Moderately drinking alcohol is not just bad for you. It does constitute potential health risks, especially when consumed chronically or abusively.
Most people consume alcohol as an escape route for personal, social, or work pressures. This can result to alcohol abuse or chronic alcoholism. Consuming alcohol more than what your body can handle poses health risks.
What Are The Health Risks When Abusing Alcohol?
Alcohol abuse is often diagnosed as alcohol addiction, or alcohol use disorder. This is where an individual becomes psychologically and physically dependent on alcohol. It has come to that point where he/she can no longer function without it. Furthermore, alcohol addiction can lead to domestic violence and drunk driving, which are both dangerous to oneself and that of others.
The following are health risks you’re taking when abusing alcohol:
- Liver disease
The liver is substantially at risk for damage during chronic, heavy drinking. The duration and amount of alcohol abuse influences alcoholic liver disease.
- Liver risks: Excessive alcohol intake crucially increases the risks alcoholic fatty liver and other consequences to this organ. Alcohol abuse changes your liver’s ability to metabolize fats.
- Cirrhosis: Scarring will completely overtake your liver over time due to alcohol abuse. Cirrhosis is a late stage of liver scarring due to chronic alcoholism. If your liver fails to perform life-sustaining functions, various organs will also fail and die. Moreover, symptoms of cirrhosis develop subsequent to extensive damage to the organ.
This medical condition is a painful inflammation on the pancreas, which often calls for hospitalization.
- Chemical effects: Pancreatitis, or inflammation on the pancreas can be related to premature process of pro-enzymes to pancreatic enzymes. Also, it triggers due to chronic exposure to the organic compound acetaldehyde and other chemical reactions caused by alcohol abuse.
Alcohol abuse increases the risks of developing various cancers such as cancers in the liver, stomach, mouth, colon, larynx, esophagus, breast, and rectum. Both alcohol and acetaldehyde contribute to the potential risks for cancer.
- Drinking and smoking: Whenever you smoke and drink, it increases the risks of cancer in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract.
- Gastrointestinal problems
Consuming high amounts of alcohol can lead to various gastrointestinal problems.
- Digestive system problems: Alcohol abuse causes digestive system problems such as acid reflux, stomach ulcers, gastritis, and heartburn. Remember that alcohol initially proceeds via the gastrointestinal tract, thus exerting its toxic effects.
- Internal bleeding: Provoking trauma to the digestive system also leads to detrimental internal bleeding in the esophagus’ enlarged veins which are associated with chronic liver disease.
- Impairs bowel movement: Further, alcohol impedes the secretion of gastric acid. Since it delays gastric emptying, it also impairs the muscles’ entire bowel movement.
- Further health risks
Alcohol abuse poses further health risks such as immune system dysfunction, brain damage, vitamin deficiencies, malnourishment, heart disease, and osteoporosis. You can get all of those health risks at once due to the continuous abuse of alcohol.
Alcohol abuse poses plenty health risks from liver damage to further detrimental conditions. Moreover, when you drink and drive, it could lead to grave vehicle accidents. If you ever get involved in a car accident with DUI, click here to know what to do legally.
April Sears has been a writer for more than two decades, and she is currently working on her next piece. As someone with an avid interest with the law, April spends a lot of time reading about legal topics with a fresh cup of coffee. April is family woman, and she loves spending her free time with her family.