin intake will increase and make you look fresher.

You won't get ill as often

Giving up alcohol strengthens your immune system, Dr Daniel said.

The expert also added the break on your liver could help you cope with long-term illnesses too.

Your liver function will dramatically increase when you remove alcohol from your diet for a month.

Given the liver plays a vital part in more than 500 processes, this will give your body a better chance of converting food nutrients, storing minerals and vitamins and removing contaminants.

Blood pressure reduces

Cutting out booze will see your blood pressure slowly reduce to a normal rate.

Reducing your blood pressure can be crucial as it can help to lessen the risk of health problems occurring in the future including Type 2 diabetes.

In severe cases, drinking alcohol can trigger alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM), which causes the heart to swell and lose the ability to pump blood around the body.

If you cut out alcohol you'll not only reduce your chances of this happening to you but also have a healthier heart.

Weight loss

Alcohol increases your daily calorie intake.

One pint of beer contains an average of 208 calories while a glass of wine may contain 83 calories.

On top of this many people find themselves reaching for a pizza or a kebab after a night of heavy drinking.

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Cutting out alcohol will therefore mean you're consuming less unhealthy food and drink – and hopefully make you see a difference in your appearance.

No more acid reflux

After a fortnight without alcohol, you'll see a reduction in symptoms such as reflux where the stomach acid burns your throat.

How to get help with alcohol

There are plenty of helpful resources and tools to help you with your drinking issues.

Drinkline – Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).

Alcoholics anonymous – free self-help group that offers a 12 week plan

Al-Anon – A group for family members or friends struggling to help a loved one

Adfam  – a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol

 National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa – helpline for children who have parents who are alcohol dependent – call  0800 358 3456

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