What Does Alcohol Do to the Body?
Alcohol affects everyone, without exception. Alcohol’s impact on your body begins from the moment you take that first sip. How it affects you depends on how much you drink, your health condition, your age and some other factors. When you drink too much alcohol, it can lead to harmful short-term and long-term effects. It can affect your physical and mental health, your daily performance, your finances, relationship with your family and your community.
Even though drinking alcohol can make a person feel happy, pleasant, and sociable in short periods of time, excessive or chronic, long-term drinking can lead to alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction, officially referred to as an alcohol use disorder. Using alcohol excessively is also associated with other cognitive and mental health issues, including problems with learning or memory as well as exacerbating or causing serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Having glass each everyday could do harm to your overall health. But if the habit grows or if you find yourself having a difficulty to stop after taking just one glass, the cumulative effects can add up.
What happen in your body?
As you drink it, the alcohol will :
- Pass into your blood through the walls of the stomach and small intestine.
- Travels to every parts of the body including the brain.
- Begin to slow down your brain and affects almost all parts your body.
- Affects your thinking process, your feeling, and your behavior.
Alcohol doesn’t just affect your mind; it also affects your body. Research suggests that even drinking within certain limits may increase a person’s overall risk of death from various causes, such as from various types of cancer and certain forms of cardiovascular disease. This writing will help you learn and understand how alcohol affects your physical health as well as answer many common questions about alcohol and its short-term and long-term effects on the body. These are some of the effects that may lead you to a severe problems;
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Digestive and endocrine glands
Taking alcohol too much can cause abnormal activation of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. Buildup of these enzymes can lead to inflammation known as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis could become a long-term condition and cause severe complications in your body.
Inflammatory Damage and Liver Disease
Liver is an organ that helps break down and remove harmful substances from your body, including alcohol. Long-term alcohol use interferes within this process. It also increases your risk for chronic liver inflammation and liver disease. The scarring caused by this inflammation is known as cirrhosis. The formation of scar tissue destroys the liver. As the liver becomes increasingly damaged, it has a harder time removing toxic substances from your body.
Liver disease is life-threatening and leads to toxins and waste buildup in your body. Women are at higher risk for developing alcoholic liver disease. Women’s bodies are more likely to absorb more alcohol and need longer periods of time to process it. Women also show liver damage more quickly than men.
The pancreas helps regulate your body’s insulin use and response to glucose. When your pancreas and liver aren’t functioning properly, you may have the risk of experiencing low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. A disfunctioned pancreas may also prevent the body from producing enough insulin to utilize sugar. This can lead to hyperglycemia, or too much sugar in the blood.
If your body can’t manage and balance the level of your blood sugar, you may experience worse complications and side effects related to diabetes. It’s important for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia to avoid excessive amounts of alcohol.
Central nervous system
The easiest ways to understand alcohol’s impact on your body is by understanding how it affects your central nervous system. Slurred speech is one of the first signs you’ve drinking too much. Alcohol can reduce communication between your brain and your body. This makes coordination to be difficult. You may have a hard time to balance your body and remember that you should never drive after drinking.
As alcohol causes more damage to your central nervous system, you may experience numbness and tingling sensations in your feet and hands.
Drinking also makes it difficult for your brain to create long-term memories. It also reduces your ability to think clearly and make rational choices. Over time, frontal lobe damage can occur. This area of the brain is responsible for emotional control, short-term memory, and judgement, in addition to other vital roles.
Chronic and severe alcohol abuse can also cause permanent brain damage. This can lead a brain disorder that affects memory.
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Some people who drink excessively may begin to develop a dependency on alcohol both physically and emotionally. Alcohol withdrawal can be very difficult and life-threatening. You often need professional help to break an alcohol addiction. As a result, many people seek medical detoxification to get sober. It’s the safest way to ensure you break the physical addiction. Depending on the risk for withdrawal symptoms, detoxification can be managed on either an outpatient or inpatient basis.
These are some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal:
- high blood pressure
- irregular heartbeat
- heavy sweating
Seizures, hallucinations, and delirium may occur in severe cases of withdrawal.
The link between alcohol consumption and your digestive system might not seem immediately clear. The side effects often only appear after there has been damage. And the more you drink, the greater the damage will you get.
Drinking can damage the tissues in your digestive tract and prevent your intestines from digesting food and absorbing nutrients and vitamins. As a result, malnutrition may occur.
Heavy drinking may also lead to:
- a feeling of fullness in your abdomen
- diarrhea or painful
For people who drink heavily, ulcers or hemorrhoids (due to dehydration and constipation) aren very common. And they may cause severe internal bleeding. Ulcers can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early.
People who consume too much alcohol may also be at risk for cancer. People who drink frequently are more likely to develop cancer in the mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, or liver. People who regularly drink and use tobacco together have an even greater cancer risk.
Alcohol can also affect your heart and lungs. People who become chronic drinkers of alcohol have a higher risk of heart-related problems than people who don’t. Women who drink have more chance to develop heart disease than men who drink.
Circulatory system complications include:
- high blood pressure
- irregular heartbeat
- difficulty pumping blood through the body
- heart attack
- heart disease
- heart failure
Difficulty absorbing vitamins and minerals from food can cause anemia. This is a condition where you have a low red blood cell count. One of the biggest symptoms of anemia is fatigue.
Sexual and reproductive health
You may think drinking alcohol can lower your inhibitions and help you have more fun in bed. But the reality is quite different. Men who drink too much are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction. Heavy drinking can also prevent sex hormone production and lower your libido.
Women who drink too much may stop menstruating. That puts them at a greater risk for infertility. Women who drink heavily during pregnancy have a higher risk of premature delivery, miscarriage, or stillbirth.
Women who drink alcohol while pregnant put their unborn child at risk. Fetal alcohol syndrome disorders (FASD) is a serious concern. Other conditions include:
- learning difficulties
- long-term health issues
- increased emotional problems
- physical development abnormalities
Protect your family from prohibited items, contact Drug Rehab Bali Center if there is anything you want to consult