There are many bodily effects associated with alcoholism and most of them, if not all, are negative effects. Too much alcohol can bring us not only accidents, family problems, psychological problems and problems associated with the law but also problems regarding bodily organs.
What organ processes alcohol?
For every gulp of alcohol you drink, the alcohol goes through the mouth going through the stomach. From the stomach, it goes through the small intestine going to the blood vessels of the liver where it is being metabolized. The blood vessels expand when taken alcohol that’s why there is a warm feeling when being drunk and sometimes, the skin turns red or pink. The liver can only process half an ounce of pure alcohol at a time and those which exceeds the limit goes to the heart. Also, too much alcohol can damage the liver cells and produce scar tissues that eventually results to liver malfunction.
After passing through the heart, it goes through the blood vessels and pulmonary veins aiming for the lungs. This is why our breath smells like alcohol every time we drink alcoholic beverages. Also, some of the alcohol is released through sweat that’s why a drinker’s sweat smells like alcohol. From the lungs, the alcohol goes through the path of the heart again by passing through the pulmonary arteries. And then, the alcohol will go to and away from the heart through the aorta. Meanwhile, the alcohol can also reach your brain and slows down the impulses making it hard for you to think, have a good vision, speak fluently and move as normal. Eventually, the liver will find time to metabolize all the alcohol you have taken
Prolonged use of alcohol
After seeing where alcohol passes through once taken in, we already have the idea of what too much alcohol intake for a long period of time can do to our body. There can be many long term effects of alcohol but the most common of them all are liver diseases, malabsorption, cancer, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
As the liver malfunctions to give the body a better metabolism because there is too much alcohol to digest, malabsorption can take place. Also, alcoholic beverages when abused for a very long period of time can lead to different types of cancer. But then, chronic alcohol abuse can damage all the organs in the body. When taken during pregnancy, alcoholism can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and cause immediate death to newborn babies.
Alcohol health effects
Too much alcohol intake can have comprising health effects to our body. The most common organs affected by alcohol are:
Since the liver is responsible for the proper absorption of alcohol, it works to digest alcohol as much as it can. If you consume more alcohol than your liver and other body organs can processes, the liver is being stressed too much. Imagine if you can only read a book per day and you are asked to read 10 books in one day. If you force yourself to do this, your brain, eyes and other organs might be stressed out. If you do this more often, then there is a huge tendency for your organs to be damaged. The same thing applies for alcoholism and the liver. If you abuse the liver frequently, serious liver diseases can be developed. It is possible to experience hardening of the liver as the scar tissues are developed and the liver cannot fully perform its function anymore. The liver actually has more than 1,500 functions and around 300 of these are vital in survival. Imagine if the liver functions become interrupted. The body will have serious problems such as organ failures and this might lead to death.
Liver diseases tend to develop from long-term alcohol abuse since too much alcohol will exhaust the liver from metabolizing all the alcohol and for the meantime that the liver cannot metabolize all of them yet, the alcohol goes through the other organs. It goes through the brain. Too much alcohol can result to brain damage as it affects balance, coordination and motor skills. Alcohol also damages the brain tissues in the frontal lobe and cerebellum. Chronic dependence on alcohol can damage the frontal lobes and negatively affects a person’s problem solving capabilities, abstraction, planning, reasoning and memory.
Meanwhile, alcohol can bring interruptions to kidney functions. Alcohol can cause changes in the structure of the kidney and thus affects its performance. The kidney is responsible for the regulation of body fluids, electrolytes, sodium and the balance between acid and base. Kidney failure is usually associated with liver diseases induced by alcoholism.
The health effects of alcohol are numerous. Be aware of the effects before drinking alcohol.