Effects of Excessive Alcohol on Health

Effects of Excessive Alcohol on Health

Excessive alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on the immune system, cardiovascular system, brain and liver. The effects can be temporary, minor or can even give rise to life-altering conditions, which require medical treatment. The best way to combat these effects is to reduce your consumption of alcohol to a moderate and reasonable amount. It is recommended that men shouldn’t consume more than 4 drinks in a day or 14 days weekly whereas women should not consume more than 3 glasses in a day and 7 glasses in a week’s time.

If you have the habit of consuming alcohol frequently, you should be aware of the damage it can inflict.

  • Neurological Effects

The most recognizable symptoms of alcohol’s impact on the brain are impaired judgment, motor skills and speech. Depending on your tolerance level, the degree of impairment can increase with the quantity consumed. Long-term effects of excessive consumption of alcohol can usually be seen in persistent and heavy drinkers. These include alteration of neurotransmitters and neurons and shrinkage of brain cells. An enlarged brain cavity can be created with brain mass shrinkage, which can lead to problems sleeping, mood changes and other undesirable changes.

  • Immune System Effects

Drinking excessively, even occasionally, can lead to reduced activity in the adaptive and innate immune system defenses. Bacteria-fighting white blood cells can be found in the innate system along with natural killer cells that destroy viruses. However, their ability of fighting infections is reduced because of too much alcohol. When an adaptive system is impaired, it is difficult to create antibodies and fight off antibodies. There is also a greater risk of infections when the body cannot produce antibodies. Chronic alcohol abuse also makes you susceptible to HIV.

  • Cardiovascular Effects

While your vascular system and heart can benefit from positive impacts when you consume alcohol in moderation, excessive can cause a lot of damage to your cardiovascular system. The rhythm of the heartbeats can be altered because of long-term and heavy drinking and this problem is called arrhythmias. The body also produces more stress hormones because of heavy drinking, which stiffen and constrict blood vessel walls leading to hypertension. These problems are known to increase the risk of heart strokes because blood flow to the brain is constricted.

  • Effects on the Liver

The job of the liver is to get rid of the harmful substances in the body like alcohol and store nutrients and energy in their place. Therefore, the liver becomes quite weak because of excessive consumption of alcohol as it plays a large role in the removal of toxins from the blood stream. Fatty liver syndrome can also occur because of heavy drinking and this can pave way for alcoholic hepatitis. Fibrosis occurs because of the liver’s decreased ability of removing scar tissue and this can lead to cirrhosis. If excessive alcohol consumption continues and these problems are left untreated, you will become patients of insulin-dependent diabetes or even acquire liver cancer.

Thus, reducing and managing consumption of alcohol is of the utmost importance for ensuring optimal health.

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