Alcohol and health effects of alcohol on the body can be short term or long term effects.
The consumption of alcohol and health related problems can occur over a short time frame, while other conditions and long term effects of alcohol on the body may only happen following years of alcohol abuse.
Even one or two drinks can result in changes in behavior and a decrease in one’s ability to think clearly – both concentration and judgment become impaired. If alcohol consumption is excessive, the drinker will become intoxicated.
Short term health effects of alcohol on the body.
Alcohol comes into direct contact with the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach and intestines as well as being absorbed into the bloodstream.
Health problems can begin as headaches, feeling nauseated, sore throat or indigestion.
However, if alcohol abuse continues, these and other alcohol and health symptoms can develop into more serious illnesses and diseases.
• Nausea, Vomiting, Dizziness, Hangovers – excessive alcohol consumption can result in the body trying to protect itself by getting rid of the alcohol and vomiting.
Alcohol and health and the central nervous system are related since alcohol affects a person’s sense of balance and orientation, leading to a feeling of nausea and/or dizziness.
Hangovers are partly due to the body’s dehydration caused by alcohol consumption, and hangover effects of alcohol on the body may be felt a few hours after consuming alcohol.
• Loss of Muscle Control – slurred speech is one of the effects of alcohol on the body. Impaired judgment and poor coordination are alcohol and health effects that can lead to falls and accidents.
• Adverse Interactions with Medications – alcohol is known to interact negatively with at least 100 medications.
For example, antihistamines taken with alcohol can increase the drowsiness that this medication by itself can cause. Large doses of the painkiller acetaminophen taken together when consuming alcohol increases the risk of liver damage.
• Pregnancy Risks – alcohol can cause numerous birth defects, the most serious being fetal alcohol syndrome. Babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome will have physical abnormalities, mental impairment and problems with behavior.
To avoid negative alcohol and health effects during pregnancy, do not drink alcohol during pregnancy as no one knows exactly how much alcohol causes birth defects.
Long term alcohol and health effects of alcoholism on the body…
Because alcohol and health effects can involve many organs in the body, long-term heavy drinking puts you at risk for developing serious health conditions and illnesses.
Here are examples of long term effects of alcohol on the body:
• Liver Inflammation and Cirrhosis of the Liver – liver inflammation symptoms include abnormal yellowing of the skin, eyeballs and urine, fever and abdominal pain. And in the case of cirrhosis, as many as one in five heavy drinkers will develop cirrhosis of the liver.
Alcohol is especially damaging to the liver since the liver is needed to metabolize alcohol. Alcohol destroys liver cells, and it destroys the ability of the liver to regenerate new cells.
• Cancer – long term heavy drinkers increase their risk for certain forms of cancer such as cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus and colon.
• Heart disease – long term heavy drinking increases a person’s risk for developing high blood pressure and heart disease.
• Pancreaitis – long term heavy drinking can result in the development inflammation of the pancreas, called pancreaitis. The pancreas are needed for food digestion, and pancreaitis symptoms include severe abdominal pain and weight loss. Pancreaitis can be life-threatening.
Additional long term negative alcohol and health effects on the body include damage to the brain, nerve damage, bleeding in the esophagus, erectile dysfunction in men, insomnia and depression.
Perhaps you, a family member, a friend or someone you know may have felt that it would be better to cut down on drinking. Maybe there have been incidents of driving when drinking. Or there may have been missed work or school days due to excessive alcohol consumption.
If you’d like to learn more about alcoholism stages and warning signs, there are proven resources available that can help better understand the disease of alcoholism. It is never too late to begin recovery from alcohol addiction.
Alcohol and health, alcohol effects and health effects of alcohol books
Beyond The Influence – Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism by Katherine Ketcham, William F. Asbury, Mel Schulstad, Arthur P. Ciaramicoli.
This informative book draws on recent pioneering research during the past 10 years to make the case for alcoholism as a disease. It does however deal objectively with other views of alcoholism.
Literary quotations lighten the science as the book conveys the expansion of knowledge about how alcohol affects body and mind that the new understanding of the brain and nervous system has spurred.
With this understanding, the book points out an example of why the term drinking and driving is more accurate than drunk driving. The reason being that a driver doesn’t have to be drunk to more easily get into an accident – alcohol and health.
Related articles for alcohol and health information, effects of alcohol, alcohol effects and health effects of alcohol:
Alcoholism signs – ten warning signs of alcoholism.
Alcohol abuse effects and more alcoholism facts.
The three alcoholism stages and characteristics.
Alcoholism signs and symptoms.
What is alcohol abuse intervention?
Short term physical effects of alcohol.
Which alcoholism physical symptom can indicate abuse?
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