Excessive alcohol consumption affects a variety of our organs and can lead to different types of cancers, including mouth and throat, oesophagus, larynx, liver, colon, rectum and breast cancer.
Over and above this, alcohol has devastating effects on almost all of your body’s major organs. We take a look at how it affects some of these.
We all know that alcohol affects the brain, it becomes quite obvious when you see a friend starting to slur their words and lose their balance as they walk. While these are the immediate and observable effects of alcohol on the brain, it goes a lot further than this. The ethanol in alcohol is known to damage many areas in the brain, and damage that continues over a long period of time can result in many negative things. These include depression, anxiety, seizures and memory less. Over and above memory loss, long-term effects could include being unable to form new memories.
While study findings that a glass of red wine and the antioxidants found therein can decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease have been welcomed by many, many of us do not know what finishing the whole bottle could mean for our bodies over time. Well, excessive consumption over a long period can result in blood flow irregularities because it weakens the heart’s muscles. This can lead to a condition referred to as cardiomyopathy – when one’s heart starts to stretch and hang down limply. Some of the symptoms include shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat, constant fatigue, a persistent cough and an enlarged liver.
As mentioned above, many of us know that alcohol has very negative effects on our livers, but do we actually understand how? The chief functions of the liver include digesting food, absorbing nutrients, controlling infection, and removing toxins from the body. American research has found that one in every three liver transplants that happen in that country are as a result of a liver disease caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol.
Heavy drinking has been linked to high blood pressure, which is the chief cause of kidney failure. Over and above this, alcohol prevents the kidneys from performing their main function, which is to regulate the flow and makeup of body fluids. This is because alcohol increases the amount the urine produced by the body.