Many people drink alcohol in order to feel good. It helps them to unwind and relax, helping them to feel more social, especially on the weekends. However, alcohol does affect your behavior, and over long-term use, it can start to affect the rest of your organs. Here are ten ways in which alcohol can negatively impact your health.
1. Brain Damage
Over a long period of time and in excessive amounts, alcohol can start to impede the functions of the brain. This can cause changes in behavior, affect memory, and diminish the ability of the brain to learn new things. When it gets too far, intensive outpatient for drugs & alcohol may be the only treatment option.
2. Increases the Risk of Cancer
Alcohol is the second largest risk of cancer, after smoking. If you’re drinking above the weekly alcohol limits on a regular basis, you definitely increase your risk for:
● liver cancer
● colon cancer
● bowel cancer
● mouth cancer
● throat cancer
3. Damages the Heart and Circulation
Alcohol can increase blood pressure over time, which can increase your risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Alcohol can also weaken the heart muscles, slowing the circulation of blood to the vital organs in the body. Binge drinking on a regular basis can cause an irregular heartbeat, which has been linked to sudden death.
4. Negatively Affects the Lungs
Alcohol is a depressant and generally slows down bodily functions. Drinking alcohol heavily can increase the chances of a lung infection or even a collapsed lung. When a person has drank too much alcohol, there is the possibility they could throw up and that vomit could get into their lungs and cause aspiration.
5. Makes the Liver Fatty
The more alcohol that you drink, the more fat is deposited onto the liver. All of this fat can cause inflammation and lead to alcoholic hepatitis. In turn, this can lead to liver failure and eventually death if it’s not treated. Cirrhosis of the liver is also possible due to scarring and damage to it from excessive drinking.
6. Impairs the Stomach
Alcohol tends to increase the acid in the stomach, which increases the chance and rate of stomach ulcers and internal bleeding. Gastritis is also a possibility, which is the inflammation of the stomach and reduces absorption of nutrients.
7. Pancreas Function Decreases
The pancreas is another organ that can become inflamed from heavy drinking. An inflamed pancreas leads to a lot of pain, vomiting, a fever, and drastic weight loss.
8. Decreased Bone Density
As mentioned before, because nutrients aren’t being absorbed as readily, that means that calcium intake is also down. The bones become weak and thin, and are prone to breaking more easily.
9. Impairs Mental Health
Heavy drinking tends to be linked to certain mental health conditions, such as depression, personality disorders, suicide, risk-taking behavior, and anxiety.
10. Decreases Skin Quality
Drinking alcohol tends to dry out your skin and the rest of your body. Blood vessels are also widened, which can lead to red and blotchy skin.
Binge drinking isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and you should see a professional as soon as possible, not only to help you overcome this problem but also to safeguard your health.