Negative effects of alcohol on the body
As soon as you take the first sip of the drink, it starts affecting your body. If you are a regular drinker, you should read to know the negative effects on the body.
There are short-term and long-term effects on the body. Here is the list of some of the long-term harmful effects:
1. Alcohol damages your brain cell
Alcohol quickly and dramatically affects the brain as your mind is a complex maze of connections that play an essential role in keeping your physical and psychological processes running smoothly.
Any disturbances or disruption on this connection can affect the performance of the brain.
The intricate maze of the brain consists of trillions of tiny nerve cells known as neurons. These neurons translate information into electrical and chemical signals which your mind can understand easily.
Alcohol slows the speed of communication between neurotransmitters in the brain. Several researchers have revealed that alcohol causes the neurotransmitters to relay information too slowly, making you feel tremendously drowsy.
Behavioral changes like a sudden change in mood, depression, agitation, memory loss also occur due to the effect of alcohol in neurotransmitters.
Reduction in brain cells’ size, alterations in the neurons results due to long-term and heavy drinking.
Consequently, the growth of the inner cavity of the brain occurs and affects a range of abilities, motor coordination, temperature regulation, sleep, mood, cognitive functions, including learning and memory.
2. It can cause death due to heart attack
For centuries, excessive alcohol consumption has been known to damage the heart. Drinking for a long period can put your heart at high risk.
You will be surprised; researchers have recently revealed that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can protect your heart from the dangers of coronary artery disease.
Heavy drinking for a long time weakens the muscles of the walls of your heart, resulting in an uneven contraction and expansion. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough blood to nourish the organs sufficiently.
In some cases, organs and tissues may suffer severe damage. Alcohol also causes the heart to beat over rapidly and irregularly. As a result, the heart cannot fill up with enough blood between each beat, and the rest of the body does not get enough blood.
When the body parts do not get enough blood, it causes dizziness, lightheadedness, unconsciousness, cardiac arrest, and even sudden death.
Alcohol also causes strokes. Strokes result due to insufficient blood reaching the brain. Alcohol is also a leading cause of the problems leading to hypertension, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy.
3. Fatty live to alcoholic cirrhosis
Alcohol has an adverse effect on the liver. Drinking over time builds up the fat in the liver. The excessive buildup of the fat on the liver makes it more difficult for the liver to operate. The inflammation of the liver, commonly known as alcoholic hepatitis, may occur.
Alcoholic hepatitis is responsible mainly for fever, nausea, appetite loss, abdominal pain, and even mental confusion.
Heavy drinking of alcohol also causes scar tissue to build in the liver. Asa a result, the function of the organ is affected. Continuation of excessive drinking results in a condition called cirrhosis- a slow deterioration of the liver.
It prevents the liver from performing critical functions that include managing infections, removing harmful substances from the blood, and absorbing nutrients.
Complications like jaundice, insulin resistance, and liver cancer may occur due to massive alcohol consumption.
4. Alcohol increases cancer risk
Of the several reasons for cancer, excessive alcohol is one of the causes. Alcohol increases the risk of developing cancer in your body. Numbers of studies show that the more your drink alcohol, the more you increase cancer risk.
Mouth cancer, esophagus cancer, pharynx and larynx cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer may appear on your body if you do not limit alcohol consumption.
Drinking five or more times can increase the risk of developing cancer.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund report, women who drink five standard drinks a day carry 1.2 times the risk of developing colon or rectal cancer than women who do not drink at all.
Drinkers are also more likely to smoke, which also causes to increase in the risk of developing cancer. Smoking and drinking intensify cancer-promoting activities in the body.
Alcohol itself is not the primary booster of cancer, but it causes an increase in harmful toxins, and those toxins trigger the harmful radicals leading to the tumor.
5. Decreases the immune system
The immune system is the defense mechanism in your body that fights 24/7 from infection and disease. The skin and mucous lining of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract block bacteria from entering or staying inside your body.
Alcohol promotes the suppression of innate and adaptive immune systems. It reduces the performance of white blood cells to engulf harmful bacteria.
Alcohol triggers a massive production of cytokines that can damage tissues. Alcohol also suppresses T cells and NK cells’ development, which makes your body vulnerable to bacteria and viruses.
Pneumonia and Tuberculosis may frequently occur due to a weak immune system. Alcohol’s damage to the immune system also increases the risk of contraction of HIV infection.
6. Increase in sugar levels
Alcohol alters the functioning of the pancreases, disturbing the regulation of insulin. The damaged pancreases prevent your body from producing enough insulin to utilize the sugar.
As a result, your body may suffer from hyperglycemia, indicating too much sugar in your blood. You may also run the risk of experiencing low blood pressure or hyperglycemia.
Alcohol also stimulates the appetite, encouraging overeating, and increasing blood sugar levels. Liquor also contains a certain amount of calories which promotes diabetes.
People with diabetes should be careful to take alcohol as it alters blood sugar levels. Alcohol reduces the effectiveness of diabetes medicine. Consumption of both can result in rising and fall of blood sugar, which can also cause insulin shock, which can be life-threatening.
7. Weight gain and loss of appetite
Liquor is broken down into acetate, which the body will burn before any other calories present in the body you have consumed.
Alcohol contains calories, and when you drink and consume more alcohol, it results in a further increment of calories and fat in the body. Research reveals that when alcohol is in your system, it’s harder for your body to burn fat that’s already there.
It ultimately results in an increase in weight in your body.
8. Bad for unborn and newborn baby
The effect of alcohol on the body of a pregnant woman puts the unborn baby at risk. Consuming alcohol during pregnancy increase the risk of miscarriage, lower birth weight, stillbirth, and premature birth.
Alcohol also damages the development of the baby’s brain and physical growth. Some babies may be born with a condition known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
A pregnant woman is advised not to drink alcohol.
The alcohol passes into the breast milk of the mother through the bloodstream. It can reduce the milk supply and cause irritability, poor feeding, and sleep disturbance in the baby.
A mother is advised to avoid drinks or consume in a meager amount during the period of breastfeeding.
9. Low sperm count and quality
Much research has revealed that alcohol can be harmful to the male reproductive system. It is toxic to the testicles and affects the critical cells that make sperm and produce the male hormone testosterone.
Chronic heavy drinking can cause shrinkages of the testicles and decreased production. TI can result in loss of male characteristics and infertility.
Alcohol consumption in men appears to affect sperm count and sperm quality. The shape of the sperm is altered, resulting in the ability to fertilize the eggs.
Well, these are some of the negative effects of the alcohol that happens within your body. However, we should not forget that it also affects your personal life. It can cause emotional baggage, stress, and sour relationships.
We recommend that you should avoid drinking and instead pick healthy habits.