The Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

More than 88,000 people pass away each year due to alcohol-related problems. There’s no question that this is a huge problem in the U.S. and around the world. While death is the most severe consequence of alcohol use and abuse, there is a wide array of other long-term effects that may occur.

Getting to know the alcohol effects on the body is a great way to better understand why it should be avoided. Keep reading to learn what these effects are.

 

The Brain

When you drink alcohol, it interferes with various parts of the brain that handle communication. As time passes, continued use can result in the function and structure of your brain changing. Even a single drink on a single occasion can lead to serious and often irreversible damage to the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and limbic system.

The use of alcohol may also contribute to a wide array of mental disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorders, anxiety, and depression. If someone suffers from a mental issue along with alcohol use, the condition is referred to as a co-occurring disorder.

 

The Liver

If you drink heavily, it’s very hard on your liver. In fact, regular excessive drinking can result in possibly life-threatening liver issues.

When you drink alcohol, it’s metabolized by your liver enzymes and then transformed into a digestible product. While this is true, the liver can only metabolize very small amounts of alcohol at once, leaving the remaining alcohol circulating throughout your body.

If the amount of alcohol becomes excessive, it can result in liver inflammations, including cirrhosis, fibrosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and fatty liver.

 

The Heart

It doesn’t matter if you are drinking alcohol continually over a long period of time, or if you drink excessively only once, heavy drinking can lead to a wide array of heart problems. Your heart is responsible for getting blood from your liver and then pumping it throughout your body.

If the liver is sending blood that’s contaminated with alcohol to your heart, then it may result in both short- and long-term health problems. In fact, continued, long-term, heavy drinking is the number one cause of heart disease.

Alcohol may also contribute to cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, stroke, and arrhythmias. While there are some claims that moderate consumption of alcohol may have some benefits, these are typically outweighed by the risks.

 

The Pancreas

Your pancreas helps your body digest the food you eat. It does this by producing two very important hormones that reduce or increase the level of sugar that’s in your blood.

When you drink alcohol, it causes the pancreas to create a chemical that is extremely harmful to your body. When you drink alcohol, the pancreas produces a chemical that’s extremely harmful to the body.

If you are a long-term drinker, it can result in the blood vessels around your pancreas swelling, which can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is considered a possibly deadly inflammation of your pancreas, and the symptoms aren’t always easy to recognize. As a result, many people never receive needed treatment.

 

The Kidneys

Your kidneys work to filter out any harmful substance in your blood. If you drink alcohol on a regular basis, then having high blood pressure is extremely common. Over time, this may cause kidney disease. If you develop the liver disease due to excessive drinking, then it will result in your kidneys being overworked.

Avoid Alcohol for Better Health

If you want to achieve a better state of health, then it is best to avoid alcohol altogether. The fact is, this drink can affect almost all parts of your body in a negative way, and it’s just not worth it.

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