Organ Damage From Alcohol Use And Abuse
Drinking alcohol brings a person a feeling of ease and comfort, or as the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes it, “a frothy emotional appeal.” Drinking booze can seem like it takes away all the cares in the world, right? Something you may want to think about before downing the next drink is that it can cause serious health issues and damage to vital organs. In fact, drinking alcohol can have negative effects on a person’s brain, heart, liver, immune system, and pancreas. NIAAA
Adverse Effects Of Alcohol Use
When a person uses alcohol, it enters into the bloodstream which works as the pathway to each of the organs–i.e. the brain, heart, and liver. Once an undetermined amount of alcohol has entered into that person’s body, they begin to feel drunk. The amount it takes a person to feel the effects of alcohol can vary based on their weight, body fat, and tolerance, but whether you feel the effect or not it is still affecting your organs.
In addition to the obvious effects that alcohol has on motor skills (such as causing slurred speech and double vision), it can also cause serious damages to the tissues of and the function of important parts of the body especially when an individual drinks too much–this can occur in an occasional drinker as well.
Alcohol’s Effects On The Organs
The “feel good” effects produced from alcohol can come with some pretty serious and very relevant issues concerning a person’s organs:
- Brain – is vital to the way a person behaves and thinks, but when alcohol is added it can “interfere with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works.” NIAAA
- Heart – is concerned with pumping blood throughout the body, and person cannot function properly without one. Drinking alcohol can create problems for the heart like: enlarged heart vessels (cardiomyopathy), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), blood clot leading to a stroke, and high blood pressure.
- Liver – is responsible for breaking down fats and creating healthy proteins; it works as the body’s filter and creates the energy needed to live. When alcohol is added into a person’s diet, the liver must break it down; however, when alcohol is abused, it causes strain on and sometimes hardening of the liver (cirrhosis). Additional diseases associated with alcohol include, but are not limited to: fibrosis, and alcoholic hepatitis.
- Pancreas – breaks down foods after they leave the stomach. It produce insulin to allow the body to use sugar. An overload of sugar as contained in certain alcoholic drinks, which overloads the pancreas sometimes leading to inflammation or pancreatitis.
Even though not all of the organs listed are adversely affected by alcohol immediately, there are plenty of reasons to seek help if you are unsure whether you have a problem with alcohol. Each of these organs is vital for life, therefore damage done to any of them can result in death.
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Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
A person who struggles with alcohol abuse doesn’t necessarily have a problem with drug dependence. They will not always get cancer, but often, when they drink, they drink too much, and other short-term problems can arise which are vomiting, drunk driving, blacking out, uncontrollable urination, coma, and death. Figuring out how to regain control of their life, and how to stop drinking can be a major problem. Sometimes the only thing in the way of resolve is the person dealing with the problem.
Frequently Asked Questions About Organ Damage Related To Alcohol
You want to live a healthy life, but sometimes you feel scared and like there is no hope for you or your life. You may be asking yourself a lot of questions right now, but the answers seem so far out of reach.
- What organ is the most affected by alcohol?
- How do I know if I have a problem abusing alcohol?
- Is there a way to treat long term effects of alcohol abuse?
- How long does it take for alcohol to damage the organs?
- How do I talk to a loved one about their excessive drinking?
- Is there treatment for me?
Is There An Answer For Someone Who Needs Help Quitting Alcohol?
The answers are not as far out as you may think. There are 18 million adults in the United States alone who have problems with alcohol use; maybe you are one of them. Please reach out to us today, we are standing by to answer your questions and provide the help you need. Call (800)-247-9938 to get the help you need today.
American Heart Association – Arrhythmia
Alcoholics Anonymous – Alcoholics Anonymous
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – Health Topics
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – Alcohols Effects Body
U.S. National Library of Medicine – https://medlineplus.gov/alcoholismandalcoholabuse.html