What Negative Effects Does Alcohol Have On The Body – This page has been medically reviewed by Dr Patrick Mbaya (MB ChB, MSc, MD, FRCPsych, Cert. Psychopharmacology), Lead Consultant for Addictions at Priory Hospital Altrincham.

Drinking alcohol affects people differently. Depending on factors such as your ability to limit your drinking and your alcohol tolerance, the overall short- and long-term effects of alcohol on your physical and mental health may differ from person to person.

What Negative Effects Does Alcohol Have On The Body

What Negative Effects Does Alcohol Have On The Body

However, what is clear is that drinking alcohol beyond the recommended guidelines can have significant short- and long-term effects on your body.

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Alcohol abuse and increased alcohol consumption can lead to alcoholism, where you become dependent on it to function. This can put you at risk of serious conditions including liver damage, which may not become apparent until later in life.

The answer to this question depends on many factors. Your size, general tolerance for alcohol, how much you drink and even things like how much you ate that day will affect the longevity of the short-term effects of alcohol.

In general, your body is able to metabolize (process) one standard drink of alcohol per hour. That doesn’t mean the ‘buzz’ people experience when drunk will disappear at the same rate. Some of the things we experience when we’re drunk, like slurred speech or difficulty concentrating, can last for hours even after your last drink – especially if you’ve had a lot of alcohol.

Thinking can be speeded up by sleeping, exercising or drinking lots of water. Depending on how much alcohol was consumed, alcohol can stay in your system for hours after your last drink. Usually, alcohol in your system can still be detected for:

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Even after drinking a glass or two of wine or a pint of beer, you may notice the short-term effects of alcohol. Along with reducing tension and lowering inhibitions, you may have trouble concentrating as your reflexes and reaction time may slow.

When consuming high amounts of alcohol over a short period of time, it can trigger a series of unwanted short-term effects.

If drunk frequently over a long period of time, alcohol can affect many different aspects of your life. From how you feel and your behavior to how your body works, here are some long-term effects of alcohol:

What Negative Effects Does Alcohol Have On The Body

These effects are all potential signs of an alcohol problem. If you experience some of these effects over a long period of time, you may have an alcohol abuse disorder and should consider professional support.

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Interferes with a number of neurotransmitters that lower our brain activity and energy levels. Alcohol-related brain damage can affect memory and learning.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome is a brain disorder that can be caused by alcohol. This particular disorder affects the shape and structure of the brain, which can result in mental confusion, eye-related nerve palsy and muscle coordination issues, and the development of short-term memory problems.

Heavy drinking can increase a person’s risk of developing liver disease later in life. Heavy drinking over a long period of time is something that can result in the development of alcohol-related liver damage such as alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis.

Drinking too much can temporarily raise your blood pressure, leading to an irregular heartbeat. This short-term change can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, especially in the elderly.

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Drinking high levels of alcohol over a long period of time can lead to increased heart rate and hypertension. These issues can result in strokes and/or heart attacks.

When a person’s drinking is long-term and heavy, it can result in chronic alcoholism. Injury and illness are severe, long-term, and life-threatening.

Heavy drinking can cause a person to experience back pain as a result of alcohol-induced damage to their kidney function. Long-term risk of kidney disease.

What Negative Effects Does Alcohol Have On The Body

Alcohol prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing water, causing the bladder to fill with more fluid and also resulting in the rest of the body experiencing dehydration.

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Alcohol vapors in the airways can cause damage to the lungs, nasal passages, and sinuses. Long-term drinking can affect the immune cells involved in fighting respiratory diseases.

Heavy alcohol consumption can leave a person more at risk for conditions such as pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Alcohol irritates the gastrointestinal tract, inflames, and irritates the stomach. Frequent excessive drinking of alcohol can cause damage to the small intestine.

Over the long term, heavy drinking can damage the small intestine and cause bacteria and toxins to enter the bloodstream.

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Studies suggest that the more alcohol a person consumes, the more likely it is to affect their fertility. Drinking can also inhibit the release of sex hormones, making it harder for a man to get and maintain an erection.

When a person drinks heavily over a long period of time, it can affect their bone quality and leave them at risk of osteoporosis.

Not only a risk for the elderly, it can also affect teenagers and younger adults, as their bodies build calcium stores for long-term bone health.

What Negative Effects Does Alcohol Have On The Body

Alcohol reduces saliva production, which lowers a person’s defenses against bacteria and plaque, which can lead to oral cavities and gum irritation or disease.

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Alcohol can cause acid reflux, and reduce your ability to clear refluxed gastric acid. This can lead to heartburn. Chronic drinking can damage the tissue of the esophagus, causing painful swallowing.

Drinking alcohol can cause facial flushing, as blood vessels dilate and blood flow increases. Drinking can also lead to dehydrated, dry skin, since alcohol is a diuretic.

Excessive drinking over a long period of time can result in permanent dilation of blood vessels, which can result in spider veins and permanent facial redness. It can also lead to psoriasis, as well as seborrheic and nummular dermatitis.

For details on how Priory can help you with addiction treatment and rehabilitation, please call 0330 056 6023 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here Those of us who are no strangers to the internet and social media have no doubt seen articles or links about the health benefits of alcohol. And if you are a stranger to the internet, how did you find this blog?

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But these headlines are only surprising because we all, at least somewhat, know that drinking alcohol has negative effects.

So what to rub? Well, if you don’t drink, getting started for the potential health benefits isn’t a smart idea. If you drink, moderation is the key. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, low-risk drinking is defined as no more than 3 drinks on any single day and no more than 7 drinks per week for women. And, for men, this is defined as no more than 4 drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week.

In observance of American Heart Month, moderate drinking can lower your risk of heart disease. More than 100 prospective studies show an inverse association between light to moderate alcohol consumption and risk of heart disease and death. But moderation is important because drinking too much alcohol increases the risk.

What Negative Effects Does Alcohol Have On The Body

It can also help reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. A meta-analysis study found a U-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and diabetes. This means that with moderate consumption, the risk is reduced (by about 30%). But, if you go beyond moderation, the benefit will disappear.

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Other studies have shown that alcohol can reduce your risk of gallstones and even lower the risk of erectile dysfunction. Contrary to popular belief.

Alcohol is a poison. Too much of it in one setting can rise to toxic levels and result in death. But before reaching alcohol poisoning, heavy use can cause a host of health problems. It can also be self-perpetuating if you become addicted resulting in alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD).

The list of problems is extensive. Heavy and prolonged drinking can lead to cancer of the mouth or esophagus, brain damage, malnutrition, liver damage, weakened heart muscles, suppressed immune system, hemorrhagic pancreatitis, and other problems.

If you do consume alcohol, it’s important to make sure you partake responsibly. Do not use alcohol to self-medicate. This means that using it to escape from stress is not a healthy coping mechanism. This can lead to dependence.

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Don’t start because of the potential health benefits if you don’t drink alcohol. However, if you drink light to moderate amounts and are healthy, you can continue as long as you drink responsibly.

Remember, no more than 7 drinks per week for women and 14 for men as well as no more than 3 or 4 per day. One drink is defined as 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, and 1.5 oz of distilled spirits.

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related topics. The information and other content provided on this blog, or in any linked materials, is not intended and should not be considered as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

What Negative Effects Does Alcohol Have On The Body

If you or anyone else has a medical concern, you should consult your health

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