December 6, 2021

Effects of Alcohol Abuse on the Body and How to Quit Drinking

5 min read

Alcohol addiction has adverse effects on the body. It reduces the lifespan, and addicts may die at a younger age. However, those who drink need to ensure legal drinking to avoid possible health risks. However, it would be best to stay sober because a single drink can cause health problems for the rest of one’s life. Notably, alcohol addicts can remain sober through various alcohol addiction treatment options such as detoxification and alcohol support groups.

What is Standard Drinking?

In the US, standard drinking is taking alcohol with a specific percentage of pure alcohol. Five ounces of wine contains 12% alcohol, 8 ounces of malt liquor contains 7% alcohol, and 12 ounces of beer contains 5% alcohol. 

What Is Moderate Drinking?

According to The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol drinking is when a woman drinks one or fewer drinks in a single day, and a man drinks two or fewer drinks each day. It also recommends that those drinking should drink less to avoid health problems. However, it still recommends that those who don’t drink should remain sober.

What is Excessive Drinking?

This is when people drink heavily or binge drink. Binge drinking is when women drink four or more drinks, and a man drinks five or more drinks at once. However, heavy drinking involves women drinking eight or more drinks each week and 15 or more drinks for men every week. 

Who Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol?

Though drinking alcohol may cause health effects on anyone, there are people not allowed to take even a sip of alcohol. Some of these people include;

  • Those aged below 21 years
  • Pregnant or suspecting to be pregnant
  • Suffering from specific ailments such as cancer, heart disease, or digestive problems
  • Trying to be sober
  • Driving or engaging in physical activities

What are the Effects of Alcohol Abuse on the Body?

Organs in the bodywork incoordination for people to remain healthy. However, abusing alcohol may cause certain complications in the body that lowers its function. Here are the common effects of alcohol abuse on the body.

Damages the Central Nervous System

The central nervous system controls how the brain and the bodywork. Abusing alcohol may affect the central nervous system causing speech problems, numbness, and unable to balance. Again, heavy drinking may affect the brain, causing memory loss or a brain disorder known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

Circulatory System Complications

The heart and the lungs are important organs in the circulatory system of the body. Abusing alcohol can lead to failure of these organs leading to circulatory system complications such as stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat. These medical conditions can cause sudden death if alcohol addicts fail to quit drinking sooner.

Stained Teeth and Dry Mouth

Plaques and tartar in teeth cause teeth cavities due to bacteria. Those who develop alcohol use disorder (AUD) have lots of plaque and tartar in their teeth. This causes teeth staining and a dry mouth. It also exposes them to dangers such as mouth cancer or losing teeth at specific points in their lives. Therefore, heavy drinkers should take lots of water to stay hydrated to prevent a dry mouth.

Erectile Dysfunction in Men

Men who abuse alcohol are likely not to satisfy their spouses in bed. This is because they either ejaculate quickly or are unable to erect. This can also affect men’s mental health because they may constantly argue with their spouses. Mental health could worsen, especially if the couple gets a divorce.

 Affects Women’s Reproductive Health

Women who are addicts could stop menstruating at an early age. Therefore, this leads to infertility, and they can no longer give birth. Again, women who drink alcohol when pregnant are at risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, or delivering premature babies. Sometimes, they deliver children with various conditions such as learning difficulties or fetal alcohol syndrome disorders (FASD). 

Liver Damage

Those suffering from alcohol use disorder may suffer from liver damage. A liver is a vital organ in the body because it helps remove harmful toxins from the body. Therefore, if the liver can’t function correctly, alcohol addicts may suffer from liver cirrhosis. This is an inflammation of the liver that reduces its function in the body. However, women are more likely to suffer from liver disease than men because their bodies absorb more alcohol which takes longer to eliminate from the body.

Unbalanced Sugar Levels

Those who consume alcohol regularly may suffer from low or high blood sugar levels. This is because alcohol affects the pancreas and the liver and the body produces less insulin. Therefore, alcohol addicts are at a higher risk of diabetes. They experience various symptoms, including fatigue, increased thirst and 

Digestive System Problems

Alcohol affects the digestive system, and the intestines fail to digest food. That’s why some alcohol addicts suffer from weight loss due to malnutrition. In addition, heavy drinking may cause other digestive system problems, including bloating, diarrhea, and gassiness. They may also suffer from ulcers and cancers such as mouth, colon, and throat cancer.

How to Overcome Addiction

Sometimes, those with alcohol use disorder feel that they need to sober up. However, it isn’t a simple decision, and many always try to relapse. Therefore, there are several ways to stop drinking and live a happier life.

Change the Environment

Sometimes, the environment people live in can tempt them to become alcohol addicts. This is because they always feel low or stressed and drink to enlighten their moods. Changing from these environments can help them to stop drinking completely.

Get Rid of Alcohol at Home

Alcoholic drinks in the house can tempt people to drink regularly until they develop alcohol use disorder. Therefore, it would be best to get rid of the alcohol and keep other non-alcoholic drinks healthy for the body. This way, they can overcome the urge to stop purchasing alcohol and keep it in their homes.

Alcohol abuse has adverse effects and quitting drinking can take longer. Though standard drinking seems good to the body, it would be best to avoid alcohol and remain sober. This is because the effects of alcohol on the brain, immune system, and heart may lead to death. Luckily, there are many alcohol addiction treatment methods to help alcohol addicts.

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