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How excessive drinking affects your body: 8 harsh consequences you should be aware of

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Drinking problems have become an incredibly common issue. Consequently, addiction treatment facilities and services, such as ARC addiction recovery service, are growing in popularity in many parts of the world.

If you think about it, the fact that many people continue to consume alcohol regularly in spite of its well-known damaging effects on the human body and mind is kind of surreal.

However, hearing about the harsh consequences is not the same as understanding how alcohol affects your body. Fortunately, reading this article can help you with that!

In this article, you will find a list of effects of alcohol on your body, ranging from digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, and heart damage to lung infections and muscle cramps. Read on and educate yourself on the topic!

Muscle Cramps

Alcohol can cause muscle cramps. Why is that the case? It is a direct result of dehydration, which is the loss of water from your body. Due to the diuretic properties of alcohol, it can lead to your body excreting more water than it receives from food and beverages.

Gastrointestinal Distress

When it comes to the harsh consequences of ingesting alcohol, gastrointestinal distress is one of the most difficult ones to deal with. Alcohol can irritate your stomach and intestines, causing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.

This happens because alcohol is a toxin and can damage the lining of your stomach and intestines, as well as the cells in your liver.

Sexual Dysfunction

Alcohol can impair your sexual function by suppressing the production of testosterone, decreasing sex drive, and lowering sperm count. On top of that, alcohol can impact the production of reproductive hormones in women, which can lead to menstrual cycle changes.

Heart Damage

Heavy drinking can lead to heart damage, including irregular heartbeat, a condition known as atrial fibrillation. It is a condition where the upper chambers of your heart beat irregularly, which can lead to blood clots forming in your heart.

Other than that, alcohol increases your blood pressure, which can lead to an increase in the risk of stroke or heart attack.

Cancer Risk

Alcohol abuse comes with an increased risk of developing certain cancers. Firstly, excessive drinking increases the risk of developing liver cancer in those who are already at risk for liver disease due to genetic predisposition.

Secondly, it increases the risk of developing esophageal cancer. That is especially the case if you choose to drink alcohol before or during meals, as that is when the esophagus is most likely to absorb excess alcohol.

Lastly, heavy drinking increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer due to chronic inflammation caused by alcohol consumption.

Liver Damage

You might not be aware of this, but alcohol abuse can lead to liver damage. In fact, it is one of the most common long-term effects of heavy drinking. Chronic alcohol use damages liver cells by creating free radicals that can cause severe damage.

It gradually leads to scarring of the liver and liver failure. Cirrhosis is a serious condition that can lead to death if it is not treated in a timely manner. If you are experiencing the most common symptoms of liver damage, such as fatigue, weakness, weight loss, and yellow skin and eyes, you may have already developed liver damage.

Allergies and Asthma

Did you know that there are alcohol-induced allergies? That is because alcohol inhibits the way your immune system functions, and as a result, it contributes to the development of allergies.

In many cases, alcohol may lead to an allergic reaction, the symptoms of which are hives, rash, swelling of the tongue and throat, and difficulty breathing.

Brain Damage

Not that many people are aware of this, but alcohol abuse can lead to brain damage through a process known as neurotoxicity or neurodegeneration. Alcohol damages nerve cells in the brain that regulate balance and coordination and affects the parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

It is worth noting that heavy drinking is associated with an increased risk of developing Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. It is characterized by neurologic abnormalities, such as vision loss, confusion, paralysis, and personality changes.

In Conclusion

As you can see, excessive drinking can have a huge negative impact on your body, such as causing brain and heart damage and increasing your risk of developing liver cancer, among other things.

Fortunately, you can stop drinking excessively. If you are reading this article, it means that you might have already recognized that you have a problem. The next step that you should take is to seek professional help.

There are quite a few addiction treatment options that you can choose from, ranging from outpatient treatment to medication. Because of that, you should be able to find one that will suit your needs best soon enough.

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