Global health effects of alcoholism

effects of alcoholism

Effects of Alcoholism

Evidently the general effects of alcoholism has been linked to heavy drinking. Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol on a daily basis is harmful to your health. Alcohol can be likened to a drug that affect every body system though the detrimental effects vary for each individual.

The volume of alcohol consumed, genetics, gender, body mass and general state of health  influences  how a person's health responds to chronic heavy drinking. When an individual consumes excessive alcohol, the body  takes in more alcohol than it can metabolize , the excess builds up in the bloodstream. The heart circulates the blood alcohol throughout the body leading to visible changes in chemistry and normal body functions.

Even a one-time binge drinking activity can result in a significant bodily impairment, damage or death. Excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of many chronic disease and other serious health problems. "effects of alcoholism"


Facts on chronic heavy drinking/effects of alcoholism

Here are some key facts relating to chronic heavy drinking. Excessive alcohol use is the first leading preventable cause of death in the United States and world at large. .

The general definition of heavy drinking is consuming eight drinks or more per week for women and fifteen or more for men . Per occasion, over three drinks for ladies and over four for men is considered heavy drinking.

effects of alcoholism
effects of alcoholism

Alcoholism or  Binge drinking is defined as the intake of  five drinks (alcoholic beverage) or more for men or four or more for women on a single occasion.

Alcohol is consistently linked and associated with violent crime. A good percentage of the global burden or problems  of disease is attributed or caused by alcohol. Alcohol consumption poses to cause substantial harm to the health of others besides the drinker. in a research conducted 59.7 million percent (almost 1/4 of those surveyed) reported being binge drinkers and 17 million people reported heavy drinking.

Individuals who begin drinking at an early stage are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin drinking at or after the age of 21. "effects of alcoholism"

Individual variations in alcohol metabolism might place some individuals at bigger risk for health issues. Depending on body weight, the blood alcohol level can rise to illegal levels after only 2 drinks.

Majority of alcohol metabolism (breakdown) takes place in the liver, with other organs contributing to alcohol metabolism as well. Research suggests that many of the toxic effects of alcohol are due to the body coming in contact with acetaldehyde the carcinogenic byproduct of alcohol metabolism.

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Here are 10 most typical health risks associated with  chronic heavy drinking/alcoholism

  1. Liver disease

Alcohol's metabolism takes place in the liver which is why the liver is particularly at the risk of damage. liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption is mostly influenced by the amount and duration of alcohol abuse and chronic heavy drinking poses a substantial risk for its development

At least 90% of people who drink heavily will develop alcoholic fatty liver which is an early reversible consequence of excessive alcohol intake. Chronic drinking enhances the livers natural breakdown of fats. This results in excess that accumulate in the liver. "effects of alcoholism"

Other chronic drinkers might experience long-term inflammation (alcoholic hepatitis), which can cause the laying down of scar tissue. Over a period ranging from several years to decades, the scar can completely invade the liver causing it to be hard and nodular. About a good number of cases of alcoholic hepatitis can turn into cirrhosis of the liver. If the liver is unable to perform its life sustaining functions multiple organ failure and death can occur. Unfortunately among people who do develop liver disease symptoms usually develop only when extensive damage has already been done.

  1. Pancreatitis

Over consumption of alcoholic beverages can lead to pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas that also requires hospitalization. The inflammation is likely related to premature activation of the pancreatic enzymes and chronic exposure to acetaldehyde. A five to ten year period of chronic drinking typically initiates the initial attack of alcoholic pancreatitis.


  1. Cancer

Chronic alcohol consumption can contribute to the risk of an individual developing different cancers including cancers of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, stomach, liver, colon, rectum and breast. Both acetaldehyde and the alcohol itself are implicated as the agents for the heightened risk. Concurrent tobacco use, which is common among drinkers enhances alcohol's effect on the risk for cancers of the upper digestive and respiratory tract.


  1. Ulcers and gastrointestinal problems

Heavy drinking will cause stomach ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn and inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis). As alcohol passes through the digestive tract it begins to exact its toxic effects, Causes damage to the digestive system and can also lead to dangerous internal bleeding from enlarged veins in the esophagus. it interferes with gastric acid secretion, can delayed gastric emptying and can also impair the muscle movement in the entire bowel. The gastrointestinal tract contains a considerable amount of damage from alcohol.

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  1. Immune system dysfunction

Drinking an excessive amount of  alcoholic beverages weakens the immune system making the body prone to infectious diseases like respiratory disease and tuberculosis. Alcohol causes a drop in the white blood cell count, most likely because of trapping of these cells in the spleen. Each episode of heavy drinking reduces the body's ability to ward off infections for up to 24 hours after the bodies exposure to alcohol.

  1. Brain damage

Alcohol alters brain receptors and neurotransmitters and interferes with a person's cognitive functions, moods,  emotions and reactions on multiple levels.

Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant it causes difficulty in  processing information and poses challenges with solving simple problems. Effects on serotonin and GABA receptors may reduce an individual's normal fear of consequences to their actions contributing to risk taking of violent behaviours.

Alcohol also disrupts/destabilizes  fine motor coordination or body balance often leading to injuries from falls. Excessive drinking will cause blackouts or the inability to recollect events. Long term heavy drinking can speed up the brains normal aging process resulting in early and permanent dementia. Because their brains are still developing until approximately age 25, Young adults are especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol


  1. Malnourishment and vitamin deficiencies

Dysfunctional malnourishment and several vitamin deficiencies. Individuals who are active drinkers often have a poor diet. even if a drinker  eats a healthy diet; nutrients are not broken down properly, also not adequately absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood and are not used effectively by the body cells. Also alcohol's ability to interrupt red blood cell production and cause bleeding from gastric ulcers may lead to the development of iron deficiency anemia. "effects of alcoholism"




  1. Osteoporosis

Chronic alcohol consumption particularly during adolescence and youthful age can dramatically affect the bone and  may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis (loss of bone mass) later on in life. Osteoporosis will increase the chance of fractures particularly of the hip. Long term alcohol consumption can cause a form of  dementia that affects memory, learning and other mental functions

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Alcohol also interferes with the balance of calcium, vitamin D production, and cortisol levels, adding to the potential weakness of bone structure. Although alcohols damaging effects on the bone are most striking in young people, research has shown that women between the ages of 67 and 90 who drank excessively had greater bone loss than women who did not.


  1. Heart Disease

Heavy drinking triggers the discharge of certain stress hormones that constrict blood vessels resulting in high blood pressure. Excessive alcohol intake is additionally linked to multiple cardiovascular complication including cardiomyopathy (weekend and over stretched heart muscles), arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), heart attack and sudden cardiac death. Stroke is a doubtless deadly complication of binge drinking. Fluctuations (an increase or decrease) in blood pressure and increases in blood platelet activation are common during the body's recovery from a binge. This deadly combination heightens the possibility of ischemic stroke.


  1. Accidents and injuries

Drinking alcohol in large amount is linked to car crashes, accidents of all forms, falls, drowning, occupational injuries, suicide and homicide. Driving abilities  is impaired with as little as one drink and a drinking individual is likely to get or  sustain a greater severity of injury with an accident. Alcohol use continues to be the leading cause of injuries treated in the emergency departments.

Heavy drinking poses an enormous health risk. When alcohol is consumed in excess either on one isolated location or over an extended period of time, the body can suffer severe and irreversible damage. No pattern of drinking is entirely safe and there's no reliable technique of predicting how or when an individual will be injured as a result of the chronic heavy drinking of alcohol.

Binge drinking impairs immune system in young adults

It's been observed that younger people famously face grueling hangovers than older adults, according to a new study they should not make the mistake of believing they are immune from the adverse consequences of alcohol. In fact the study has found that binge drinking in young, healthy adults significantly disrupt the immune system.  "effects of alcoholism"

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