When many people think about the problems that alcohol abuse can cause, they think about drunk driving and the effects it has. However, drunk driving is not the only problem alcohol abuse causes. Alcohol abuse can lead to a number of health conditions. In fact, alcohol abuse has been linked to at least 60 health conditions. Below is a list of the long-term effects of alcohol abuse.
Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to liver inflammation. This inflammation can eventually lead to a condition called cirrhosis. Cirrhosis causes scar tissue to build up in the liver. It is estimated that one out of 10 people who drink alcohol heavily will eventually develop cirrhosis. Keep in mind that women are more likely to develop cirrhosis than men.
Many forms of cancer have been linked to excessive alcohol consumption, including liver, breast, colon and prostate. The reason alcohol use can increase the risk of cancer is because the body converts it into acetaldehyde. The acetaldehyde is a carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent.
Suppresses the Immune System
Excessive alcohol intake can weaken the immune system. This will make it a lot easier for you to develop a serious illness. People who have a weak immune system are at an increased risk for developing illnesses like pneumonia. In fact, getting drunk decreases the body's ability to fight off illnesses for 24 hours.
Excessive alcohol intake can make it easier for the platelets to clot. This can cause blood clots to form, which can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. There was a study done in 2005 by a team of scientists at Harvard University that involved heart attack survivors. The scientists found that people who drank heavily were twice as likely to die.
Alcohol abuse can also lead a heart condition called cardiomyopathy. This condition causes the heart muscle to weaken, and the heart will eventually fail.
Many people drink to help themselves feel better when they are depressed. However, studies have shown that alcohol abuse can actually worsen depression. On the other hand, many heavy drinkers notice their symptoms improve after they quit drinking.
Alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on a person's life and health. It can cause a heart attack, cirrhosis, depression and cancer. It may also weaken the immune system.
The above article is a guest post written by Karleia Steiner, a freelance blogger from Moses and Rooth, Attorneys at Law. You can find her on facebook, twitter and google+.