The effect of alcohol on the body and mind starts the moment a person takes the first sip. Drinking a glass of wine occasionally during dinner might not be a cause for alarm. However, the cumulative impacts of drinking beer, wine, and sports can eventually take a toll on the health of a person. Excessive alcohol consumption can particularly have serious negative effects on the health of an individual.
Unfortunately, some people start by drinking a glass of wine per day assuming that it does little or no damage to their overall health. But, this habit keeps growing and they eventually end up having difficulties stopping after having a single glass. Thus, their drinking continues to increase and they eventually become addicts. Here are some of the dangers of drinking alcohol that everybody should be wary of.
Endocrine and Digestive Glands
Too much drinking can activate digestive enzymes abnormally. The pancreas produces these enzymes. When these enzymes build up in the body, inflammation can occur. This leads to a condition called pancreatitis, which can be a long-term condition with the potential for causing serious complications.
When a person ingests harmful substances, the liver helps in their break down. Alcohol is also considered a harmful substance by the liver. Long-term consumption of alcohol interferes with the process by which the liver breaks down harmful substances. This, in turn, increases the risk of liver disease and inflammation. Eventually, this inflammation causes the scarring called cirrhosis. When scar tissue forms on the liver, it causes damage that can take time to heal even after a person has quit drinking AddictionResource gives more info. Increased and continued drinking causes more damage to the liver. This makes it hard for this organ to perform its function of removing the ingested toxic substances from the body.
Liver disease is considered a life-threatening condition because it leads to the buildup of waste and toxins in the body. The risk of developing liver disease is higher in women. That’s because their bodies are likely to absorb alcohol more and its processing needs more time. What’s more, liver damage occurs quickly in women than in men.
Excessive alcohol consumption damages the liver and the pancreas. The pancreas plays a role in the regulation of insulin and its response to sugar or glucose. When these organs fail to function properly, the risk for hypoglycemia or low blood sugar increases. When the pancreas is damaged, the body can fail to produce enough insulin for utilizing sugar. Consequently, a person can develop hyperglycemia. That means their blood can have too much sugar.
When the body is unable to balance or manage the levels of blood sugar, more complications can follow. A person can also experience the side effects of diabetes. Research has shown that diabetic people should particularly avoid heavy drinking. That’s because alcohol influences the metabolism of glucose in many, different ways.
Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to emotional and physical dependency. Alcohol withdrawal is usually difficult. Symptoms are life-threatening in some cases. As such, most people seek professional help when they decide to stop drinking alcohol. That’s because they need medical detoxification to regain sobriety. Detoxification is managed on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on withdrawal symptoms’ risk.
Some of the common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:
- Heavy sweating
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
Some people with severe withdrawal cases experience delirium, hallucinations, and seizures.
The effects of alcohol on the digestive system occur after it has suffered severe damage. More damage occurs when the frequency and amount of drinking alcohol increases. The digestive tract tissues are damaged by alcohol. This can hinder the ability of the intestines to digest foods and absorb vitamins and nutrients. Consequently, drinker experiences malnutrition.
Excessive consumption of alcohol may also cause bloating, gassiness, painful stools, diarrhea, and fullness feeling in the abdomen. Hemorrhoids or ulcers can also occur in people that drink heavily. These can lead to risky internal bleeding. If not treated early, ulcers can lead to death.
So, if you drink heavily and have noticed any of these signs, you should think about quitting alcohol. Heavy drinking can also increase cancer risk.
Chronic drinkers are at a higher risk of developing lungs and heart diseases than non-drinkers. Some of the complications of the circulatory system that can be caused by alcohol include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Blood pumping difficulties
The anemia that results from the inability of the intestines to absorb minerals and nutrients can low the count of red blood cells. This can cause fatigue.
Many people want to learn ways to stop drinking after alcohol starts affecting their sex life. Alcohol cab cause erectile dysfunction in men. It can also lower libido and prevent the production of the sex hormone. Menstruation can stop in women that drink excessively. It can also increase their infertility risk. Drinking during pregnancy can cause stillbirth, miscarriage, or premature delivery.
Muscle and Skeletal Systems
Prolonged alcohol consumption can affect the strength of bones. This can make the bones of a drinker thin and increase their risk of getting fractures. Heavy drinking can also cause cramping, atrophy, and muscle weakness.
Heavy drinking can also affect the immune system negatively. This makes it hard for the body to fight viruses and germs. That’s why heavy drinkers are at a higher risk of developing illnesses like tuberculosis and pneumonia.
Central Nervous System
To understand the dangers of drinking alcohol, it’s important to know how it affects the central nervous system. One of the signs that a person has already drunk too much is having a slurred speech. Once ingested, alcohol reduces communication between the body and the brain. As such, coordination becomes difficult. A drunken person also has difficulty maintaining a balance. That’s why you shouldn’t try to drive when drunk.
The fact that alcohol damages the central nervous system is enough to prompt you to stop drinking. If a person drinks too much, their hands and feet experience tingling sensations and numbness.
Creating long-term memories also become difficult when a person drinks too much. The ability to decide rationally and think reduces. The frontal lobe is eventually damaged. This brain area is responsible for short-term memory, emotional control, and judgment.
Permanent damage to the brain can occur due to severe and chronic alcohol consumption. This can cause a brain disorder known as the Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome which affects the memory.
The Bottom Line
There are many dangers of drinking alcohol than the purported benefits. That’s why it’s recommended that non-drinkers don’t start and those already drinking make an effort to quit the habit.