Health Risks Due to Alcoholism | The Ranch

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Health Risks Due to Alcoholism

January 12, 2018 Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
male holding his abdomen and liver in pain

Do you need a little extra motivation to begin your recovery journey? Even if you feel healthy now, soon the effects of alcohol abuse on your body will be impossible to ignore. Here are just some of the health risks caused by alcoholism.

From alcoholic hepatitis to liver cancer, the health risks associated with alcoholism are quite serious. Alcohol addiction can damage your body, sometimes irreversibly, while also wreaking havoc on your relationships, finances and life in general. The sooner you quit drinking alcohol, the sooner you will reap the benefits of a healthier way of living.

Liver Damage

Alcoholic hepatitis refers to an inflammation of liver tissues due to alcohol consumption. The only way to prevent and treat alcoholic hepatitis is to stop drinking altogether. Failing to do so can lead to even more liver damage, including cirrhosis, fibrosis, fatty liver disease, liver failure and even liver cancer. Consider alcoholic hepatitis a serious warning sign of what is to come, if you do not stop drinking.

Heart Damage

Chronic alcoholism, even binge drinking, can increase your blood pressure and can lead to a host of other issues when left unchecked. Stroke, heart attack, an irregular heart beat and cardiomyopathy (stretched heart muscles) are some of the severe complications that can arise from the blood pressure spikes related to binge drinking.

Cancer Risks

Alcoholism significantly increases the risk of developing certain cancers. Studies have shown a clear correlation between alcohol consumption and seven cancers in particular, affecting the liver, esophagus, breast, colon, rectum, oropharynx and larynx.

Immune System Complications

Alcohol is inherently toxic. Your body has to work hard to remove alcohol from your blood stream, and this can compromise your immune system. While your body is busy addressing the toxins you have introduced through your drinking, it’s easier for other pathogens to take hold. For example, alcoholics are prone to developing tuberculosis and pneumonia more than non-alcoholics.

Other Health Risks Associated With Alcoholism

Alcoholics may struggle to maintain a healthy weight so it can swing both ways: it can cause individuals to be overweight or underweight. Both conditions bring a new set of challenges, such as a risk for diabetes for those overweight and malnutrition issues for those underweight.

The liver is responsible for processing alcohol, but the kidneys and pancreas play supporting roles as well. Pancreatitis and kidney failure are both just as possible as alcoholic hepatitis.

Finally, the behavioral health risks must not be forgotten. Lack of coordination, loss of inhibitions and increased mood swings can occur immediately after alcohol consumption. There can also be potentially fatal consequences, including car accidents, physical altercations and risky behaviors as a result.

In short, alcohol affects the entire body. Now is the best time to quit and to begin healing your body.



“Alcohol’s Effects on The Body” – National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

“Alcoholic Hepatitis” – Mayo Clinic

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