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Patient Review Highlights
If you are a heavy drinker or consume alcohol regularly or frequently, you should know about the harmful effects of alcohol or how it affects your body negatively. When you drink, alcohol gets absorbed into your blood and gets distributed all over your body. Alcohol consumption may cause several physical and emotional changes, which can cause great harm to the body. There are many long-term effects of alcohol abuse, which put your health at great risk.
Here are some ways in which alcohol affects the different parts of your body:
- Excretory system: Excessive consumption of alcohol may cause the pancreas to produce toxic substances that interfere with its functioning. As a result, pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas is likely. This is a serious problem, capable of destroying the pancreas. Alcohol affects the liver severely. Excessive intake of alcohol may cause alcoholic hepatitis and lead to jaundice development. Chronic liver inflammation may cause severe scarring or cirrhosis. The formation of scar tissue may destroy your liver. When the liver and pancreas do not work properly, there is a risk of hypoglycemia. The damaged pancreas may cause unbalanced blood sugar levels, which is a serious concern.
- Central nervous system: Change in behaviour is one of the primary signs of alcohol being in your system. Alcohol travels through the body and quickly reaches your brain and other parts of the central nervous system or CNS. This may lead to slurred speech and it becomes harder for you to talk. Your overall body coordination is affected along with your balance and the ability to walk properly. Over drinking negatively affects your ability to think clearly, impulse control and your ability to form memories. Long term drinking shrinks the frontal lobes of the brain. Damage to the nervous system because of alcohol may cause pain, abnormal sensations in your limbs, and numbness.
- Digestive system: Alcohol also affects your digestive system in several ways. Alcohol can affect the entire digestive system starting from the mouth to the colon and a single incident of excessive drinking can wreck parts of the digestive tract.
- Organ damage: Alcohol abuse damages your salivary glands, which cause irritation in the tongue and month. This may result in gum disease, tooth disease or tooth decay. Ulcers in the oesophagus or food pipe, acid reflux and heartburn are other impacts. Excessive drinking may also lead to stomach ulcers and inflammation of the stomach lining.
Inflammation of the pancreas disrupts its ability to help the process of digestion and regulate effective metabolism. Damage to the digestive system from alcohol abuse can also cause diarrhoea, gas, abdominal fullness.