Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Long-term alcohol use can affect bone density, leading to thinner bones and increasing your risk of fractures if you fall. Ulcers can cause dangerous internal bleeding, which can sometimes be fatal without prompt diagnosis and treatment. Over time, alcohol can cause damage to your central nervous system.

Often, drinking increases through either consistent daily use or binging episodes. Individuals may not realize they are sliding further into the disease of alcoholism, but people close to them see marked sober house differences in behaviors and physical health. Alcoholic liver disease is treatable if it is caught before it causes severe damage. However, continued excessive drinking can shorten your lifespan.

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Attempts to stop drinking can result in tremors or hallucinations, but therapy, detox, and rehab can help you get your life back. Women are more likely to develop serious diseases like osteoporosis and pancreatitis. These issues will likely happen because liquor will affect a woman’s menstrual cycle. Large fluctuations in hormonal levels can cause the body to go haywire. Alcoholics will have a problem with limiting their alcohol consumption. Most women recognize this and will set limits on how much or how long they plan to drink.

physical signs of alcoholism

Alcoholism emerges from alcohol abuse, when there’s a pattern of drinking despite negative consequences. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are both categorized as alcohol use disorders—affecting people of all ages and stages of life. Long-term alcohol abuse is harder on a woman’s body than it is on a man’s body. Even if a woman drinks less than a man and for a shorter period of time, the adverse effects of drinking will hit her earlier than they will affect a man.

Stomach issues

Research reviews have also listed alcohol as a culprit for triggering migraine attacks. If you’re not consciously keeping track of the drinks you’ve chugged, it’s easy to go over these limits. For some of us, half a dozen drinks during a night out aren’t yet enough to faze us. And yes, you may feel great and energized upon waking up—but that doesn’t mean you didn’t have too much to drink the night before.

  • Alcohol is used by people as a way to relax, bond, celebrate, and socialize.
  • Alcoholics will have a problem with limiting their alcohol consumption.
  • Stopping alcohol abruptly after long-term heavy drinking can also lead to alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which commonly manifests as symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
  • Despite its prevalence, alcoholism often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

An intervention from loved ones can help some people recognize and accept that they need professional help. If you’re concerned about someone who drinks too much, ask a professional experienced in alcohol treatment for advice on how to approach that person. A blackout is a period of time where an individual has no recollection of details of events, or entire events. This is typically caused because alcohol levels are so high, they have begun affecting the hippocampus — the portion of the brain responsible for short term memory. The presence of alcohol stops neurons from firing and thus, no new memories are formed — leaving a “black hole” in someone’s timeline. These tests should not be considered a final diagnosis, but rather a starting point to determine if help is needed.

Drinking Regardless of Consequences

If cirrhosis develops, you will need to manage the problems it can cause. Cirrhosis of the liver
Our liver filters out harmful substances, cleans our blood, stores energy and aids in digestion. Too much alcohol can be toxic to liver cells, causing dehydration and permanent scarring—which ultimately affects the blood flow. With excessive alcohol consumption, this important organ can’t metabolize Vitamin D, which could develop into a deficiency. Some common signs and symptoms of cirrhosis include fatigue, itchy skin, weight loss, nausea, yellow eyes and skin, abdominal pain and swelling or bruising. Alcohol is often seen as harmless because it’s legal, but just because it’s legal doesn’t mean alcohol is safer than illicit drugs.

These symptoms can emerge from nowhere up to several years after someone stops drinking. Much like with other drugs, it’s easy to develop a tolerance to alcohol. Someone who has built up their tolerance will need to drink more and more in order to feel the effects of alcohol. They have a higher risk of experiencing alcohol poisoning. In extreme cases, an overdose can be life-threatening and deadly. If a woman in your life drinks excessively, this is likely a sign that she has built up her alcohol tolerance.

A person who drinks a lot may not see that they have a problem – or, at least, they are not willing to admit that there is something wrong. They can become defensive about their behavior, justify it, or go to great lengths to show just how fine and high-functioning they are. If you drink more alcohol than that, consider cutting back or quitting. People who are addicted to alcohol may also show a deteriorating physical appearance from poor nutrition and personal neglect.

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