Many of the short-term dangers of alcohol are apparent to anyone who has experience drinking or being around drinkers. When people are drinking, they experience lower inhibitions, which can lead to their making regrettable decisions. They may fall or hurt themselves and in other ways, pass out or suffer from gaps in their memories. All of this is apparent; what is not so obvious is the long term impact that alcohol can have on our relationships, health and our lives.
Alcohol comes into direct contact with the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach and intestines, as well as being absorbed into the bloodstream. Health problems can begin as headaches, feeling nauseated, sore throat or indigestion. However, if alcohol abuse continues, these and other alcohol and health symptoms can develop int more serious illnesses and diseases.
What are the long term effects of alcohol?
The brain is incorporated of mostly water and needs blood to function. A blood stream that has regular high blood alcohol content can particularly affect the brain. Excessive amounts of alcohol reduce the cough reflex which can increase the risk of aspiration or choking. A person who drinks too much over a long period of time, may have brain deficits.
Loss of Muscle Control
Slurred speech, slowed reaction time, are some effects of alcohol on the body. Impaired judgment and poor coordination are alcohol effects that can lead to falls and accidents.
Adverse Interactions with Medications
Alcohol is known to interact negatively with at least 100 medications. For example, antihistamines taken with alcohol can increase the drowsiness that this medication by itself can cause. Large doses of painkiller acetaminophen taken together when consuming alcohol increases the risk of liver damage.
Alcohol can cause numerous birth defects, the most serious being fetal alcohol syndrome. Babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome will have physical abnormalities, mental impairment and problems with behavior. To avoid negative alcohol and health effects during pregnancy, do not drink alcohol while pregnant as no one know exactly how much alcohol causes birth defects.
Initially, alcohol can lead to lower inhibitions, but chronic alcohol abuse can develop a lower libido and decreased hormone production.
Liver Inflammation and Cirrhosis of the liver
Liver inflammation symptoms include abnormal yellowing of the skin, eyeballs, and urine, fever and abdominal pain. And in the case of cirrhosis, as many as one in five heavy drinkers will develop cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol is especially harmful to the liver since the liver is needed to metabolize alcohol. Alcohol destroys liver cells, and it destroys the ability of the liver to regenerate new cells.
Long term heavy drinking increases their risk for certain forms of cancer such as cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus and the colon.
Long term heavy drinking increases a person’s risk for developing high blood pressure, liver, pancreas and heart disease. The main treatment is to avoid drinking.
Long term heavy drinking can result in the development of inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis. The pancreas is needed for food digestion. Pancreaitis symptoms include severe abdominal pain and weight loss and can be life-threatening.
Additional long term negative alcohol and health effects on the body include damage to the brain, nerve damage, bleeding in the esophagus, erectile dysfunction in men, insomnia and depression. If you want to know ‘what are the long term effects of alcohol”, the above tips can be very useful. To live a healthy life, if you drink, try to limit your self and don’t drink excessively. The best remedy is to not drink at all.