Affects of Alcohol on the Body

 The human body is an amazing machine in the fact that many of our organs can self-regenerate if damaged. However, there are critical organs that do not have this natural restoration capability that can be damaged beyond repair due to long term alcohol usage. The article below includes snippets from AlcoholAnswers.com.

Brain

Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory are clearly alcohol effects on the brain.3 Some are noticeable after only one or two drinks and will resolve once drinking has stopped.3 Over the long term, a person who drinks heavily may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety. Heavy drinking may have extensive and far-reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple memory ‘slips’ to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care.

Mouth & Esophogus

Heavy alcohol consumption – more than 21 standard drinks in one week – is the second largest risk factor for oral cancer. Alcohol dehydrates the cell walls, and, for smokers, increases the absorption of tobacco carcinogens through the mouth tissues. Deficiencies in nutrients associated with heavy alcohol consumption can lower the ability to utilize antioxidants to prevent cancerous formations.

Lungs

Those who suffer with alcohol dependence are more likely to get pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) than those who don’t. This happens because the alcohol disturbs claudins – proteins that help maintain a tight air-fluid barrier in the lung. When these proteins are disrupted, there is more fluid leaking into the lungs – referred to as ‘alcoholic lung.

Hearth

The effect of alcohol is complex, and for some people, mild use can be harmful and heavy use is certainly harmful.1 Long–term and heavy alcohol misuse is directly linked to stroke, high blood pressure and cardiomyopathy.

Liver

Chronic alcohol consumption promotes liver diseases which in turn has even more negative effects on the kidneys

Kidneys

The damage alcohol can cause the kidney in many ways. From damaging cells, enlargement of the kidneys, impacting on various hormones that control kidney function, and creating an ionic imbalance in the body that can affect metabolic processes negatively. Chronic alcohol consumption promotes liver diseases which in turn has even more negative effects on the kidneys, such as compromised sodium and fluid handling and kidney failure.

Stomach

Chronic alcohol consumption can shrink the gastric mucosa and decrease gastric secretion. This lower gastric acid production inhibits the stomach’s ability to kill food-related bacteria thus causing potentially harmful microorganisms to populate the upper small intestine. This can be partially reversed by abstinence.

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