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Top 10 Harmful Effects of Drinking Alcohol That You Need to Be Aware

Top 10 Harmful Effects of Drinking Alcohol That You Need to Be Aware





Are you addicted to alcohol? Do you know the side effects of alcohol? How it harms our health? How dangerous it is for the heart? Does it damage the liver?

Yes! Today we will discuss all the harmful effects of alcohol abuse.


Side Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol Harmful Effects

Alcohol is a psychoactive drink with addiction-producing properties. It is harmful, and toxic for our health when drink excessively.

According to the WHO, harmful use of alcohol contributes to 3 million deaths globally every year.

It is also responsible for 2.2% and 7.1% of the global disease for women, and men respectively.

Alcohol causes premature deaths and disabilities among 15 to 49 age groups.

According to the CDC, a standard drink contains only 0.6 ounces (14 gm) of pure alcohol, in the USA.

But excessive drinking, or alcohol abuse defined as 5 or more drinks for men, and 4 or more drinks for women consuming during a single occasion.

In the case of men, consuming 15 or more drinks per week, and 8 or more drinks per week for women is defined as heavy drinking.

Excessive, as well as heavy drinking, increases the risk of intentional, unintentional injuries, and adverse social effects.



Side Effects of Drinking Alcohol


The side effects of alcohol are well researched. It is a toxic substance with dependence-producing effects.

The amount of alcohol present in the bloodstream called blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Higher BAC can cause some short-term health problems as well as long-term health risks.

The short-term problems may be injuries during driving, drownings, falls, alcohol poisoning, miscarriage among pregnant women, risky sexual behavior, and suicide.

On the other hand, the long-term health risks are associated with cancer, heart attack, hypertension, liver damage, depression, anxiety, family problems, etc.

Let’s discuss all the harmful effects of alcohol.


1. Liver Damage

Among the various side effects of alcohol, damaging the liver is the most serious issue.

Our liver is responsible for the breakdown and removal of harmful, toxic substances from the body.

Long-term alcohol consumption interacts with the proper functioning of this vital organ and increases the risk of severe inflammation as well as chronic liver diseases.

Side Effects of Alcohol
alcoholic fatty liver disease

This severe inflammation destroys liver tissues and leads to cirrhosis, which is life-threatening.

On the other hand, Women are more vulnerable to alcoholic liver diseases.

Alcohol-related liver diseases (ARLD) can lead to other health problems, such as alcoholic fatty liver, acute hepatitis, severe jaundice, etc.


2. Risk of Cancer

Another side effect of alcohol is generating various types of cancer.

Alcohol is not only a hepatotoxic substance, it is a carcinogen, which promotes cancer.

The metabolism of alcohol (ethanol) in the liver, produces carcinogenic acetaldehyde.

Moderate to heavy consumption of ethanol produces higher amounts of acetaldehyde, which damages DNA as well as protein.

On the other hand, excessive alcohol in the body produces free radicals and increases oxidative damages. All of these trigger cancers.

Moderate to heavy alcohol intake linked to higher chances of oral, throat, and esophageal cancer.

Additionally, alcohol abuse increases the risk of liver, breast, and colorectal cancer also.

Know more topic: Top 10 Antioxidant-rich Foods


3. Increases Heart Diseases

Increasing various heart diseases is another harmful effect of alcohol.

Chronic alcohol drinkers have a higher risk of several cardiac issues than those who do not consume.

Excessive drinking affects heart muscles, weakened them, and leads to cardiomyopathy.

On the other hand, regular consumption of alcohol raises blood pressure. High blood pressure makes arteries hard, and thick further leads to a heart attack as well as stroke.

Side Effects of Alcohol
alcohol abuse & heart diseases

According to research, heavy drinking increases heart rate drastically promotes complications in the electrical signals and leads to arrhythmia.

Study shows that standard drink may increase good cholesterol (HDL). But moderate to heavy alcohol intake increases bad cholesterol as well as triglyceride level.

All of these negative effects of alcohol increase the risk of plaque deposition in the arteries further leads to atherosclerosis.

So, keep in mind all the side effects of alcohol, and try to avoid drinking.


4. Alcohol and Diabetes

Alcohol interacts with blood sugar levels.

Excessive alcohol consumption prevents the liver and pancreas from proper functioning.

So, this harmful drink may hamper insulin production in the pancreas.

Side Effects of Alcohol
alcoholism & diabetes

Moderate amounts of drink increase the blood sugar level and may promotes the chances of diabetes.

On the other hand, excess alcohol can decrease blood sugar drastically, sometimes it goes down to dangerous levels.

Alcohol also interacts with diabetic medicines and creates insulin shock.  

So, uncontrolled drinking creates various complications with blood sugar levels.


5. Brain Damage

Another common side effect of alcohol is affecting the central nervous system (CNS) or the brain.

In low concentration, alcohol acts as a stimulant, but chronic to severe alcoholism may cause permanent brain damage.

Side Effects of Alcohol
alcohol damages the brain

Excessive alcohol consumption reduces communication between our body, and the brain results in loss of body balance, slurred speech, numbness, and tingling sensations in the extremities.

Alcohol abuse can damage the frontal lobe of the brain and reduces clear thinking, judgment, memory, intelligence, emotion, etc.

It can lead to brain disorder Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which affects our memory.

Chronic alcohol intake develops physical as well as mental dependency. Sometimes, the withdrawal effects can be difficult, or life-threatening.

Know more topic: Top 10 Brain Foods To Boost Brain Functions


6. Lung Diseases

Alcohol abuse triggers acute respiratory diseases and damages the lungs. Heavy alcohol consumption can start to harm in 6 weeks.

Liquid alcohol present in the blood converts into vapor in the pulmonary capillaries, and excrete through breathing.

This alcohol vapor damages the respiratory system in various ways.

It generates inflammation in the inner lining cells of the lungs, harm them and lead to infections.

Chronic, and severe alcohol consumption can lead to alcoholic pneumonia also.

The alcohol vapor also damages upper airways, such as the nose, sinuses, throat, etc.

Side Effects of Alcohol
alcohol causes respiratory diseases

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol-dependent people are 3 times more smoker than average individuals and has a higher risk of COPD.

Some studies show that heavy alcohol intake reduces glutathione antioxidants in the body, which protect our lungs against damage from cigarettes.

So, the side effects of alcohol always keep in mind and try to avoid it.

Know more topic: 9 Harmful effects of Smoking


7. Alcohol Abuse and Kidney

Like other body parts, alcohol abuse harms kidneys also.

Moderate to heavy alcohol drinks can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which leads to kidney failure.

The diuretic effects of alcohol cause more urination and may lead to dehydration. This alcohol-induced dehydration may trigger kidney stones.

Side Effects of Alcohol
alcohol causes chronic kidney disease

Alcohol affects the water-electrolytes balancing ability of the kidney, which can lead to hydronephrosis.


8. Alcohol & Bone Health

Long-term side effects of alcohol linked to poor bone health.

According to researches, heavy, and chronic alcoholism contribute to higher chances of fracture, decreased bone formation, reduced new bone development, and osteoporosis.

Alcohol suppresses an ossifiable matrix synthesis, which responsible for fracture healing, and induces bone loss.

Excessive alcohol consumption affects the activity of osteoblast, and bone remodeling*.

On the other hand, alcohol abuse in women can induce postmenopausal osteopenia and abnormalities in cell dynamics in the bone marrow.


*Bone remodeling is the process in adult humans, which maintains proper bone health.


9. Digestive Problems

Alcoholism induces various digestive issues.

The effects might not seem immediate, it only appears after some damage to the digestive system.

Moderate to heavy alcohol intake can damage the tissues in our gastrointestinal tract.

It can prevent the absorption of nutrients, vitamins from the food, and induces malnutrition.

On the other hand, excessive drinking can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, gassiness, painful stool, diarrhea, etc.

In some individuals, alcohol abuse may promote ulcers, dangerous internal bleeding, and hemorrhoids.

Know more topic: Probiotic Foods for Better Digestion


10. Alcohol Toxicity

Alcohol toxicity can be life-threatening to a drinker.

When the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) crossed a certain level, it can lead to alcohol toxicity or poisoning.

Side Effects of Alcohol
alcohol toxicity

Yes! It is a dangerous condition. If the BAC more than 0.4, the chance of death is 50%.

The common signs of alcohol toxicity are vomiting, confusion, low body temperature, seizures, loss of consciousness, and coma.


 Know more topic: 12 Harmful Effects of Eating Junk Foods

Alcoholism & Social Issues


Not only for health but the side effects of alcohol also associated with social consequences.

According to the WHO Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004, the harmful consequences affect the individual drinker, environment, and society.

The social sequences are domestic violence, traffic accidents, workplace-related issues, serious crime, etc.

Side Effects of Alcohol
alcohol abuse

Excessive drinking and alcohol dependency at the workplace potentially reduces productivity as well as linked to unemployment also.

During pregnancy, maternal alcohol abuse can increase the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.

On the other hand, parental alcoholism is correlated with child abuse and negative impacts on children’s psychology.

Drinking can impair social responsibility, performance as a parent as well as partner, and ruin the overall life.



Now, The Conclusion  


From all aspects, chronic alcohol consumption always harmful to us.

It can cause cancer, heart diseases, lung damage, cirrhosis, even death. Alcoholism can affect sexual and reproductive health also.

Alcoholic males can experience erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, addicted women can suffer from infertility, miscarriage, and premature delivery. 

For the most time, it ruins mental, social, and economic conditions.

Side Effects of Alcohol
no alcohol

Some individuals will feel discomfort immediately after consuming alcohol, they may have an allergy or insensitivity. This is known as alcohol intolerance.

The common symptoms of intolerance are nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, facial flushing, and diarrhea.

According to health experts, insensitivity or intolerance of alcohol can be a symptom of Hodgkin disease.

However, there is no cure for alcohol abuse or dependency, but some treatment or therapy options are available.

Overcoming alcohol dependency is a long process, and accepting treatments is completely depends on the alcoholic person.

Consult with a doctor, and they may recommend counseling, behavior modification, detoxification, and medications.

So, try to stay away from addiction, and the side effects of alcohol. Always take healthy foods, antioxidants, veggies, drink coffee, and stay healthy.


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