10 Health Risks of Alcoholism
According to the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 16.6 million adults in the US aged 18 and up were reported to have Alcohol Abuse Disorders in 2013, where 1.3 million of them received treatment.
Alcoholism is more than just a behavioural or mental problem that leads to ruined relationships, violence, and behavioural problems, but it also leads to several complicated health conditions that can be fatal.
Here are 10 health risks of alcoholism:
1. Liver Disease
Alcohol is toxic to liver cells and chronic excessive consumption can lead to alcoholic liver disease such as liver inflammation or also known as alcohol hepatitis, and cirrhosis, which is the scarring of the liver. Once you have these diseases, your liver loses its ability to function and can lead to irreversible damage.
2. Increased Risks for Heart Attack and Stroke
Alcohol makes platelets clump together, leading to blood clots that can potentially lead to stroke or heart attack.
Chronic consumption of excess alcohol can also lead to cardiomyopathy, which is a condition where the heart muscles weaken, and can potentially lead to potentially fatal heart failure.
Alcoholism also increases the risk of death for heart attack survivors, according to a 2005 study done by Harvard researchers.
3. Increases Risk for Cancer
Scientists believe alcohol increases the risk for cancer when the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is a potent carcinogen. Cancer sites with
increased risks include the mouth, the throat, the larynx or voice box, the esophagus, the liver, breast, colon, and the rectum.
4. Nerve Damage
Alcoholism can also lead to alcoholic neuropathy – a condition that leads to painful pins and needles sensations in the extremities, muscle weakness and malaise, constipation, incontinence, and even erectile dysfunction.
Alcohol abuse is also known to cause the pancreas to swell, leading to inflammation that causes abdominal pain, weight loss, and feelings of nausea.
6. High Blood Pressure
Constant heavy drinking also disrupts the sympathetic nervous system, causing blood pressure levels to rise and increasing the risk for a number of medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Alcohol causes anemia through reducing the levels of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Symptoms can include feeling lightheaded, shortness of breath, and constant feelings of fatigue.
8. Digestive Problems
Gastritis can be caused by alcoholism, which is a condition described as inflammation of the stomach lining. This causes indigestion, stomach pain, weight loss, and constant release of gas. Other complications include stomach and esophagus ulcers, as well as lowering your body’s ability to absorb B vitamins and other nutrients, leading to malnutrition that can also lead to other disorders.
As people age, their brains shrink by about 1.9% per decade. Studies show that alcoholism speeds up the brain’s shrinkage, leading to early memory loss and other symptoms of dementia.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, about 10% of dementia cases are caused by alcohol in the UK.
10. Increases Risk for Suicide
While most people drink to feel better, alcohol actually worsens negative thoughts and emotions, sending people to a downward spiral of abuse. This can lead to further feelings of anxiety, depression, and can even lead to violence.
The psychological effects of alcohol is also known to worsen a person’s feeling of sadness, increasing the risk of suicide and can also trigger a person to commit homicide.
Alcoholism can lead to several health conditions that range from mild to severe to fatal. Both the physical and psychological aspects of a person’s health are affected by alcohol abuse, but the earlier this condition is detected, the less risks for alcohol-related disorders will occur.
For more information on liver desease you can visit our website at http://alcoholism-solutions.com/alcohol-abuse-facts-on-alcoholism/alcohol-abuse-symptoms/liver-disease…