How Alcohol Affects Your Health
From memory loss to raising cancer risks, this is how alcohol affects your health.
Some doctors advice that having a glass of wine every now and then can be healthy in most cases. However, when we drink large amounts of alcohol or we regularly consume alcohol over long periods of time, virtually every part of the body can be negatively affected. In this article we reveal which are the negatives effects of alcohol for the body.
Alcohol can cause temporary amnesia and even Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. This syndrome affects your memory, vision and may cause seizures. You also won’t be able to make new memories, you will likely mumble involuntarily, and your eyes would constantly twitch. Drinking can also cause an excessive release of two natural neurotransmitters called GABA and dopamine. GABA calms the brain down, whilst dopamine is for pleasure. Too much of these being released can lead to increased aggression and depression, as well as night terrors, delusions, spasms, hallucinations, high blood pressure, increased heart rate and a shortness of breath.
Excessive drinking can cause something called cardiomyopathy, which is the drooping and stretching of heart muscle. Excessive drinking can also cause myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle which causes arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat).
You hear many stories about people with alcohol problems needing new livers, which is the very extreme end of drinking too much alcohol, but drinking in smaller amounts also damages this very important organ. Excess alcohol can cause an accumulation of fat within the liver, and once it is clogged with fat it cannot perform its function as well as it should. This is called Fatty Liver Disease. It will have a negative effect on the entire body and could lead to an inflamed liver called Alcohol Hepatitis. Excessive drinking can also lead to cirrhosis, particularly in those with Alcohol hepatitis. Once cirrhosis happens, the damage to the liver becomes so bad that it cannot repair itself. Once this has started, if a person does not stop drinking excessively they will experience liver failure, which is fatal. Liver Cancer is also a common outcome of drinking alcohol with cirrhosis.
Did you know that drinking alcohol can affect Breasts? When drinking alcohol, levels of estrogen are raised, which is a risk factor in developing Breast Cancer.
Drinking alcohol raises the level of acid within your stomach, this can cause gastritis. Alcohol also causes irritation and inflammation of your stomach lining which can lead to ulcers and bleeding. Sometimes, the stomach lining can even become torn which is very painful and can lead to anemia.
Your Central Nervous System
We all know that slurred speech is a side effect of drinking a little too much alcohol and this is because it effects the central nervous system. This can create many short-term effects like blurred vision, impaired memory and decreased reaction time. It can also cause long term damage to the central nervous system called neuropathy, which causes feelings of weakness, burning, pain and numbness in the hands and feet!
Not only can excessive alcohol lead to inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and be a major risk factor for Pancreatic cancer, but it can also stop the pancreas from producing insulin properly, which can lead to diabetes.
Large consumptions of alcohol acts as a diuretic and flushes calcium out of your bones. This makes them weaker and prone to fractures.
Now that you know what excessive amounts of alcohol can do to one’s body, and these are of course the more extreme effects, you can make informed decisions on how you consume alcohol if doing so.