The impact of alcohol on the body starts from the moment the first sip is taken. Nobody should worry about the odd glass of wine with a meal every now and then but frequent drinking can have a cumulative effect with negative implications. A couple of glasses a day can do some harm to your health. However, if the habit increases or if someone finds they can’t stop after just one glass, the health effects can accumulate.
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to abnormal activation of the digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. An accumulation of such enzymes can cause inflammation, a condition called pancreatitis. Pancreatitis has the potential be a chronic and serious condition with numerous complications.
The liver breaks down and disposes of toxic substances from your body, such as alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol over a prolonged period messes with this process and can increase the danger of developing chronic liver inflammation, as well as liver disease. Scarring as a result of inflammation is known as cirrhosis. Scar tissue formation can be devastating. The more the liver becomes damaged, the more difficult it finds being able to remove toxic substances from the body.
Disease of the liver can be a threat to life and results in an accumulation of toxins in the body with women having a higher risk for developing this disease. Women’s bodies are more likely to absorb more alcohol, and need more time to process it. Women also showed more rapid liver damage than men.
The pancreas assists the body in regulating insulin and glucose. When the pancreas and the liver are not working as they should, you are at risk of low blood sugar, or hypoglycaemia. A damaged pancreas can also stop the body from making adequate insulin to use sugar which can cause hyperglycaemia.
When a body is unable to manage blood sugar levels, there is a higher risk of complications and side effects associated with diabetes. It’s important for people with diabetes or hypoglycaemia to avoid excessive alcohol.
Central nervous system
One of the easiest ways to understand the impact of alcohol on your body is to understand how the role it plays on the central nervous system. One of the first signs of drinking too much alcohol is a slurring of speech. Alcohol can reduce the communication between the brain and body. This makes coordination more difficult and affects balance. Alcohol causes more damage to the central nervous system, such as numbness in the legs and hands.
Drinking alcohol also makes it harder for your brain to make and store long-term memories. It also lessens your capacity to think clearly and rationally. Over time, damage to the frontal lobes can occur and it is this section of the brain that controls emotions, recent memory, and judgment, in addition to other vital roles. Chronic and severe alcohol abuse can also lead to permanent brain damage. One outcome is Korsakoff syndrome, a disorder of the brain that negatively impacts memory. For more information on Korsakoff Syndrome, visit a site like ARBDCare, providers of care for Korsakoff Syndrome.
Some people who drink heavily can develop physical and emotional dependence on alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal can be difficult and life-threatening. You often need professional help to break the addiction to alcohol. As a result, many people seek medical detoxification. This is the safest way to ensure you are breaking the physical addiction.