Drinking too much on a single occasion or overtime can have a serious consequence on the body health. The impact of alcohol on your body starts from the first time you sip it, a glass of alcohol a day may do little or no damage to your overall health, but when the habit of taking alcohol starts to grow, you being to find out that you are finding it difficult to stop after just a glass then the effect starts to accumulate. Although the effect of alcohol varies from person to person, while some people may be able to limit their drinking level other may find it difficult to control their alcohol consumption.
To understand the effects of alcohol there is need to understand what constitute a drink which are as follows:
- One drink is equal to 12 fluid ounces of which is approximately 5% of alcohol.
- 8 to 9 fluid ounces of malt liquor contains about 7% of alcohol.
- 5 ounces of alcoholic wine contains 12% of alcohol.
- 1.5 Ounces of proof distilled spirit (vodka, rum, gin, tequila and whisky) contain an estimated of 40% of alcohol.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body
- Immune System: Drinking too much of alcohol reduce the body’s natural immune system. This makes it difficult for the body to fight of invading diseases. Most people who drink too much over a long period of time are more likely to develop pneumonia or tuberculosis, study shows that about 10% of tuberculosis cases worldwide are tied to alcohol consumption. Drinking excessive alcohol can also lead to lead to several types of cancers like mouth breast and colon cancers.
- Brain: Prolonged and excessive use of alcohol can interfere with how the brain function as well as how it is structured. Alcohol can cause different kinds of damages to the brain region especially the cerebellum, limbic system and cerebral cortex, these can significantly impact the body’s communication pathways. For example, the cerebellum handles the body’s motor skills, when alcohol affects this area of the brain it is more likely to experience loss of balance as well as memory and emotional response issues
- Heart: The heart is extremely vulnerable to the negative effect of alcohol consumption. Over time heavy drinking can weaken the heart, impacting how oxygen and nutrients are delivered to other vital organs in the body. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase triglyceride level-a type of fat in the blood. High level of triglycerides contributes to the risk of developing health condition such as heart disease and diabetes.
- Liver: Heavy drinkers are at a great risk of harmful potentially life-threatening liver problems. When you take alcohol, your liver breaks down alcohol and remove it from the blood. However too much of alcohol in a short period of time can overwhelm the metabolism process and lead to fatty liver. Fatty liver is a chronic condition that involves the build-up of bad fat in the liver. Obesity is one of the biggest factors of fatty liver and it can cause liver failure and type 2 diabetes.
- Pancreas: Consumption of alcohol can cause the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessel in the pancreas that can prevent proper digestion. This can increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer- a type of cancer that spread rapidly and very dangerous to the body. While medication and other treatment methods can help manage the effect of pancreatitis it is very difficult to reverse the condition.
- Cause Atrial Fibrillation: This is a condition of arrhythmia that cause the atrium of the heart to beat abnormally. Excess intake of alcohol can result to a long-term atrial fibrillation that can ultimately lead to blood pooling and clotting within the atriums. The blood clots caused by atrial fibrillation can break off and travel in the blood stream, potentially getting stuck in the brain artery and causing an ischemic stroke.
- Affects Sexual and Reproductive Health: Some people think taking alcohol can help them have more fun during sex. But the truth is quite different as in men who drink too much of alcohol are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction as this can also prevent sexual hormones production that can lower libido. Also, women that drink too much may stop menstruating as this can lead to a higher risk of infertility. Women that also drink heavily during pregnancy have a high risk of premature delivery, miscarriage or stillbirth.