Blood Alcohol Level


Being in a state of alcohol abuse is not typical for a human organism. That is why even the small amount of alcohol reflects on the mental state of a person.

According to the research findings, conducted last century, discovered that even 7-9 grams of alcohol (around 50 ml of vodka) are already influencing the person’s state of mind, although visible indicators of the state of alcohol abuse reveal themselves after 20-30 grams of alcohol transferred into pure alcohol.

Signs, pointing out to high blood alcohol level and the fact, that alcohol affects blood:

  • Motion coordination alteration;
  • Impairment in feeling of balance;
  • Loss of feeling of orientation in space;
  • Downsize of memory and attention levels;
  • Lowering of ability to think logically and subnormality;
  • Hearing impairment.

All symptoms listed above is a result of inhibition processes in human’s brain under the alcohol effect. that is why the fact that people who need to concentrate, make decisions, being attentive and creative, cannot drink alcohol even in small amounts. Even more dangerous and not allowed to drink alcohol for those people, whose job is connected with the risk to their own life or who are responsible for other people’s lives. Alcohol in a driver’s blood can become a real killer and destroy somebody’s life.

Except the mental processes inhibition, even the smallest contest of alcohol in person’s blood changes the way he percepts the environment, what is happening to him and his own actions. A drunk person cannot consider objectively the situation he is in, even if the alcohol blood level is not exceeded. For example, a slightly drunk driver thinks that he drives  even better than usually and follows the traffic very carefully.

Alcohol blood level identification is one of the most frequent researches in forensic medicine. To determine alcohol blood level you need to take the blood test. The alcohol blood level can also be determined by the exhaled air test with the help of breathalyzes. According to the US law 0,08 promille as a blood alcohol level in driver’s blood is safe to drive with, because the driver’s reaction does not change under such amount of alcohol. But to drive completely safe on the roads alcohol blood level should be no measurable alcohol in a driver’s blood!

Alcohol receptiveness in different people

What is the highest allowed blood alcohol level? Every person has its own reaction to alcohol, and the same dose can affect different people differently. After consuming the same dose of alcohol some people can feel light intoxication whereas others can be totally drunk. Theoretically the lethal dose of alcohol is 4 promille. But in practice, many “heroes” refute this alcohol blood level is lethal. For instance, in Bulgaria, once a drunk man, 67 years old was hit by the car on the road. Delivered to the hospital, after the blood test the alcohol blood level was unbelievable – 9,14 promille! Twice as much as a lethal dose of alcohol did not affect the old man badly, because he could still talk and think normally…

The external manifestation of alcohol abuse in also different in different people because every person has different time while alcohol stays in his blood.

The time of alcohol dissolution in blood depends on:

  • Person’s weight;
  • Amount of alcohol being drunk;
  • Strength of alcohol;
  • Gender ;
  • Internal organs state;
  • The level of filling of stomach before drinking alcohol;
  • The amount of food, eaten after drinking alcohol;
  • The quality of food.

The fact how much the person weighs is determinative in the alcohol abuse degree. The smaller the weight, the longer time is needed to dissolve alcohol from blood. Gender also determines the level of being drunk. Women lose alcohol from blood 20 % longer than men. Of course, the alcohol blood level  is opposite to the level of drunkenness and the time of the state when the person is drunk. It is clear that the strength of alcohol drink influences the level of drunkenness and the time of alcohol dissolution in blood. For example, vodka 40% strong will stay in blood four times longer than any alcohol drink 11% strong.

It turns out that the state of your internal organs  — lungs, liver, excretory system also affect person’s state after consuming alcohol. The liver can process 90 %  of alcohol, the rest 10 % is taken out through human’s breathing, urine and sweating.

There is a special level of allowed alcohol blood level for pregnant women, which should not be exceeded. 0,33 l of light drinks (beer, seeder), 0,25 l of wine or 70 grams of strong alcohol is allowed amount of alcohol to drink. But if a mother does not ignore the health of her child, it is better not to experiment with so called “allowed quantities”. After alcohol consumption it circulates freely around all organism. It needs five hours for alcohol to be taken out of the body. But alcohol appears in mother’s milk in the same amounts as it is in urine and sweat.

You can calculate the alcohol blood level yourself, using a special online calculator on many websites on the internet. There is also a very useful table, showing approximate time, which alcohol needs to be taken out completely from the blood in your organism.

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The way of alcohol through the human body

What is the way that alcohol takes through the human body? From the mouth, the same way as food has, alcohol goes through esophagus, then to duodenum and into small intestine. On every stage alcohol is gradually absorbed and got split into components – water and carbon dioxide, and as a result it almost does not get into large intestine. How long does it take to take alcohol out of the blood and what is the time that alcohol can be found in blood? The stronger the alcohol drink, the slower it will be absorbed in organism. For example, vodka, whiskey or gin – get absorbed very slowly, but wines and champagne wines, which contain carbon dioxide, get absorbed very fast. Carbon dioxide helps the process a lot. That is why people get drunk very fast after drinking champagne and other sparkling drinks. While alcohol is split, all its transitional breakdown products get absorbed in blood and affect internal organs of the organism.

The main absorption is happening in duodenum. The speed of absorption can slow down dramatically if alcohol was consumed after having a meal, or if the food that was eaten together with alcohol had high level of fat in it. For example, a person had bacon with alcohol.

The way alcohol affects your body after the meal and without the meal differs a lot. Thus, the process of absorption into the blood with the full stomach slows down up t 1,5 – 2 hours. If alcohol was drunk on an empty stomach, it will be absorbed in blood into the blood from intestine only in half an hour.

After getting into a small intestine, it gets through the blood vessels into blood and then through the portal vein is moving inside the liver. This organ has a function of a shield, which neutralizes all poisons. But our liver is not supposed to work with such a huge amount of alcohol, that is why it cannot neutralize all alcohol, consumed by a person. As a result large amount of alcohol keeps circulating around our organism.

It is known that people, who suffer from alcohol abuse have enlarged liver. It happens because their liver has to work permanently, trying to process large doses of alcohol. The same way as muscles get bigger after permanent exercising, the liver also increases its own weight. Year after year, making his liver work hard, alcoholic wears his liver out. The cells shrink, the liver loses its ability to neutralize blood intoxication, healing tissue gradually becomes conjunctive tissue and a person develops cirrhosis. This kind of state of liver is irreversible, which means it cannot be cured.

What is happening to alcohol that was processed by liver? With the blood flow it first goes to the right part of the heart, then to the lungs, where blood is being enriched with the oxygen. Here, one part of alcohol is oxidized and another part evaporates from the lungs alveolus. Those fumes result in specific smell in someone’s breath, which include alcohol vapors and smell of alcohol non-oxidized products.

After circulating in lungs, blood, enriched with oxygen and alcohol, flows to the right part of the heart. This part, like a pump, streamlines the blood to all organs and tissues.

There is an opinion that alcohol makes blood thinner and prevents from emerging of thrombus in blood vessels, minimizing the risk of heart attacks. The data on this issue is controversial. But it is known for sure that alcohol develops addiction and affects other organs functioning.

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Digestive products of alcohol

What is more harmful for human organism  — alcohol itself or its digestive products? Beginning with the walls of large intestine and all the way through along the internal organs of organism, alcohol is being disintegrated with the enzymes of alcohol dehydrogenases and acetaldehyde dehydrogenases. Water and carbon dioxide are digestive products of this disintegration. Except those two substances there is a middle substance- acetaldehyde, that is much more dangerous for human organs that pure alcohol. This very substance causes acute exposure and leads to developing of alcoholism symptoms.

Because of acetaldehyde the state, known as hangover occurs, which is characterized by the wrong functioning of all organs, headache, bad mood, insomnia and lack of appetite.

Acetaldehyde is produced both after drinking expensive French cognac and cheap homemade alcohol drink, which means the quality of alcohol does not affect acetaldehyde producing. The only difference is that the low quality alcohol drinks have a lot of other poisonous substances which make hangovers even worse.

How long does it take to get alcohol out of blood? The process of disintegration and taking it out with its further oxidation is rather slow – it can last from 5 hours to 1,5 days. The process of taking alcohol out of the human organism depends on how he is used to drinking alcohol as well as his nationality. For example, alcoholics on the first stage of their addiction will get sober faster.

How long does alcohol stay in blood? What time is needed for disintegration of alcohol in people of different age, gender and nationality? Healthy people, American Indians and some northern nationalities have a very slow process of oxidation of alcohol. Women and children have alcohol in their blood much longer than men do. That is why women and children become addicted to alcohol much faster than men. European men are less addicted to alcohol. As we can see, the time when alcohol stays in blood is very individual. Blood, enriched with alcohol, can circulate around the body several times and every time the level of alcohol in it will be less and the number of non-oxidized products larger. They will be taken out with urine and breathed out.

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How to minimize the harm from alcohol to organism?

If you know that you are going to drink alcohol, get ready beforehand to it. Take some sorbent, for example, granular activated carbon, in an amount of 1 pill per 10 kg of the weight.

Getting ready for banquet, have something to eat at home. For example, have a butter and cheese sandwich, drink a cup of sweet tea with lemon. If you decided to have only tea, add some butter in it. Melted cheese is also good food to get ready for drinking alcohol. If you are short in time for making sandwiches, have a table spoon of butter. A thin layer of butter in your stomach will prevent alcohol from being absorbed there. Try to drink more liquid before dinner – drink more water and juice.

A light alcohol abuse can be neutralized with the glass of milk, kefir or yoghurt. To ease a heavier alcohol abuse you can have half a glass of sunflower oil. It is not very pleasant to do it, but it helps to clear your mind really fast.

If you couldn’t avoid alcohol intoxication, you will have such symptoms as nausea, vomiting, heavy headache and strong pain in your stomach. Very often alcohol intoxication does not discover straight after taking alcohol, but some time later. In this case together with general symptoms of alcohol intoxication the signs of general intoxication of organism are adding – abdominal swelling, muscles and joints pain, fever. To minimize pains, you should take medicine, coating the insides of the stomach and preventing its innervation. It can be warm herbal tea without sugar. You can add some peppermint, melissa or tutsan  to your tea. One liter of kefir or other sour milk product can also help.

To overcome alcohol intoxication might help special medicines. You can purchase them in any drug store. If you have a heavy alcohol intoxication – don’t hesitate and call 911!

It you start vomiting with blood after drinking alcohol, it is a very serious symptom. Do not hesitate and call the ambulance!

How to take alcohol out of your blood? In hospitals, blood can be cleaned from alcohol fast with the help of a drop counter and special solutions.

You should ask for help from the specialists only in case of a heavy alcohol intoxication, when you have serious heart diseases and when you cannot overcome alcohol intoxication yourself and need the process of cleaning the blood from alcohol. On other cases you can use domestic remedies to overcome hangover.

Alcohol effect on a blood test is very perceptible. Alcohol can stay in blood for a long time and sometimes it is necessary to take alcohol out of the blood.

The time of disintegration of alcohol depends on:

  1. The number of alcohol units;
  2. The time when alcohol was consumed;
  3. Person’s weight;
  4. Person’s gender;
  5. How active the bodily processes are;
  6. Food, being eaten before drinking alcohol;
  7. Exercises, made after drinking alcohol.

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