People drink alcohol for several reasons. Some drink it simply for pleasure. Others drink alcohol because they are passing through tough times and need something to help them forget. Whatever your reason for drinking alcohol, the health implications are the same. It can be easy to overlook the adverse effects of alcohol when you consider the pleasure it brings, but the short and long-term health effects cannot be denied.
From the very moment you take the first sip of that alcoholic beverage, the negative effect begins. While the occasional glass of wine may not be a problem, over time, it begins to have an impact on your system, compromising both your mental and physical health.
Here are just a few ways alcohol can affect your body and mind:
Effect on the brain
Uncontrolled consumption of alcohol can have a significant adverse effect on the brain. Studies have shown that long-term alcohol exposure can cause the frontal lobes of the brain to shrink. This can eventually result in cognitive defects such as memory loss, vision and speech impairment and, in some cases, seizures. When this happens, you may find it hard to form new memories or even remember old ones.
Alcohol causes the release of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are hormones that service the body’s reward system and are usually released after you have done a particularly rewarding activity. However, uncontrolled release of endorphins resulting from alcohol consumption can have a significant adverse effect, such as depression, fatigue, low sex drive and anxiety.
Effects on the body
Alcohol has been linked to several physical complications such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Uncontrolled drinking of alcohol can also put you at the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and oesophagus. When you drink too much alcohol, your body may find it challenging to combat bacteria and viruses, thus putting you at risk of health complications such as lung infection. When your liver is exposed to too much alcohol, it accumulates fat, which can quickly result in fatty liver disease. A liver in this stage cannot function efficiently and will not flush out harmful substances from the body. This can lead to other health complications. Inflammation of the liver is caused by fatty liver disease and is one of the most common diseases associated with alcohol consumption.
Alcohol consumption can also cause changes in your lifestyle; incidentally, these changes are not for the better. For instance, people who drink heavily tend not to be too concerned about their appearance. Often, they either forget to have their bath or, even if they do, are not overly worried about dressing. After a while, heavy drinkers begin to experience feelings of paranoia. They hallucinate, seeing and hearing things no one else can, which can significantly affect their relationship and social interactions.
Despite the pleasure alcohol gives, there is no denying the adverse effect on the body and mind. Fortunately, alcoholism is something that can be managed and treated. Professional alcoholism treatment centres can provide expert treatment and care to people battling with alcoholism and other forms of addiction. If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol. It is a good idea to get professional help.