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
  • Gaby
    Re: Beating an Addiction to Drugs
    Hello, I need some advice/help.. its quite urgent and really need some help. The problem we have is rehab is around 6k or 12k a…
    27 February 2020
  • A.M1166
    Re: Beating an Addiction to Chocolate
    I have been addicted to various substances for as long as I can remember, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin,…
    27 February 2020
  • Jane
    Re: Beating an Addiction to Drugs
    I have a son who has addictionn illness, he is aware and wants to change but can't. I am getting very stressed when he is out…
    17 February 2020
  • Lynne
    Re: Beating an Addiction to Drugs
    My son is a recovering addict I desperately need to talk to someone one
    16 February 2020
  • Mjb
    Re: Addiction Treatment Centers: What to Expect
    My son is 44 has mental health issues and is self medicating with street valium.It has taken over his life he…
    4 February 2020
  • Hannah
    Re: Recognising Alcohol Addiciton
    Hi I drink about 2 bottles of wine a day start late afternoon until evening watch tv don’t remember much after about 7.30 then…
    9 January 2020
  • Joseph
    Re: Addiction to Shopping
    Hi, I wonder if you can help? I am slightly worried about my bills and during my constant worrying, i spend money on materialistic things…
    27 December 2019
  • Pandalove1
    Re: Recognising drug addiction.
    Hey I reaching out to you as well what can I say an addict. I’ve always done recreational drugs since I was a teen, taking pills…
    19 October 2019
  • Adrianon
    Re: How to Assess The Level of an Addiction
    My partner of 2 years drinks beer everyday. It has got to the stage where he supplements beer for food. Drinking at…
    10 August 2019
  • Kdawg
    Re: Physical Effects of Solvents
    I'm 25 turning 26 in a couple weeks, I've been on solvents for half my life on and off, I've been clean for maybe four months or…
    12 May 2019