The Physical Effects of Alcoholism

Many people do not understand the long term effects of alcohol on the body. Unfortunately, many people do not even realize they have a drinking problem until the alcohol has already started harming their body and they begin seeing physical signs of alcoholism.

What is Alcoholism? What are the Causes of Alcoholism?

A basic definition of alcoholism is when you can no longer control your use of alcohol. Many people start by just having one drink a day. Still, they decide it is okay to have a second for most people that might not cause you to become an alcoholic unless you find yourself adding a second drink every day, or maybe a third or a fourth.

Over time, alcohol can interfere with the pathways in your brain, and it can affect how your brain looks and works. Drinking alcohol causes brain damage over time and can disrupt your mood, and even affect your behavior. You may even suffer from a lack of coordination or begin to have trouble thinking clearly.

Although many researchers disagree on the exact cause of alcoholism, they have found that between 40 and 60 % of people seem to have genetic factors that may increase the risk of alcoholism in their families.

Other research indicates that it can also be affected by the environment you grow up in or live in. People who grow up around people who drink excessively may view it as normal behavior and not realize the harm until it is too late.

What is the Alcohol Consumption in the United States?

Consumption in the United States is at an all-time high, and this trend is terrible where women are concerned. The death rate has dramatically risen among the female population of alcoholic deaths, according to an article released by Fox News last year. Although there are still more alcohol-related deaths among men, deaths from alcohol among women from 1999 to 2017 increased by 85%.

They also reported that more than 88,000 Americans die each year because of drinking excessively. Many people do not realize that alcohol can contribute to serious health issues like liver cancer, strokes, and heart disease.

How Many Years of Drinking Before Liver Damage Occurs?

Liver issues can be a severe threat to an alcoholic. Everything filters through our liver before exiting the body. You may think it will never happen to you, but there is no way to tell how many years of drinking before irreversible liver damage.

Drinking alcohol can cause your liver to become inflamed and have a fatty liver, fibrosis, cirrhosis, or even alcoholic hepatitis.

What are the Potential Side Effects of Drinking Alcohol?

Does alcohol cause high blood pressure? Does alcohol raise blood pressure the next day? Many people do experience elevated blood pressure the next day. Alcohol affects your heart, and sometimes alcohol can increase heart rate, making you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Damage can occur to your heart even if you only drink one time. Some serious cardiac issues include:

  • Cardiomyopathy is where the heart, a muscle, can stretch or droop.
  • Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeat and can be pretty severe and sometimes even deadly.
  • A stroke is where proper blood supply is cut off to the brain, and severe damage can result in death.
  • Blood pressure issues are often too high, but at the same time alcohol can lower the blood pressure.

These are very serious and can cause permanent damage leaving your quality of life less than desirable.

Some other long-term effects of alcohol usage include the pancreas producing toxic chemicals that can lead to pancreatitis, where you have severe pain from swelling and inflammation. You may also have immune system problems, such as a weakened system that allows you to be more susceptible to cancer.

You may wonder what happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol? People who heavily drink for a long time often have withdrawals when trying to stop drinking. They may start with headaches and nausea to more severe symptoms from anxiety, hallucinations, and even seizures. They can start two hours after not having a drink in more severe cases and up to four days after stopping drinking in others.

Immediate Effects of Alcohol Abuse

When you use alcohol, sometimes you suffer from immediate discomforts, such as getting a hangover. While a hangover is not likely to kill you, it can be miserable the morning after drinking too much.

Other people may even start feeling sick after drinking small amounts of alcohol. Can a hangover cause a fever? Yes. Many people feel overheated and have a fever with a hangover.

Can drinking alcohol cause diarrhea? Some people experience diarrhea after drinking which is another immediate effect from drinking.

You can develop cognitive issues that can cause you to have memory loss. Some people experience trouble thinking clearly, and you may end up blacking out and having no idea what happened for a while.

Some people panic or develop anxiety from drinking, and it can affect your mood and even cause you to feel depressed.

Alcohol Poisoning

Sometimes a person consumes so much alcohol at once it can impair your brain from being able to function enough to do vital things like breathing or controlling your heart. This often occurs when people binge drink, resulting in death if not treated in time by medical professionals. If your brain goes without oxygen for any time, it causes severe damage or death.

The signs of alcohol poisoning are essential to recognize them to get yourself or someone you care about emergency help on time. The signs or symptoms include the following:

  1. Mental confusion
  2. Vomiting
  3. Seizures
  4. Become comatose
  5. Not being able to wake them.
  6. In a stupor
  7. Turning blue
  8. Breathing very slow or irregular
  9. Ashen skin
  10. Hypothermia

If you encounter someone with these symptoms, you sure to call 911 immediately. Time is of the essence. Never wait to get help thinking they are just sleeping, or it might be too late, especially if you know they have been excessively drinking.

To Conclude

Alcohol abuse or addiction are severe issues that can cause a person long-term health problem or even death when alcohol is drank excessively. Know the signs of alcohol poisoning and health issues caused by heavy drinking. Alcohol misuse should be avoided. If you drink, make sure you do it responsibly. If you find yourself or someone you care about is having alcohol problems get help as soon as possible.

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