Alcohol and Your Body

Alcohol has a devastating effect on your body, and we don’t mean beer bellies and blood shot eyes. The damage alcohol can cause is immense.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provides the following statistics:

Alcohol and Your Body

Alcohol abuse increases your risk of esophagus cancer.

  • In 2013, of the 71,713 total liver disease deaths among individuals aged 12 and older, 46.4 percent involved alcohol. Among males, 48.9 percent of the 46,240 liver disease deaths involved alcohol. Among females, 42.7 percent of the 25,433 liver disease deaths involved alcohol.
  • Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2011, 48.0 percent were alcohol related. The proportion of alcohol-related cirrhosis was highest (72.7 percent) among decedents ages 25–34, followed by decedents aged 35–44, at 70.3 percent.
  • In 2009, liver disease as a result of alcohol use was the main cause of nearly 1 in 3 liver transplants in the United States.
  • Drinking alcohol increases the risk of mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, and breast cancer.

And, this data doesn’t even begin to cover the effects alcohol has on your skeletal, reproductive, circulatory, digestive, and excretory systems. The effects are many and they are profound.

If you are ready to help your body heal and prevent further damage done to it by alcohol, now is the time to call Addictions.com at 800-654-0987 and speak with someone today. We can connect you with resources and treatment options that meet your needs.

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Skeletal System

Because long-term alcohol use makes it hard for the body to produce new bone, your risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures are increased when you drink. In addition, your muscles become weak, tend to cramp, and can atrophy in extreme cases.

Reproductive System

Alcohol abuse effects both male and female reproductive health.

For men, it commonly causes erectile dysfunction. In addition, infertility may be caused, testicular function can be altered, and hormone production can be lessened.

For women, it can cause infertility and halt menstruation. Risks of premature delivery, stillbirth, and miscarriage are also increased.  In addition, risk of breast cancer is heightened.

Circulatory System

It’s not all about excessive drinking either. As little as a single episode of drinking can cause heart problems. Chronic drinkers increase those risks exponentially. And, women who drink face even higher chances of risking heart damage.

Possible damage to the circulatory system includes:

  • Cardiomyopathy: poisoning of the heart muscle cells
  • Arrhythmia: irregular heart beat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Anemia: decrease in red blood cells
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Vitamin deficiencies
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Digestive System

Like the circulatory system, a single drinking episode can injure parts of the digestive system.

Alcohol use can:

  • Damage salivary glands
  • Irritate the mouth and tongue
  • Lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and—in serious situations—tooth loss
  • Cause ulcers of the esophagus and the stomach
  • Cause acid reflux
  • Cause heart burn
  • Inflame the pancreas, which interferes with digestion and metabolism
  • Cause flatulence, fullness, and diarrhea
  • Lead to internal bleeding

In addition, heavy drinkers are less likely to absorb nutrients and often alcoholics are medically malnourished.

Cancers risks increased by drinking includes:

  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Esophagus
  • Colon

4 Surprising Side Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Excretory System

Alcohol use has a profound effect on your pancreas—the organ that helps you digest your food, regulates your insulin, and regulates your glucose. Alcohol use disorders cause the pancreas to send out toxic substances that interrupt the proper functioning of your excretory system. This is what leads to pancreatitis: “a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.”

The liver is also part of this system and you know that alcohol attacks it in a big way. The liver works to break down harmful substances and helps to flush them out of your body. Alcohol impedes its ability to perform this job. This can lead to:

  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Liver disease is life-threatening.

There are many other negative effects of alcohol on the body and the more you drink, the higher your risk of damaging one of your body’s valuable systems becomes. For this reason, among others, it is imperative you seek treatment. For help finding reliable resources and treatment, call Addictions.com at 800-654-0987.

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