Health effect of alcohol
Alcohol is one of the most common drugs in the world, used by millions of people. Alcohol (when used commonly refers to ethanol) is consumed widely around the world for numerous reasons. Alcohol can cause cancer by permanently damaging stem cell DNA, after cigarettes, alcohol is perhaps the most common carcinogen that humans voluntarily expose themselves to.
- “In the longer term, alcohol is associated with an increased risk of cancer of the mouth, tongue, lip, throat, stomach, pancreas and colon,”
- Long-term over consumption of alcohol causes death of brain cells, which can lead to brain disorders as well as a lowered level of mental or physical function.
- Liver damage from alcohol can result in cirrhosis, a severe medical condition that can require a liver transplant to treat.
- Long-term over consumption of alcohol can cause pancreatitis, a very dangerous inflammation of the pancreas, and it can also cause nerve damage.
Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:
- Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
- Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
- High blood pressure
Diabetes and Alcohol
If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol may cause your blood sugar to either rise or fall. Plus, alcohol has a lot of calories.
- Alcohol can reduce will power and increase the chance of making bad dietary choices.
- Alcohol can interfere with some oral diabetes medications.
- Alcohol can increase blood pressure.
- Because of the calories in alcohol, regular consumption can make it difficult to shift additional weight.
Heavy drinking, especially bingeing makes platelets more likely to clump together into blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Alcohol can affect your heart and lungs. People who are chronic drinkers of alcohol have a higher risk of heart-related issues than people who do not drink. Women who drink are more likely to develop heart disease than men who drink. Circulatory system
- high blood pressure
- irregular heartbeat
- difficulty pumping blood through the body
- heart attack
- heart disease
- heart failure
The acute psychological effects are
- Drowsiness or feeling sleepy
- Impaired attention
- Impaired memory or inability to remember
- Impaired judgment
- Impulsive behavior – behaving without considering the consequences
- Aggressive behavior – hitting, becoming verbally abusive
- Impaired occupational performance – having difficulty performing work related tasks
- Mood liability – frequent changes in mood
Acute physical effects are
- Rapid pulse
- Stomach ache
- Unsteady gait – inability to stand straight
- Respiratory depression – inability to breathe
Long-term Effects of Alcohol
- Liver damage
- Inflammation of pancreas
- Sexual problems – impaired performance in men, risk of giving birth to deformed babies in women
- Vitamin deficiency
- Stomach bleeding and inflammation, diarrhea, vomiting, malnutrition
- Memory loss
- Cancer of throat, mouth, breast
- Increased risk of pneumonia
- Weakness of heart muscles, heart failure, anemia