Home > About Addictions > Physical Effects of Alcohol

Physical Effects of Alcohol

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 4 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Physical; Central Nervous System;

Alcohol affects the body in many ways and if taken in excessive or frequent quantities can be particularly harmful to our biological systems and our central nervous system.

Effects on Organs

Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream via the digestive tract. After being drunk it lays in the stomach where it can irritate the stomach’s lining (gastritis), and can progress to a stomach ulcer that bleeds causing pain and is potentially life-threatening. Other effects on the digestive tract include excessive production of mucous and prevent correct function of the sphincter that allows passage to the intestines.

After it has been absorbed into the blood it is carried around the body passing through many structures on its travels.Excessive alcohol can seriously and sometimes irreparably impair the function of the liver, resulting in cirrhosis. The liver is one of the largest organs of the body and provides many functions that are important for everyday life. If a liver has cirrhosis, it consists mainly of scarred tissues and blood cannot flow through it effectively and it is prevented from doing the job it is supposed to do. Cirrhosis can cause abdominal pain, itching of the skin, gallstones, a build-up of toxins in the blood and brain and swelling of the extremities. It can progress to liver failure or liver cancers can develop. The result of a diseased liver can cause the skin and whites of the eyes to turn yellow, known as jaundice.

Inflammation of the pancreas is also a possibility of high alcohol intake and this is an exceedingly painful condition. The pancreas is a large gland that sits in the upper right-hand side of the abdomen; it is responsible for providing the enzymes that are needed to digest food. Long-term alcohol abuse can cause a sudden attack of pancreatitis which may also result in nausea, vomiting and greasy stools. In long-term alcohol abuse, the drinker may develop chronic pancreatitis and as the food stuffs consumed aren’t broken down and fat is passed through with stools, significant weight loss is often a factor.

Effects on the Central Nervous System

During the initial period of being intoxicated by alcohol brain activity can be impaired or even reduced. Reactions become slower, speech becomes slurred, judgement is impaired and movements can be altered.

Some people have reported experiencing hallucinations, numb fingers and toes and impotence when excessive alcohol is taken.

Many drinkers (or those in withdrawal), experience a fine tremor of the hands, a change in balance ability and a deterioration of hearing or sight.

Long term effects of alcohol abuse can lead to anxiety and panic attacks, depression and even premature dementia. These are very difficult to diagnose and treat in some people as they are aware of the relationship between mental health issues and alcohol abuse and are often reluctant to seek medical help.

Along with the dangers of sustaining injuries or even death from an alcohol related accidents, all of the above mentioned illnesses and diseases can cause death. It is vital that people drink alcohol responsibly and do not exceed government recommendations; these guidelines are there to protect the well-being of the public.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I want to help my best friend with his dependency on alcohol - he is depressed - has started going to AA but I fear he isn’t making the classes..... I can’t drag him to the GP and my comments and conversations I feel sometimes make him worse...
Stephy - 4-Apr-18 @ 5:55 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Katie
    Re: Medical Help to Beat an Addiction
    I am addicted to smoking cannabis and it’s affecting my life. It has caused anxiety and I need advice.
    19 October 2018
  • Cass30
    Re: Recognising Alcohol Addiciton
    My partner drinks every night to the extreme mixing cider with vodka and is refusing to get help the odd time when his not…
    19 October 2018
  • Brotherhood
    Re: Recognising drug addiction.
    Hi Everyone, I am reaching out in desperation. 5 days ago I learned that my brother who is 18 months older than me is addicted to…
    19 October 2018
  • Buzz
    Re: Cravings and How to Control Them
    I want to start off saying me and my family were extremely and still are . But on the 27th of February 2013 my dad came into…
    17 October 2018
  • Misty
    Re: Recognising drug addiction.
    My son is 14 years old and has quickly become addicted to smoking weed. He seeks the company of other kids who will smoke weed and…
    16 October 2018
  • Sister in law
    Re: Recognising drug addiction.
    My sisters partner has been addicted to speed for over 20 years. He uses it daily and without it he can not get out of bed. He has…
    15 October 2018
  • Worriedbod.
    Re: Recognising drug addiction.
    Hi, a very close friend has recently realised that he may have an addiction, although he isn't wholly admitting it. He still says,…
    12 October 2018
  • Hazo
    Re: How to Assess The Level of an Addiction
    Hi. I think I have an addictive personality. Over the past few years I have been addicted to smoking then gambling…
    11 October 2018
  • Dawn
    Re: How to Assess The Level of an Addiction
    Its a very hard life being a addict be kind to yourself go to GP They are not judgemental . Will give you something…
    4 October 2018
  • Dawn
    Re: How to Assess The Level of an Addiction
    Any addiction seems fun when you step on to that road it leads to nothing but distruction . And its only you who can…
    4 October 2018