Effects of Alcohol on the Body
Alcohol abuse, whether it is been a short or a long period of time has the ability to do some serious damage to your body. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has an informative publication that breaks down the effects of alcoholism can take on the body. Overall, it has damaging effects to each and every part of the body although depending upon a series of factors; it may affect each person differently.
An overview of some of the effects of alcohol:
Brain: Alcohol interferes with the way the brain appears if imaged and also the way it works. Alcohol causes disruptions with the way the brain functions and has the ability to change a person’s mood and behavior. Alcohol abuse can make it hard to think clearly and to be coordinated.
Heart: Whether you have been drinking for a long period of time or have binged on a single occasion, the alcohol intake can be too much for your heart. It can cause any one or a combination of the following issues:
- Cardiomyopathy – which is a weakening of the heart muscle or other type of problem with the heart muscle itself.
- Arrhythmias –a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat, it can be too fast or too slow.
- Stroke- when the flow of oxygen rich blood to the brain is blocked.
- High blood pressure- the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises or remains high over a period of time it can cause damage to the body.
Liver: Any periods of heavy drinking will do some serious damage to the liver and can lead to an entire host of problems that will interrupt the normal function of the liver including:
- Steatosis, or fatty liver- the buildup of fats in the liver which is reversible
- Alcoholic hepatitis- an inflammation of the liver that can be serious and mainly affects a person with alcohol abuse.
- Fibrosis- is excessive accumulation of scar tissue in the liver which is a result of ongoing inflammation
- Cirrhosis- scarring of the liver and poor liver function, it is the end phase of chronic liver disease
Pancreas: Th effects of alcohol abuse can cause the pancreas to produce toxic substances that will eventually result in pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a dangerous and painful inflammation of the blood vessels that prevents a person from properly digesting their food.
Cancer: Alcohol abuse can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer:
Immune System: This type of abuse can do a lot of damage to your system, including your immune system. It weakens your immune system leaving you vulnerable to being able to contract many diseases, illnesses or infections. .