If you type into Google “benefits of alcohol” no doubt you will get thousands of results providing information on these benefits, with studies to back up the claims. Studies have found some small benefits when alcohol is consumed in moderation, such as red wine containing lots of antioxidants and beer having certain vitamins and minerals.
But whilst these finding may be true, as soon as you start drinking more than the recommended daily allowance, you will likely start causing much more damage to your body than good. Try typing into Google “long term side effects of alcohol” and you will get a complete list of the damages that long term alcohol use does to the body.
So while you may consider that drinking small amounts of alcohol is providing you some health benefits, you must always be aware of what the damaging long term effects are too.
Long Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
The effects that alcohol can have on a person’s health will depend on a number of factors such as their overall health and how much they drink and how often. Alcohol is primed to destroy certain parts of the human body, so even those that drink small amounts; overtime it can still wreak havoc on the body.
Here are the top 5 damaging effects that alcohol has.
Damage to the Liver
It is probably one of the most well-known effects that alcohol causes damage to the liver. The liver is a vital organ which does amazing work by filtering harmful substances out of the body, as well as converting the nutrients that we consume into energy. So whilst it is designed to encounter damaging substances, it cannot keep handling them in large amounts. Drinking too much alcohol at one time will overwork the liver and this can eventually lead to conditions such as massive amount of scarring and eventually cirrhosis. If too much damage is done then the liver will not be able to filter out other harmful substances and this can be fatal. The good news is that the liver is able to heal itself, so if there is not already too much damage done, stopping drinking will give a person’s liver a good chance of recovery.
Damage to the Digestive System
The digestive system is another important part of the body which is made up of a number of organs that can become damaged from alcohol abuse. Some of the parts of this system that can become damage include the mouth, throat, salivary glands and stomach. Conditions that can relate to these include irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, gastritis, heartburn, ulcers and certain types of cancers.
Damage to the Immune System
Even though you do not notice it, the immune system is working full time to prevent infections in the body and fight off disease. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can cause damage to the immune system by weakening it, which in turn can increase the risk of getting ill. Alcohol can also have an effect on the amount of white blood cells that the body produces. These are produced by lymph nodes to attack any foreign invaders.
Damage to the Bones
Calcium is required throughout the body to help create and maintain strong bones. Calcium is absorbed into the body with the help of the pancreas and combines with the liver’s activation of vitamin D to create healthy bones. Since alcohol can cause damage to both the pancreas and the liver, it can have an effect on calcium absorption in the body and ultimately lead to conditions such as brittle bones or arthritis.
Damage to the Brain
Alcohol has a sedative effect on a person which is why people often become slurred and have poor coordination and judgement. It is believe that long term alcohol use can cause the frontal lobes of the brain to shrink which in turn, increases the risk of developing dementia in later years.
For some individuals, cutting down on alcohol or quitting completely can be a simple thing to do, but for others, it can be extremely hard. If you are struggling to quit alcohol use then one option is to attend rehab. Rehab has a high success rate and will get you on the road to recovery, even if you attend for just a few weeks.