Alcohol and Body

What Does Alcohol Do To The Body?

Articles, Australia, Education, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Excessive alcohol intake can cause real harm to a person’s body. The effects certainly do not happen overnight, but continued heavy drinking either through regular sessions, or abstention and then heavy binge sessions will eventually take their toll.

There are so many potential health hazards for those who drink excessively that it would take a long series of articles to list them all. Here are just 4 that should be of real concern.

Digestive system:

Drinking too much can activate abnormal enzymes produced by the pancreas. If these enzymes continue to build-up they cause inflammation and a condition known as pancreatitis. This can be a long-term problem with serious complications.


The liver takes the brunt of alcohol because one of its responsibilities is to break down and remove harmful substances. Alcohol is awash with potentially harmful substances and excessive drinking causes the liver to work overtime. If constant pressure is placed on the liver there is a strong possibility it will become inflamed and diseased.

Inflammation causes scarring and the associated condition of cirrhosis. This is where the formation of scar tissues destroys the liver. Without a healthy, fully functioning liver a person will suffer long term health problems that can kill.

A warning for women:

An important point relating to alcoholic liver disease for women is that their bodies generally absorb more alcohol than a man’s. Their liver also needs more time to process it.

This means women who regularly abuse alcohol are at an increased risk of developing liver damage more quickly than men.

Blood sugar levels:

It is the pancreas that works to regulate the body’s insulin use and its response to glucose. If the pancreas and liver are not functioning correctly then there is an increased risk of hypoglycemia. This condition is when a person suffers from low blood sugar levels.

A damaged pancreas can also prevent sufficient insulin production to use the sugar that keeps the body healthy. If this occurs it has the opposite effect. There will be too much sugar in the blood causing a condition known as hyperglycemia.

Being unable to balance blood sugar levels leads to health complications and increased chances of diabetes.

Damaging central nervous system effects:

We have all experienced or heard the way in which a person slurs their speech when drunk. This is one of the first signs of excess alcohol. Too much alcohol reduces communication between the brain and body. Coordination becomes far more difficult, balance is affected and it is not uncommon to see a person stumble or fall over.

Other damage alcohol can cause to the central nervous system is numbness or tingling feelings in the bodies extremities, Short and long-term memory is affected as is decision making and the ability to think clearly. This is shown by irrational thoughts and acts that often get a person into trouble.

Go steady:

The occasional hangover may not be sufficient to convince a person that drinking is causing them harm. The reality is that a continuation of heavy drinking sessions will more likely than not cause serious health problems in later life.

The ultimate ‘reward’ for abusing your body in this way is an unwanted, early grave.

The following two tabs change content below.

Latest posts by Darren Lockie (see all)

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction, contact one of our therapists today.
+66 8 7140 7788