Alcohol Effects on the Body

Alcohol abuse can have a significant effect on the body, even if it occurred only on one occasion, such as with binge drinking. The long term effects of alcohol addiction can lead to serious health issues and be fatal. Although moderate alcohol use is considered safe, chronic and excessive and chronic use can be dangerous.

What is Moderate Alcohol Consumption?
Moderate alcohol consumption is considered to be no more than two drinks for men and one drink for women (non pregnant). Alcohol abuse can contribute to undernourishment and organ damage including liver disease, cirrhosis, hepatitis, as well as digestive problems. Other complications may include enlarged kidneys and kidney failure.
The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse in Pregnancy
Women who are pregnant and who have excessive alcohol use put their unborn babies at risk of being born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which can cause lifelong physical deformities and mental deficiencies. Although there is no way of knowing how much alcohol is safe for pregnant women, research shows that alcohol consumption in moderation is safe, however it is best not to use alcohol while pregnant.
Alcohol addiction can lead to high blood pressure, damage to the heart muscle, an irregular heartbeat and put the individual at risk for stroke and heart attack. However, research has revealed that moderate alcohol use, especially drinking red wine may actually prevent heart disease of the coronary artery.
Alcohol abuse may have the most detrimental impact on the liver. The most recognized and common effect of alcohol on the body is cirrhosis of the liver, which is scarring on the liver, meaning the liver shows multiple striations. Cirrhosis is not reversible; once the damage is done it is there permanently and over time can lead to liver failure and be fatal. Ascites is another condition that is related to the damaging effect of alcohol abuseto the liver.
Alcohol abuse interferes with brain function and may influence how the brain processes information, as well as the way the brain controls the body. Excessive alcohol consumption can interrupt brain signals which relate mood changes and behavior. Alcohol use can interfere with the brain’s ability of motor control, which is why an individual stumbles when they are drunk.
Other Health Related Complications
Excessive alcohol abuse can lead to the development of:
• Arthritis
• Depression
• Insomnia
• Anxiety
• Memory issues
• Dementia.

Binge Drinking
If it happened just once, or if binge drinking is a common event, drinking too much alcohol in a single event can be fatal. Too often on the news we hear of a young persondying after consuming too much alcohol at a college party, high school event or slumber party. Most of the time, the person drank until they passed out, however while they were sleeping they either vomited and asphyxiated or died from alcohol poisoning and never woke up.

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