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The harmful effects of alcohol on your health

Les effets néfastes de l'alcool sur votre santé

Alcohol's impact on your body begins from the moment you take your first sip. 

Although an occasional glass of wine with dinner is not cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking wine, beer or the like can have adverse consequences.

The impact of alcohol on your body begins from the moment you take your first sip. 

Although an occasional glass of wine with dinner is not cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking wine, beer or spirits can have adverse consequences.

One drink a day can do little harm to your overall health. But if the habit develops or you find it hard to stop after just one drink, the cumulative effects can add up.

Let's see in this article the harmful effects of alcohol on the body :


People who drink excessively can become physically and emotionally dependent on alcohol .

Alcohol withdrawal can be difficult and unfortunately life-threatening for some.

You often need professional help to end an alcohol addiction .

As a result, many people seek medical detox to get sober. This is the surest way to ensure you break physical addiction.

Depending on the risk of withdrawal symptoms, detox can be managed on an outpatient or inpatient basis.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • hypertension
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Profuse sweating

Seizures , hallucinations , and delusional flushes can occur in severe cases of withdrawal.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

You may think that drinking alcohol can lower your inhibitions and help you have more fun in bed. But the reality is very different.

Men who drink too much are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Excessive alcohol consumption can also inhibit the production of sex hormones and reduce your libido.

For women, alcohol abuse can cause their periods to stop. This puts them at an increased risk of infertility.

Women who drink heavily during pregnancy have a higher risk of preterm labor, miscarriage, or stillbirth.

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy put their unborn child at risk . Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is a serious concern. Symptoms for the child include:

  • learning difficulties
  • Long-term health issues
  • An increase in emotional problems
  • Abnormalities of physical development

Digestive and endocrine glands

Drinking too much alcohol can cause abnormal activation of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas . The buildup of these enzymes can lead to an inflammation known as pancreatitis . Pancreatitis can become a long-term condition and lead to serious complications .

Inflammatory liver damage

The liver is an organ that helps break down and remove harmful substances from your body, including alcohol. Long-term alcohol consumption interferes with this process.

This regular consumption also increases your risk of chronic liver inflammation and liver disease. The ailments caused by this inflammation are called cirrhosis .

The formation of scar tissue destroys the liver. As the liver becomes increasingly damaged, it has a harder time eliminating toxic substances from your body.

Liver disease leads to the buildup of waste products in your body. Women are at higher risk of developing alcoholic liver disease .

Women's bodies are more likely to absorb more alcohol and need more time to eliminate it. Women also experience liver damage more quickly than men.

sugar levels

Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the pancreas.

The pancreas helps regulate insulin use and your body's response to glucose.

When your pancreas and liver aren't working properly, you run the risk of hypoglycemia .

A damaged pancreas can also prevent the body from producing enough insulin. This can lead to hyperglycemia or too much sugar in the blood.

If your body fails to manage and balance your blood sugar levels, you may experience greater diabetes -related complications and side effects . It is important for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia to avoid excessive amounts of alcohol .

Central nervous system

One of the easiest ways to understand the impact of alcohol on your body is to understand how it affects your central nervous system.

Slurred speech is one of the first signs that determines you've had too much to drink. Alcohol can reduce communication between your brain and your body. This makes coordination more difficult. You should never drive after drinking.

As alcohol causes more damage to your central nervous system, you may experience numbness and tingling sensations in your feet and hands.

Drinking also makes it difficult for your brain to create long-term memories. It also reduces your ability to think clearly and make rational choices.

Over time, damage to the frontal lobe can occur. This area of ​​the brain is responsible for emotional control, short-term memory, and judgment, in addition to other vital roles.

Alcohol abuse can also cause permanent brain damage. This can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome , a brain disorder that affects memory .

Digestive system

The connection between drinking alcohol and your digestive system may not seem indirect. Side effects often only appear after certain damage. And the more you drink, the greater the damage will be.

Drinking can damage the tissues of your digestive tract and prevent your intestines from digesting food and absorbing nutrients and vitamins. As a result, malnutrition can occur.

Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to:

  • Flatulence
  • bloating
  • A feeling of fullness in your abdomen
  • diarrhea or painful stools

For heavy drinkers, ulcers or hemorrhoids (due to dehydration and constipation ) are not uncommon. And they can cause dangerous internal bleeding. Ulcers can be deadly if not diagnosed and treated early.

People who drink too much alcohol can also be prone to certain cancers. People who drink frequently are more likely to develop cancer of the mouth , throat , esophagus , colon , or liver .

People who drink and smoke tobacco together significantly increase their risk of cancer.

Circulatory system

Alcohol can affect your heart and lungs. People who are chronic alcohol drinkers have a higher risk of heart problems than people who don't drink. Women who drink are more likely to develop heart disease than men who drink.

Circulatory system complications from alcohol include:

  • hypertension
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty pumping blood through the body
  • A cerebral vascular accident
  • A heart attack
  • heart disease
  • Cardiac arrest

Difficulty absorbing vitamins and minerals from food can cause anemia . This is a condition where you have a low red blood cell count. Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of anemia .

Skeletal and Muscular Systems

Long-term alcohol consumption can prevent your body from keeping your bones strong. This habit can thin the bones and increase the risk of fractures in the event of a fall. And fractures may heal more slowly.

Drinking alcohol can also lead to muscle weakness, cramps and possibly atrophy .

Immune system

Drinking alcohol regularly reduces the immune system natural to your body. This makes it harder for your body to fight off invading germs and viruses.

People who drink heavily for a long time are also more likely to develop a pneumonia Where a tuberculosis than the general population. All cases of tuberculosis in the world can be linked to the consumption of alcohol.

Drinking alcohol also increases your risk of developing several types of cancer, including mouth, breast, and colon.

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