Home / TIL why alcohol makes you dizzy  
Image of TIL why alcohol makes you dizzy

Alcohol dilutes your blood (i.e., makes it less dense) because alcohol is lighter than water. Alcohol-soaked blood builds up more quickly in your ears than elsewhere in the body, and that throws off this jelly-like structure in your ears called cupula. Effectively, it makes the cupula want to float. As they float, they bend. This sends signals to your brain giving you the illusion that your center of gravity is changing. Because this signal is constant, it makes you feel like the acceleration is going faster and faster. This results in the dizziness feeling that throws you off-balance.

To make matters worse, once the alcohol starts to leave your blood after many hours, the whole process happens in reverse. That's why you feel dizzy during a hangover.

Written by permalink    plaintext

Relevant - The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking Is Healthy.

tl/dr: Significant research "incorporating a million subjects" suggests "...the more you drink - up to two drinks a day for woman, and four for men - the less likely you are to die." The US National Institutes of Health is preventing researchers (including those from Harvard) from publishing these findings because (according to an NIH memo): "The encouragement of undertaking drinking with the implication of prevention of coronary heart disease would be scientifically misleading and socially undesirable in view of the major health problem of alcoholism that already exists in the country."

Written by permalink    plaintext

A philosophical perspective on alcohol use and abuse from Dr. Hurd:

Let’s say that one can enjoy a mediocre or bad movie only after a drink or two. Why is this? If one considers the movie as mediocre or bad while sober, then what happens after a drink or two? Standards relax. Inhibitions are loosened. Suddenly the movie is OK.

Obviously, if it takes alcohol to help you tolerate movies you otherwise wouldn’t watch, then this raises an important question: Why not just watch better movies and save the wear and tear on your liver?  Or, why not find something better to do with your time than tolerating movies you hate? Of course the same thing applies to spending time with people who don’t interest you. If you don’t like doing something, why use alcohol to make you like it? What are you accomplishing?

Obviously there is a contradiction here. Though you’re not abusing alcohol by any conventional or objective standard, in a way you are using it to help you make less wise use of your time than you otherwise would. Again – nothing to end up in a drunk tank over, but if you must have a drink, isn’t there a better reason? For example, to temporarily relax inhibitions and put your mind at ease so you can better refuel? In that context, responsible use of alcohol can perhaps serve as an added value to the life experience. But if one uses it to stop thinking, or to distort reality in order to act in counterproductive ways, then I consider that abuse, even if it involves only a single drink.

I think my kind emailers are asking the wrong question. Maybe they should ask if the things they enjoy after a sip of wine shouldn’t also be enjoyed when they are sober. If the honest answer is no, then they’re lying to themselves, and this suggests the real question: “If I must get partially intoxicated in order to tolerate or enjoy certain things, then why am I engaged in those activities in the first place?”

You need to be logged in to comment.
search only within todayilearned

About todayilearned


What did you learn today?

Latest Activity