Complications of Alcoholism

There are several complications associated with alcoholism and we all are aware of it. Alcohol intake results in depression of CNS (central nervous system) and affects thoughts, emotions and judgment of the drinker. Excess alcohol intake also affects speech and muscle coordination.ID-10092290

Alcoholism is associated with several health related complications, such as

Liver disease:

Alcohol is metabolized in liver and drinking alcohol on regular basis can result in alcoholic hepatitis (hepatitis is inflammation of liver tissue). Alcoholic hepatitis may cause liver damage and if a person continues to drink, liver damage may become irreversible and lead to development of liver cirrhosis.

Heart disease:

Moderate drinking (two drinks a day) is good for heart health, but chronic and excess drinking can damage the heart. Chronic and excess drinking can cause rise in blood pressure, enlargement of heart and heart failure.

Nutritional problems:

Chronic and excess drinking can cause gastritis (inflammation of stomach lining) and gastric ulcer. Heavy drinking interferes with absorption of various nutrients (e.g. vitamins) and lead to nutritional deficiency disorders.

Diabetes complications:

Heavy drinking can damage pancreas and cause pancreatitis, which may result in interference of secretion of insulin and other hormones and enzymes from pancreas. Heavy drinking may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level), especially in diabetes patients, who might also be taking insulin, by inhibiting release of glucose from liver.

Sexual function complications:

Here William Shakespeare’s quote can explain the problem “alcohol maketh the desire but taketh away the performance”. Heavy drinking increase sexual desire but sexual performance may not be satisfactory due to problems such as erectile dysfunction.

Birth defects:

Women consuming alcohol during pregnancy may cause birth defects known as “fetal alcohol syndrome”.

Neurological problems due to alcohol:
Several neurological problems may arise due to heavy drinking such as dementia (loss of memory), numbness and pain in hands and feet, short term memory loss etc.

Increase risk of cancer:

Excess alcohol intake increase risk of certain cancers such as stomach cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer and cancers of throat and mouth etc.

Immune system weakness:

Chronic and heavy drinking may result in weakening of immune system and makes the alcoholics susceptible to various infections.

There are also various non-health related complications of excess and chronic alcohol intake, such as alcohol related motor vehicle accidents, alcohol related deaths, suicides, homicides, drowning etc.

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