Alcohol, no matter how small the amount that one consumes, has an effect on the body. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and only a tiny amount of it is excreted by the body through the urine and breath. Long-term use of alcohol especially in excessive amounts always has physical and emotional changes that greatly harm one’s body. There are many long-term effects of alcohol abuse that can put the health and life of a user in serious jeopardy as well as endanger them.
Alcohol mainly affects the following body systems;
- Excretory system
- Central nervous system
- Digestive system
- Circulatory system
- Sexual and reproductive health
- Skeletal and muscle systems
- Immune systems
Let’s have a brief look of how it affects each of the above body systems;
Excessive alcohol use causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that hamper its functioning. It ends up with an inflammation called pancreatitis, a very serious problem that can destroy the pancreas and result in chronic pancreatitis. Excessive alcohol also affects the liver by resulting in chronic liver inflammation. This can lead to cirrhosis which destroys the body and results in toxic substances not being excreted. Liver disease is life threatening and women are at a higher risk of suffering from alcoholic liver disease than men because their bodies absorb more alcohol.
Central Nervous System
Alcohol highly affects the central nervous system. Alcohol intake interferes with its functioning and the result is slurred speech in some people, poor coordination, lack of balance when walking, and more. Excessive alcohol intake can result in dire consequences such as inability to think clearly, inability to form memories, numbness, seizures and delirium from withdrawal efforts, permanent brain damage, and dementia.
Alcohol abuse can damage the salivary glands, tongue, cause ulcers in the esophagus, acid reflux, heartburn, stomach ulcers, and inflammation of the stomach lining. Excessive alcohol literally damages all parts of the digestive system. And this damage can lead to abdominal fullness, diarrhea, and internal bleeding from the ulcers, hemorrhoids or esophageal varices caused by cirrhosis. Heavy drinkers also face higher risk of malnutrition as well as mouth, throat and esophagus cancers.
At times, a single episode of heavy drinking can result in troubles for the heart, especially for chronic drinkers. Complications such as irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and poisoning of the heart muscle cells.
Sexual and Reproductive Health
Alcohol abuse often results in erectile dysfunctions among men. It also hampers hormone production, affects testicular functions and causes infertility. In women, it can lead to infertility, miscarriages, premature delivery, still births, and fatal problems on fetal development.
Skeletal and Muscle Systems
Too much alcohol makes it hard for the body to produce new bones. It also increases the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis (thinning bones).
Alcohol weakens the immune system and makes it hard to fight off illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.
If you have already been charged with a DUI or DWI contact the Nolan Law Firm for a free consultation at (480) 773-7901.