Alcohol has been a favorite drink to many for centuries now. Taking a regulated amount every once in a while does not have significant long term health effects. However, abusing the beverage by drinking too much of it or too often can be quite harmful to your health. For starters, it leads to addiction, which results in a vicious drinking cycle. The effects of addiction may vary from one person to another depending on factors such as gender, age, family history, and state of health. Below are some of the most common effects of alcohol addiction.
Damages the Nervous System
The human nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and a network of nerves. One of the significant effects of alcohol is that it slows down the nervous system because it is a depressant. This means that the neurotransmitters that allow communication between the brain and your body work much slower. Short-term effects include impaired vision, alertness, and judgment. Coordination and speech might also get affected.
The effects of chronic or long-term drinking on the nervous system are much worse. It can even result in permanent damage to the nervous system. Some of the common effects include memory loss, coordination problems, sleep disorders, peripheral neuropathy, depression, and seizures, among many others.
Affects Body Organs
Alcohol Addiction can also result in several organ problems. For the heart, it can result in a stroke, hypertension, arrhythmia, and cardiomyopathy. The effects on the liver include cirrhosis, fibrosis, steatosis, and alcohol hepatitis, all of which can be fatal. Binge drinking can also result in inflammation of the pancreas, which is known as pancreatitis. For expectant women, binge drinking can damage the placenta and cause harm to various organs of the unborn baby.
The consumption of too much alcohol can also lead to Anemia. Anemia refers to a condition where the body does not make enough red blood cells that are responsible for moving oxygen to every part of the body. Anemia can result in various other health problems, including inflammation, ulcers, and fatigue.
Alcohol addiction has been scientifically linked to various types of cancer. The most common examples include mouth cancer and liver cancer. If you already have cancer, overconsumption of alcohol can worsen the problem.
Gout is a form of arthritis that results when uric acid builds up within the joints. Alcohol contains purines, which are responsible for causing gout. Consuming too much alcohol, therefore, can potentially cause gout.
Addiction to alcohol is a global concern. Not only does it affect the overall well-being of the affected individual, it also adversely erodes the quality of life of those around them.