How Alcohol Affects the Body

July 15, 2021 9:09 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Nearly everyone knows that alcohol is an addictive drug, but fewer people understand exactly how alcohol affects the body. Those effects can be cumulative if you drink heavily over a long period of time, but even a single night of overdoing it can harm your body and mental health. Here’s an overview of the effects of alcohol on the body:

  • Birth defects: It’s nearly impossible to forget that pregnant people should not drink alcohol—something that’s represented in media and pop culture and reinforced in your doctor’s office. If you’re pregnant, it’s important to understand that there’s no “safe” amount of alcohol. Any amount could cause birth defects.
  • Blackouts: A long night of drinking may make it difficult to remember what happened. Alcohol affects how your brain creates and stores memories, so you might not even have any recollection of drinking.
  • Brain: Too much alcohol can actually cause your brain’s frontal lobes to shrink.
  • Cancer risk: If you drink alcohol regularly, you’re more likely to develop mouth, throat and esophageal cancer. Female drinkers are more likely to develop breast cancer.
  • Coordination: If you’ve ever had a deceptively strong drink, then tried to stand up or walk, you know firsthand how alcohol can affect your coordination. This is one of the reasons it’s so important not to drink and drive.
  • Dependence: Alcohol creates physical and mental dependence, which is why so many people become addicted.
  • Fatigue: Feeling exhausted after a night out with friends? Alcohol may be causing anemia, which can cause fatigue.
  • Frequent diarrhea: Excessive alcohol consumption damages the intestines, making you more prone to frequent bouts of diarrhea.
  • Heart health: Chronic alcohol usage can contribute to cardiovascular disease.
  • Infertility: Excessive alcohol usage over long periods of time can contribute to infertility, even if the rest of your reproductive system is in great shape.
  • Liver health: As you may know, the liver is responsible for filtering out toxins. Since alcohol is one of those toxins, excessive drinking can inhibit the liver’s ability to do its job.
  • Malnutrition: Since alcohol can inhibit your body from absorbing vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, you may become malnourished.
  • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis occurs when your bones become thin or brittle instead of strong and dense. Alcohol can contribute to this problem.
  • Sexual dysfunction: Men who drink too much are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
  • Speech: Slurred speech is one of the first signs that someone is intoxicated. If you have trouble forming your words or being understood, take that as a sign that you need to stop drinking—and seek help if necessary.

These are just a few of the effects that alcohol has on the body—there are even more you could experience if you drink heavily.

One of the best ways to break the cycle with alcohol or other addictive substances is to seek addiction recovery counseling. If your drinking is out of control, reach out to the team at Apple Valley Counseling Services LLC for help today. We look forward to working with you to ensure you get the help you need.

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