Alcohol is something that circulates the world we live in. Whether you are going out for food at a restaurant, meeting up with friends or family, going out to a party or having a relaxing night in, if you enjoy a drink, then alcohol will most likely play a part in all of these events. However, although alcohol may make you feel good, it is a poison and it does have an impact on your mental and physical health. Consuming alcohol responsibly can reduce these side effects, but this will depend on your age, size and overall health.
There are certain alcoholic beverages that do offer some benefits to your health, but unfortunately, in most cases, the risks of drinking booze will outweigh the benefits. Your own mental and physical health status will play a large part in whether or not consuming alcohol is right for you, and doing your research before you carry on or start drinking regularly is crucial. To help you understand more, here are 10 effects of alcohol on the body.
1. Circulatory System
Your heart and lungs make up your circulatory system, which is responsible for supplying oxygen to your body, including your muscles and brain. People who drink alcohol heavily increase their chances of developing issues with their heart compared to those that don’t drink alcohol. Women drinkers are at more risk of developing heart disease from drinking alcohol compared to male drinkers. However, drinking alcohol will increase the risk of circulatory system complications, no matter what sex you are. Complications that can occur with the circulatory system include irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure (hypertension) and difficultly pumping blood throughout the body. This can lead to serious issues, such as a stroke, heart attack, heart disease and heart failure.
2. Endocrine and Digestive Glands
If you drink too much alcohol, it can affect how your pancreas functions. The pancreas is responsible for producing enzymes that break down sugars, starches and fats during digestion. It also makes hormones, which can help your digestive system. When you start drinking alcohol often, this can lead to abnormal activation of the digestive enzymes that the pancreas produces. When these enzymes build up, it can lead to inflammation of the pancreas. This is called pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis is where inflammation occurs over a short period of time and symptoms can be managed by reducing alcohol intake and controlling your diet. However, if left untreated, it can lead to chronic pancreatitis, which is a lasting condition where the pancreas becomes permanently damaged and stops working.
3. The Liver
The liver is the main organ that breaks down and removes toxic substances from the body. This includes alcohol. When you abuse alcohol for a long period of time, this process gets interfered with. Drinking too much alcohol can also increase the risk of chronic inflammation of the liver and liver disease. When your liver is inflamed on a regular basis, then scarring will occur. The medical term for this scarring is cirrhosis. When this scar tissue forms, it destroys the liver and limits its function. As the liver becomes more and more damaged, it won’t be able to remove the harmful substances from your body as effectively. Without the correct treatment and management, this can lead to liver failure, which is a life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical attention.
4. Sexual and Reproductive Health
There is a common misconception that alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which can make you more fun in the bedroom. However, the reality is far from it. If men drink alcohol regularly, it increases their risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction. Drinking heavily can lessen your libido and reduce the production of sex hormones. Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is essential for many important bodily functions and even alcohol reduces testosterone. Drinking less alcohol can improve your testosterone levels, but if you feel like you need an extra boost, then you should look into taking Testogen. This is packed with pure, powerful, proven testosterone-boosting ingredients. The effects of alcohol can limit fertility in both males and females and can cause many complications if consumed during pregnancy.
5. Effects Pregnancy
As mentioned above, if alcohol is consumed during pregnancy, it can lead to complications for both the unborn baby and the mother. If a pregnant woman drinks heavily during her pregnancy, then she will increase her risk of a miscarriage, premature delivery or a stillbirth. This can lead to further complications with the women and can also have a negative psychological impact. If the unborn child manages to survive until birth, yet the mother regularly drank alcohol while she was carrying her baby, then the child may be born with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD), which is a serious concern. Other conditions that may develop include learning difficulties, increased emotional problems, long-term health issues and physical development abnormalities.
6. Skeletal and Muscle Systems
Drinking alcohol on a regular basis can prevent your body from maintaining strong bones. Human and animal studies have demonstrated that heavy, chronic alcohol consumption will compromise the health of your bones and will increase the chances of osteoporosis (brittle bones) developing. This is because heavy alcohol use weakens the mechanical properties of your bones and decreases bone density. The risk of this disease increases in people who drink heavily during adolescence and their adult years. Calcium is a vital nutrient for the healthy development of bones and alcohol affects the way the body reacts with calcium. This leads to the bones deteriorating, as calcium is leached from the bones, which stops them from receiving the vital amount.
7. Digestive System
Not many people link together the consumption of alcohol and strain on the digestive system, but there are many side effects that will appear once damage has occurred. The more you drink, the worse this destruction will become. When you drink alcohol, the tissues in your digestive tract can be affected. This will prevent your intestines from digesting the food you eat, which will reduce the number of vitamins and nutrients your body absorbs. As a result, you may become malnourished. Drinking alcohol heavily can also cause gassiness, bloating, a swollen abdomen and diarrhea or painful stools. Hemorrhoids and ulcers can occur in heavy drinkers, which can lead to dangerous internal bleeds. Frequent drinkers can increase their risk of cancer, especially if they smoke alongside it.
8. Your Central Nervous System
Understanding the effects of alcohol on your central nervous system is one of the easiest ways to see the impact alcohol has on your body. If someone drinks heavily, one of the first things you will notice is slurred speech. When you drink too much, the communication between your body and your brain will be reduced. This will make coordination harder, which can cause issues with your balance. This is why it is never safe to drink and drive. If you drink regularly, your central nervous system will become more damaged over time. This may lead to tingling and numbness in your hands and feet. Drinking can also have a negative impact on your long-term memory. This can reduce your ability to make rational decisions and think clearly, and the frontal lobe of your brain can also become damaged over time.
9. Mental Health
It is not uncommon for people to use alcohol to deal with trauma and issues with their mental health; however, even though this may feel like it helps during the moment, it can actually make it worse over time. Many people who use alcohol as a coping mechanism can become dependent, both physically and emotionally. Alcohol withdrawal is not easy and, in some cases, it can be life-threatening. Professional help is often needed to help someone deal with alcohol addiction. Using medical detoxification to get a person sober is the safest way to break free from the physical dependency on alcohol. Detoxification can be managed as an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on the withdrawal symptoms, that can include nausea, tremors, anxiety, heart palpitations and hypertension.
9. Changes in Your Behavior
Another way alcohol affects your body is by changing your behavior. Many people who drink heavily will notice changes in their behavior that will be out of their control during the moment. Alcohol can make people over-emotional, angry and aggressive, which can affect relationships and can get people in trouble. Experts believe that the reason people get angry and aggressive when they are drunk is because of the way alcohol influences your brain. As mentioned previously, coordination and the way your brain communicates with your body is affected when you drink a lot of alcohol, which will change your behavior. Binge drinking can also make people blackout, as it interferes with how your brain creates memories, making it normal to wake up with no recollection of the night before.
Now you know a bit more about the effects of alcohol on the body, hopefully you will be more aware of how much and how often you are drinking. Drinking alcohol may feel like fun in the moment, but it isn’t unusual for people to abuse it and permanently damage their health in return, so remember to keep yourself in check and always drink responsibly.