In moderation, drinking is an enjoyable and social activity that many people partake in. There is a strong drinking culture among adult parties that can help people relax and find something to talk about. However, there are times when drinking becomes too much of a bad habit. Drinking excessively is not only damaging to your social life. Too much alcohol can cause serious health problems. Here are five major ways that excess drinking can negatively affect your health.
Too much drinking can result in liver disease, a weakened immune system and even heart disease. The liver is where the alcohol gets filtered after we drink it. Having too much can overwork the organ and lead to a variety of problems. There are a number of inflammations caused by excessive drinking. Cirrhosis is one form of liver disease where the damaged parts of the liver get replaced by scar tissue, making it harder for it to function normally. Excess alcohol could lead to too much pressure on your heart, causing high blood pressure and increasing the potential for strokes or an irregular heartbeat. Cancer is also a possibility following excessive alcohol drinking. The most common cancers caused by extended alcohol use are: throat, mouth and liver. For women, in particular, the chances of breast cancer also increase.
While this one is easy to spot, it becomes harder to determine once someone becomes a fully functional alcoholic. When someone becomes drunk, they might chat more or engage in risky, impulsive behavior. This change in behavior can also have long-term emotional and mental impacts, like moodiness, anxiety and slurring of speech. Over time, the nervous system becomes permanently damaged and the eyes can become too weak or even paralyzed. The brain also suffers disruptions that make it hard to communicate or coordinate movement. This is caused by alcohol limiting all cognitive functions, including our ability to breathe.
When it Becomes an Addiction
It might not seem so bad to have a beer or glass of wine every day after work. But sometimes, if you find that you can’t go without that nightly beverage, you may be suffering from alcohol addiction. Symptoms of alcohol addiction include: not fulfilling daily responsibilities like work or socializing in order to drink, increased use of alcohol, anxiety, nausea and developing a higher tolerance. There is also the risk of being unable to create new memories while also being unable to recall previous experiences. They will also create false memories to fill in the gaps. It is possible to get help for yourself or your loved one. However, for better chances of success, it’s best to rely on professionals for detoxing as it might be extremely difficult to handle on your own.
Heavy drinking can injure the major parts of your digestive system. Beginning at your mouth, alcohol severely affects everything it comes into contact with. There is a burning sensation that can irritate your mouth and tongue and cause gum loss and disease and eventually tooth decay and loss, as well. You could also develop stomach ulcers, meaning your stomach lining would become inflamed and cause a painful condition known as gastritis. Overall damage to this system results in hemorrhoids, bacterial buildup, colon cancer and internal bleeding.
For men who drink too much, erectile dysfunction is a typical and serious side effect. Extreme cases have even led to infertility following the damage to hormone production. Women who drink too much can also have similar effects. Following heavy alcohol use, the menstrual cycle may stop completely. And worse, if there is drinking during a pregnancy, the developing baby could suffer lifelong physical mutations, emotional problems and learning disabilities.
While it is normal and acceptable to use alcohol in controlled amounts, there are serious effects of engaging in too much. Alcohol limits our body’s ability to function at its healthiest, both physically and mentally. From short term effects like drunkenness to longer conditions like liver damage, excessive alcohol can have horrible consequences. It’s important to restrict how much alcohol you use in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Moderation is the first step to preventing any long-term damage from excessive drinking.
By Rait Raak
Rait is a fitness junky, online marketer and founder of HowTonight.com - a blog focuses on health, nutrition and many more. Our goal is to provide tips for healthier, happier life. Check us out on Twitter @howtonightcom or Facebook