One of the most lethal, legal addictions worldwide is alcoholism. Ethanol in excessive amounts can have serious consequences on the body. This is a brief list of some of the problems you may encounter.
Chronic use of alcohol can damage heart tissue and increase the risk of high blood pressure. It can also cause an irregular heartbeat or stroke.
Effects on the Liver
The major organ affected by alcohol abuse is the liver. Damage to the liver, known as alcoholic hepatitis, can result as well as, cirrhosis and fibrosis.
Alcohol is a depressant and can affect brain activity. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) can become deficient and disrupt the peripheral nerves. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome can be the consequence of insufficient thiamine levels which damage the structure of the brain and brain function.
Inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels called pancreatitis can be the impact of overindulgence. The production of toxic substances can lead to this dangerous condition.
Drinking too much can irritate the stomach resulting in inflammation of the lining and ulcers. This can become problematic when the body attempts to absorb nutrients from food.
Other casualties of alcoholism include the immune system, increased cancer risk, and birth defects in unborn children when consumed during pregnancy.
Take these risks seriously and drink in moderation. How is moderation defined you ask? The Centers for Disease Control use recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and state moderation as no more than one drink a day for women and 2 drinks for men. So what is "a drink?" A drink equates to 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of liquor, or 5 ounces of wine. We have all heard that wine has some health benefits, but there are NO benefits to overindulgence. Please drink wisely and responsibly.
1. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body
3. Oprah Magazine/August 2013. Dr. Oz p.42 "A Toast to Your Health"
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm#moderateDrinking