The Physical Effects of Alcoholism

By April 22, 2015Addiction
physical effects of alcoholism

Everyone knows that anything in excess (be it alcohol or even “superfoods”) can be bad to the human body. But it’s so easy to ignore this fact when one has already imbibed one too many a drink. Here are the facts on alcoholism and its various effects on different parts of the human body.

Brain
We all know how too many drinks can impair a person’s ability to make rational decisions. Impaired judgment is one of the short-term effects of alcoholism. But in the long run, an alcoholic is at risk of developing brain shrinkage, neuroses, and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, which is more commonly known as Alcoholic Dementia.

Eyes, Throat, Mouth
Those with dry eyes will find that their discomfort will increase due to drinking too much alcohol. Through time, alcohol can wreak havoc in the mouth and irritate the gums, salivary glands, teeth, and the tongue. Heavy drinking can induce stomach ulcers, excessive gas, and gastritis. And lastly, long-term heavy drinking can damage the gut and rob the body of necessary minerals and vitamins: malnutrition ensues.

Circulatory System
In some people, just one incidence of binge drinking is enough to cause irregularities in the heart. Alcoholics are also at risk of developing heart arrhythmias, heart attacks, increased blood pressure, and stroke. All of this could happen because fat deposits increase around the heart, therefore impairing its normal functions.

Reproductive System
Women who are at childbearing age are at higher risk of becoming infertile. Irregular menstruation is also common for heavy drinkers. Pregnant women are at risk of miscarrying, cases of stillbirth, and giving birth to babies with abnormalities.
As for men, impotence, testicle shrinkage, and feminization (development of breast tissue and loss of male characteristics) could occur.

Skeletal and Muscular System
Alcoholics have a tendency to develop tremors, muscle tingling, loss of sensation, and weakening of the bones. One of the main reasons is simply due to loss of physical exercise. Another is that too much alcohol can rob the body of necessary nutrients such as calcium and magnesium.

Excretory System
We all know that alcohol is hard on the liver, but what exactly does alcohol do? The liver breaks down harmful substances in the body but when there’s too much alcohol in the system, alcoholic hepatitis can ensue. Aside from that, an alcoholic is also at risk of suffering from chronic liver inflammation and eventually, cirrhosis. When the liver eventually breaks down, toxins will remain in the body. And this could be life threatening.

Immune System
Too much alcohol weakens the gut, promotes inflammation, and then weakens immune function. Therefore, a person is more exposed to cough and flu viruses, fungal infections, et cetera.

Hasten Aging
Last but not the least: alcoholism can hasten the aging process. The skin will appear more dry and mature, hair will become more brittle, and fine lines and wrinkles will become more pronounced.

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