Some people think that because alcohol is legal, it isn't harmful or dangerous. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Consumed in excessive quantities and in an unhealthy way, alcohol can have damaging and even fatal effects on the body, which is why it's so important to monitor your drinking habits.
Here are some of the physical consequences of alcohol:
- Brain: Alcohol affects your brain's neural pathways, causing changes in the brain's functions immediately and over the long-term. Alcohol can cause mood swings, behavioral changes and difficulty with coordination.
- Cancer: According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, heavy drinking can increase your risk of getting certain cancers, such as mouth, esophagus, liver, throat and breast cancer.
- Heart: Excessive drinking can damage your heart, causing irregular heartbeat, stroke, high blood pressure and stretching of the heart muscle called cardiomyopathy.
- Immune system: Drinking weakens the body's immune system, making you more vulnerable to disease even up to 24 hours after becoming drunk. Chronic alcoholics are much more likely to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis.
- Liver: As expected, heavy use of alcohol can cause irreparable damage to the liver. This can cause fibrosis, cirrhosis, steatosis and alcoholic hepatitis.
- Pancreas: Alcohol triggers the pancreas to produce toxic chemicals that can eventually lead to pancreatitis.
If you think you are suffering with alcoholism, the most important thing to do is reach out for professional help. The sooner you seek treatment, the more likely you are to make full, long-term recovery. Contact Fairwinds Treatment Center, one of the top alcohol treatment centers in the United States.
Founded by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef in 1989, Fairwinds uses the dual diagnosis method of treatment to heal patients holistically. This includes the use of therapeutic counseling in addition to clinical treatment, so patients can return to their families and enjoy happier and healthier lives.