9 Benefits of a Dry January
If you have any form of liver disease, or if you are experiencing any symptoms of liver disease, one of the first steps to take is to avoid alcohol. When you decide to stop drinking in the New Year, you’re definitely not alone. Millions of people worldwide take part in “Dry January,” a health movement that involves abstaining from alcohol for the month of January. While many use this time as a way to detox after the holidays, there are numerous benefits that can come from this mini New Year’s resolution. For those living with liver disease, Dry January can serve as a fresh start to a new, healthier lifestyle.
Some of the benefits of a Dry January include:
Alcohol consumption reduces your quality REM sleep, so without drinking, it’s likely that you’ll achieve a deeper sleep that leaves you more well-rested. Many people find that when they go to sleep without having any drinks, they feel far more energetic and less foggy when their alarm clock rings the next day. Because your sleep is of higher-quality, you’re more likely to have sustained energy throughout the day.
With increased energy also comes an increased level of focus. This can also be related back to the higher quality of sleep.
Alcohol is one of the most dehydrating substances that you can put in your body. By removing them from your day to day life, you can start to see the benefits of staying hydrated. Increased energy and improved skin are just some of the benefits of staying hydrated. In addition, when you’re not having an alcoholic beverage with dinner, it’s more likely that you’ll end up choosing a more hydrating drink instead. This decrease of alcohol-induced dehydration and increased consumption of hydrating beverages is a win-win for your body.
Reduction of acid reflux
Ceasing alcohol consumption can be very beneficial if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn. Just by the second week of Dry January, many start to notice a reduction in acid reflux.
By saving on the calories packed into alcoholic beverages, it’s no surprise that many people experience weight loss during Dry January. In addition to the calorie deficit, many people use their newfound energy to jumpstart other New Year’s resolutions, like exercising more. Both weight loss and exercise can be extremely beneficial to the health of your liver, so Dry January serves as the perfect way to kickstart all of your health goals for the New Year.
Reduced risk of certain cancers, stokes, and heart disease
Reports have shown that reduced alcohol consumption also reduces the risk of certain cancers such as breast cancer and colorectal cancer, stroke, and heart disease. These long term health benefits can become a reality by just avoiding alcohol for one month, but you can continue to improve your health and lower your chances of developing these serious medical conditions by continuing your Dry January throughout the following months.
Lower blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, Dry January can help to start lowering it. Research has found that avoiding alcohol for just four weeks can begin to lower your heart rate and your blood pressure.
It could help cut back drinking throughout the year
Alcohol can contribute to developing many different types of health conditions. Whether it’s high blood pressure, kidney problems or liver problems, one of the first steps to take when improving your health is to scale back your drinking, or to cut out alcohol entirely. Many people who participate in Dry January notice a reduction in their alcohol consumption long after the month is over.
Help your liver:
When it comes to your liver, Dry January can help reduce alcohol-induced inflammation. Due to the regenerative qualities of your liver, allowing it a substantial time to heal will ultimately help in the long run. In most cases with liver conditions such as fibrosis or cirrhosis, one month is not long enough to heal the scarring caused by excessive alcohol consumption. When it comes to liver disease, the longer you avoid alcohol, the better it is for your liver.
Make an Appointment
If you have symptoms or signs of liver disease you should seek medical attention from a GI specialist for evaluation and treatment. The team at Birmingham Gastroenterology has decades of experience treating diseases and disorders in all parts of the digestive system. This includes offering liver biopsy services to diagnose or evaluate the signs of liver disease. To make an appointment to discuss your symptoms and treatment options, call us at (205) 271-8000.