The Most Harmful Effects of Alcohol on Your Body
For many years, experts claimed that certain alcoholic beverages are loaded with antioxidants, particularly red wine. They also showed that it could be beneficial for your health, contributes to a longer life, etc. However, new research has brought an entirely different view. It connects conditions such as atrial fibrillation and even cancer to the most modest consumptions of alcohol.
Besides these differences, alcohol remains on the blacklist because of its devastating consequences that cannot be undone.
Here are some of the harmful effects that alcohol causes.
It can seriously damage your liver
The liver is an amazing organ that works all day long to convert all nutrients we put into our system into energy and filters harmful substances from the body. One of those potentially harmful substances is alcohol. When a person is consuming alcohol, especially in a greater quantity and fast, the liver can’t process it, so damage follows.
Jaundice is one of the simpler conditions, and it makes our skin look yellow. Severe conditions can occur when cells of our liver start to deteriorate, causing massive scarring and a disease known as a liver cirrhosis. According to the WHO, alcohol abuse results in about 20-50% of all the cirrhosis deaths which happen when the liver starts to lose its ability to eject toxins from the body.
It can damage the whole system
Everything from the mouth to the bowel is part of the body’s digestive system, and each of these organs is vulnerable to damage from alcohol abuse. The first thing alcohol does is cause teeth damage and decay. Next, to tobacco smoke, alcohol is the most common cause of mouth, throat, and esophageal cancer. New research also shows that it may also contribute to intestinal and stomach cancer. It can also incite severe episodes of heartburn, as well as inflammation of bowels which have the irritable bowel syndrome. Alcohol can lead to the inflammation of pancreas and stomach, pancreatitis, and gastritis. Also, it can worsen internal bleeding from hemorrhoids and ulcers.
It can stop our heart
A variety of heart issues may come as a result of drinking alcohol. It causes an increased production of triglycerides, which are fatty substances in the blood. With time, triglycerides can lead to atherosclerosis, a disease of hardening of arteries. Other conditions caused by alcohol are high blood pressure, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. Alcohol can also lead to cardiac arrhythmia, where the heart has an irregular rhythm. Since it has high caloric content, alcohol can also lead to obesity.
It can cause diabetes troubles
People who have diabetes are at a very high risk of harmful consequences when drinking alcohol. Namely, their liver must filter alcohol from the blood, which means it can’t regulate sugar levels at the same time. Alcohol consumption may result in lowering your blood sugar level, as well as leading to episodes of hypoglycemia.
It can damage your immune system
Your immune system helps you fight bacterial infections and many diseases. Excessive alcohol consumption can make your immune system deteriorate significantly. Nutrients such as vitamin A are necessary for our immune system to function properly, but alcohol impairs the body’s ability to digest, absorb and further distribute these nutrients throughout the body. It can lead to toxic shock, a deathly condition caused by alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol also prevents the production and the function of white blood cells, which are key to a good immunity. When this happens, the body loses its primary defense against bacteria and germs, which can enable the development of the diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia, liver cancer, and even HIV.
It can affect the quality of your bones
Our mothers urged us to drink milk when we were little just to ensure that we have strong bones in our future. That is because milk has calcium, a chemical element which provides a building block for overall bone health. All benefits of calcium are realized a long time ago when many processes within the body were discovered. The pancreas helps in the absorption of calcium. This absorption is also aided by the activation of vitamin D by the liver. Alcohol causes damage to both pancreas and liver and restricts their ability to distribute calcium properly. Estrogen is a hormone that also has a role in ensuring that we have strong bones. The production of estrogen drops with years, which leads to some bone loss diseases and alcohol only strengthens this process in earlier ages.
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