Alcohol abuse is a serious issue and according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), about 88,000 deaths occur annually in the United States due to alcohol abuse issues. In 2014, nearly 9,967 fatal accidents took place in the U.S. all due to alcohol-impaired driving. Alcohol abuse is the fourth largest cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.
There are recommended maximum guidelines for drinking, which are two drinks per day for men and one drink for women. But many drinkers exceed the limit and sometimes become habitual drinkers. Alcohol abusers face many health, financial and personal problems due to alcoholism. Following are some consequences of heavy alcohol drinking:
1. Risk of cancer
The NIAAA highlights that alcohol consumption is a leading factor for the development of cancer. Alcohol (ethanol) is broken up to acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical in the body. Acetaldehyde can damage DNA and make its repair impossible.
The Annals of Oncology report in 2012 said that there is a clear link between alcohol abuse and pancreatic cancer. There is also an increased risk of breast cancer among females who abuse alcohol. Risk of cancer is among one of the worst effects of alcohol abuse on human health and life.
2. Damage to the brain
Alcohol is a neurotoxin. Researchers have proven that high alcohol consumption leads to premature brain aging. Alcohol’s toxic contents interfere with the signaling pathways of the brain and can impair brain function.
Alcohol consumption compromises the brain’s processing efficiency and speed. It may lead to a reduction in cognitive abilities, reduction in concentration loss of memory. Additionally, alcohol reduces magnesium and thiamine (vitamin B1) levels that are important for normal brain functioning.
Lack of thiamine can lead to impaired coordination, loss of memory, confusion, and reduced mental alertness. Magnesium deficiency results in an increase of apprehension, affect orientation and cause confusion in decision-making. Depression and irritability may also occur.
Fertility-related issues can affect both women and men due to excessive drinking. It may increase the time needed to conceive and increase the risks of delivering an unhealthy infant. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, premature birth, and low birth weight.
Alcohol abuse affects the fertility in males too. Drinking too much alcohol can lower testosterone levels and sperm quality as well as reducing libido.
Prolonged alcohol abuse can lead the pancreas to create unhealthy toxins that can result in pancreas swelling and inflammation of the blood vessels. It affects the digestive process and the ability of the body to maintain blood sugar levels.
A 2009 research in the journals of JAMA reported that five or more drinks a day can greatly increase the risks of chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can result in cancer and other serious ailments that are fatal in nature.
5. Damages to the heart
The high calorie and sugar content of alcohol can lead to strokes and hypertension. An Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Physiology research paper in 2006 reported that the risk for developing high blood pressure due to alcohol consumption is 16 percent.
Alcohol consumption also results in the production of low-density lipoproteins which form plaque and build up on the arteries, which can restrict blood flow to all organs of the body. Consuming moderate levels of alcohol can protect the coronary arteries, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, many people continue to consume more alcohol than what is considered moderate, according to the institute.
Treating alcohol addiction
In the beginning, people usually drink moderate amounts of alcohol but when they carry on drinking for a longer period, it can often lead to alcohol addiction. This can be a serious problem and it can be very difficult for people to stop drinking.
Alcohol addiction treatment centers in texas can offer help for those addicted to alcohol. These facilities use state-of-the-art treatment to get people on the road to recovery and live a healthier life. If you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol, discover the options available at alcohol addiction treatment centers. You may contact the Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline to know more about recovery programs that can assist you in getting sober. To learn more, chat online or call the alcohol addiction treatment helpline at (866)-281-3014.