Your quality of life can change in a big way when you’re in recovery from alcohol. It’s something you can see and feel, often within a short period of time. Recovery has a positive impact on both your mind and your body, and the rewards increase the longer you stay sober. Today, let’s share a reminder of some of the top health benefits in store for women who quit drinking.
Quitting drinking can have some profound effects on your physical and mental health over time. Improvements can be seen in a woman’s physical appearance, with healthier-looking skin and better weight management. Sustaining sobriety also lowers the risk of heart and liver issues, reversing issues from malnutrition. The improvement to mental health can be seen from lessening the symptoms of depression and anxiety that get worsened by alcohol’s changes to mood regulation in the brain. Time in recovery can also reduce the threat of chronic medical conditions intensifying and becoming life-threatening.
Here are the top health benefits of quitting drinking for women:
Physical appearance improves.
One of the most visible changes in your physical appearance during recovery can be seen with improvements to skin quality. Regular drinking may have led to dry, scaly skin from dehydration and saggy skin from a loss of collagen. Broken capillaries on your nose and face may have emerged. Yellowing around the eyes may have appeared, too, after long-term alcohol use. These conditions begin to be reversed as you get sober and stay sober over time. If you’ve been diagnosed with psoriasis, quitting alcohol may lessen the outbreaks on your skin.
Weight management improves.
Drinking regularly can lead to weight gain in some people and weight loss in others. Maintaining a healthy weight for you can be influenced by many factors and alcohol is a significant one. Part of the help with weight management comes from eliminating calories in alcohol and any food items you frequently eat when drinking. Weight control can also come from replacing periods of drinking alone or socially with physical activities. Working out, bike riding, and yoga are just a few ways to get active and become mindful of your body. You may even take time to explore healthier eating habits and find nutritious alternatives to your normal diet.
Effects of poor nutrition get reversed.
No matter how well you think you eat while drinking, alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. This issue can come from troubles with digestion and storage of nutrients. People who are malnourished may lose their appetite, feel tired all the time, and feel generally weak. Malnutrition can also slow the healing of wounds and recovery from illness. It might even affect your ability to concentrate. A dietary change, along with staying in recovery, can help turn these effects around. Having healthy snacks on hand and fortified foods can be part of a new nutrition plan.
Certain health risks get lowered.
The risks of some types of cancer may be reduced while you’re staying sober. Some of these include breast cancer, colon and rectal cancer, and liver cancer. You’re also lowering your risk of cardiovascular issues, such as heart failure and stroke. Avoiding alcohol can have a positive impact on current medical conditions. In treatment where medical services are provided for chronic conditions, patients will have these conversations with doctors who are treating them and tracking those conditions. Health risks are also associated with behaviors connected to drinking. If you’re some who engages in thrill-seeking or disregards laws when intoxicated, you’re putting yourself at risk for serious injuries from crashes, falls, burns, or assaults. Staying sober and mindful significantly reduces the risk of these kinds of outcomes.
Mental health improves.
You may think alcohol reduces mental health issues, like anxiety, but it can have the opposite effect after a couple of drinks. While the first drink may make you feel calmer and less inhibited, heavy drinking actually affects the release of chemicals in the brain (serotonin and other neurotransmitters) that can worsen the symptoms of anxiety. Abstinence from alcohol can improve your mental health in a variety of other ways, too. It minimizes the symptoms of depression: changes to appetite, concentration, energy level, self-esteem, sleep, and more. Using healthy strategies to avoid alcohol can also help mental health by building confidence and self-esteem. In addition, you may notice improvement in your problem-solving skills and memory from your sobriety.
Hannah’s House is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561.841.1272.