Many of us like to end a work week with a beer, glass of wine or other spirit, and so we should also understand the effects of alcohol on the body including the brain, memory, heart, lungs, liver, etc. Due to the caloric content of alcohol, many people end up with a beer belly or unwanted excess fat in other areas of the body. Since about 30% of us consume one drink/day and another 20% consume two drinks/day, let’s explore some of the ways alcohol affects our health.
- Circulatory system
Alcohol can affect your lungs and heart. People who are regular drinkers of alcohol have a high risk of heart-related problems than individuals who do not drink. Women who drink are are more prone to develop circulatory problems than men who drink.
Circulatory system complications could lead to the following:
- Heart attack
- Heart disease high blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty pumping blood through the body
- Heart failure
- Alcohol affects the heart
Drinking a lot for a long time or in excess over a short time frame can damage the heart, causing issues including:
- High blood pressure
- Drooping with stretching of the heart muscle (Cardiomyopathy)
- Arrhythmias – uneven heartbeat
- Alcohol affects the liver
Excessive drinking causes negative impacts on the liver and can lead to a range of problems and liver inflammations such as:
- Steatosis, or fatty liver
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Cellular mutation
- Sexual and reproductive health
Men who drink much are more liable to have erectile dysfunction. Excess drinking can lower your libido and as well as avert sex hormone production.
Women who engage in drink alcohol while pregnant can endanger the their unborn child.
Other conditions are:
- Increased emotional problems
- Physical development abnormalities
- Learning difficulties
- Long-term health issues
- Skeletal and muscle systems
Research has shown that heavy alcohol use (particularly as teenagers and young adults) can dramatically affect bone health and possibly increase your risk of bone maladies such as osteoporosis as you age. This could cause thinner bones and enhance the possibility of fractures if you fall and of course fractures take longer to heal. Consuming alcohol may also lead to cramping, muscle weakness, and in the long run, atrophy.
- Alcohol affects Pancreas
Alcohol also causes the pancreas to generate toxic substances that can, in due course, lead to pancreatitis, a hazardous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels which occur in the pancreas and prevents proper digestion.
- Immune System
Drinking too much can makes your immune system grow weaker, making your body an easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are often liable to contract diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis than individuals who do not drink in excess. Consuming a lot on a single occasion slows the body’s aptitude to defend against infections – even up to 24-hours following chronic drinking.
People who overindulge for a long period of time are also more liable to develop tuberculosis or pneumonia than the general population. Additionally, drinking alcohol increases your risk for quite a lot of types of cancer including breast, mouth, and colon.