The Physical Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

The Physical Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

While alcohol is perfectly safe to drink in moderation, drinking excessive amounts of it has many adverse effects on the body. Some of the areas of the body which are heavily impacted by alcohol abuse include the heart, liver, brain, immune system and pancreas. While most people realize that too much alcohol is bad for them, few understand exactly how it damages the body.

Alcohol Abuse Weakens The Immune System

Your immune system is responsible for protecting you from disease. However, those who drink too much alcohol will compromise their immune system, making them more vulnerable to diseases such as tuberculosis or pneumonia. Excessive alcohol also weakens the body’s ability to protect itself from infection.

Alcohol Abuse Can Damage The Heart

Some of the heart problems which can result from alcohol abuse include arrhythmias, also known as an irregular heartbeat, as well as high blood pressure and cardiomyopathy, which occur when the muscles of the heart stretch or droop.

Alcohol Abuse Can Severely Impact The Brain

When alcohol is abused it alters the communication pathways within the brain. This can influence the way the brain functions, changing the mood and behavior of the drinker. Those who drink too much often have difficulty thinking clearly and coordinating their movements, which is why driving under the influence is so dangerous.

People behave very differently when under the influence of alcohol. Some become mellow and unusually friendly or talkative, while others become irritable, aggressive or even violent. This unpredictable behavior when drinking large amounts of alcohol is due to the way it influences the brain. People who are under the influence of alcohol are also prone to risk taking.

Excessive Drinking Also Impacts The Liver

Alcohol has a number of negative effects on the liver. Some of these include fatty liver, which is also known as steatosis, as well as fibrosis, hepatitis and cirrhosis. Alcoholic hepatitis causes inflammation within the liver and is considered the beginning state of liver disease. Cirrhosis leads to the deterioration of liver cells, as well as a tissue thickening.

Too Much Alcohol Can Damage The Pancreas

When the pancreas is exposed to too much alcohol it will begin to create substances which are toxic. These toxic substances may ultimately cause pancreatitis, which is another form of inflammation which is extremely dangerous because the blood vessels will swell which will inhibit proper digestion.

Alcohol Abuse Can Lead To Cancer

A link has been established between alcohol abuse and various forms of cancer. Those who drink too much put themselves at increased risk of developing cancer within the liver, throat, mouth, breast and esophagus. Many of these cancers are difficult to treat and once contracted the prognosis may be dire.

As you can see, alcohol impacts the body in many different ways. These physical effects don’t even begin to touch on the many social problems that drinking causes. While a moderate amount of alcohol is safe to drink, abusing these substances is dangerous for your body and mind. Those who are addicted to alcohol should seek help as soon as possible.