You know that drinking isn’t great for your health, but do you know just how bad it can be, do you know what alcohol does to your body? Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States and can lead to a wide variety of health problems. In this blog post, we will explore the effects of drinking on your health and provide information on how to get help if you need it.
What happens to your body when you drink too much?
When you drink alcohol, it is absorbed into your bloodstream and travels to every organ in your body. It affects your brain first, which is why you feel relaxed and happy after a few drinks. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows down your brain function. This can lead to slurred speech, impaired judgment, and slowed reflexes in the short term. Drinking too much can also cause blackouts, where you cannot remember what happened while you were drinking.
Despite its widespread use, few people think about how alcohol affects their brain long-term.
It’s well-known that alcohol consumption can lead to short-term memory loss, but it can also cause lasting damage to the brain. Studies have shown that chronic alcohol consumption can shrink the brain, leading to cognition and motor skills issues.
Alcohol also interferes with the brain’s ability to create new memories and process information, leading to problems with learning and decision-making. In severe cases, alcoholism can cause dementia. While moderate alcohol consumption may not have noticeable effects on the brain, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of excessive consumption.
Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can also damage your liver, heart, and pancreas and increase your risk of developing cancer.
The liver is a hardworking organ that performs many vital functions, including filtering toxins from the blood and breaking down fats. However, the liver can only handle so much at a time, and chronic alcohol abuse can quickly overload it. As the liver tries to break down alcohol, it produces harmful by-products that can damage liver cells and lead to inflammation. Over time, this damage can cause the liver to become scarred and dysfunctional. Alcohol-related liver disease is rising in the United States, and heavy drinking is the most common risk factor.
The heart is another organ that is affected by chronic alcohol consumption.
Heavy drinking can lead to high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, and cardiomyopathy (a weakening of the heart muscle). These problems can eventually lead to heart failure.
Drinking alcohol can also have several effects on your pancreas.
The pancreas is a small, pear-shaped organ that sits behind the stomach and is responsible for producing enzymes that help digest food. It also produces hormones, such as insulin, that help regulate blood sugar levels. When you drink alcohol, it can interfere with the production of these enzymes and hormones, which can lead to problems such as indigestion and fluctuations in blood sugar levels. In addition, alcohol can damage the cells of the pancreas, making them more susceptible to infection and inflammation. Over time, this damage can lead to pancreatitis, a serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can alter many hormones in your body, including testosterone.
Continual consumption of alcohol can cause elevated levels of the female hormone estrogen, testosterone converted to estrogen, and the stress hormone cortisol, which destroys testosterone. When testosterone levels drop, it can lead to problems like infertility, loss of muscle mass, and erectile dysfunction.
Alcoholism is a serious disease, and it’s important to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to alcohol.
You are not alone, and there is help available. Recovery is possible with the right treatment and support, and there is hope for a full and healthy life free from alcohol. Origins Recovery Center is in-network with the nation’s largest health insurance providers, making treatment more accessible and affordable.
Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration.
We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.
For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1019.