Drinking alcohol over a long period of time can affect the body in ways that we cannot immediate see, or are even aware of. Listed below is how alcohol abuse can damage our bodies in addition to putting us at risk for alcoholism.
Alcohol’s effects on the liver
Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:
- Steatosis, or fatty liver
- Alcoholic hepatitis
Alcohol also affects the pancreas
Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
Learn More: 10 Signs of Alcoholism
Brain function and alcohol
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
Alcohol and heart problems
Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:
- Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
- Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
- High blood pressure
Interestingly enough, research also shows that healthy adults who drink alcohol in moderation may have a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Alcohol is also associated with certain types of cancer
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:
Learn More: Alcohol Abuse and College Students
Drinking alcohol weakens the immune system
Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
If you think you or a loved one may have a problem with drinking alcohol, please contact Rock Recovery Center today to speak with a specialist who can answer additional questions for you.
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