Excessive consumption of alcohol is without a doubt harmful to your health. We’re hoping everyone knows this by now. It can have a negative impact on almost every system in the human body. Genetic factors, the amount of consumption, body mass, and gender, as well as the general state of an individual all influence how that said person’s health will end up responding to heavy alcohol consumption. Basically, it’s different for everyone. Studies have consistently shown that not only can it be detrimental to your health, but it can also lead to death.
Below are some of the most common risks of chronic heavy drinking.
1. Liver Disease
Alcohol is normally metabolized in the liver. This is particularly why the liver has a high risk of damage. Most people know that liver cirrhosis and the like is oftentimes caused by heavy drinking. The alcohol content metabolized in the liver is turned into acetaldehyde and this happens to be a substance that’s both carcinogenic and toxic. Liver disease caused by alcohol abuse is usually influenced by the duration and the amount of alcohol consumed as well as the frequency of consumption. Heavy, chronic drinking will help encourage the risk of its development.
2. Immune System Dysfunction
Heavy drinking in some cases will help weaken the body’s immune system, which, in turn, makes it vulnerable to several infectious diseases the likes of tuberculosis, pneumonia and such. Alcohol will cause negative changes in the platelets, white and red blood cells. Excessive consumption of alcohol can help cause drops in your white blood cell counts. Why this happens is because it suppresses the production of the white blood cells in your body, and the cells are then trapped in your spleen. Each heavy drinking episode reduces the ability your body has to ward off diseases and infections.
Excessive drinking can help increase the risk of you developing certain types of cancer. Some of these include cancer of the breast, stomach, rectum, colon, liver, larynx and esophagus. Both the alcohol itself and acetaldehyde contribute to that heightened risk. Those who drink heavily as well as smoke tobacco have higher risks of contracting cancers of the respiratory tract and upper gastrointestinal tract as well.
4. Brain Damage
Alcohol is often linked with difficulty walking, slurred speech, memory lapses, blurred vision and slowed down reaction times. These are all largely due to how the alcohol itself affects the brain. What it does is it alters the neurotransmitters and brain receptors and eventually interferes with your reactions, emotions, moods and cognitive functions on multiple levels. Because it happens to be a depressant of the central nervous system or CNS, it makes it harder for one to effectively process information as well as making it difficult for you to solve simple problems. If you want a healthy brain for longer, then you might want to keep away from heavy drinking episodes.
As this article has shown you, chronic, heavy drinking comes with a tremendous cost of which your body will have to pay for in the future. The increased health risks alone are enough to show how dangerous excessive consumption of alcohol can be. All in all, if you want to lead a long, healthy life, then you might want to reduce, or stop altogether, the amount of alcohol you consume.