Long term effects of alcohol abuse
If all the long term effects of alcohol abuse were written out in detail the result would be something like a book. Alcohol abuse penetrates every cell in a person’s body resulting in multiple long term effects. Alcohol is one of the most threatening drugs when abused for a long period of time.
The first and most obvious long term effect of alcohol abuse is alcoholism. Alcoholism is the physical addiction to alcohol to the point of having serious withdrawal symptoms if the drinker tries to stop consuming alcohol. That’s probably one of the least worrisome long term effects of alcohol abuse. Long term effects of alcohol abuse, more generally, are the risks of cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and chronic pancreatitis. Damage to the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system are long term effects of alcohol abuse. The long term effects of alcohol abuse are seen in every system in the body.
Adolescents are especially susceptible to the long term effects of alcohol abuse. This is because the adolescent brain is still developing. In unborn babies the long term effects of alcohol abuse are grave and could result in fetal alcohol syndrome.
The long term effects of alcohol abuse on the cardiovascular system can be life threatening. The long term effects of alcohol abuse in the cardiovascular system are peripheral arterial disease, intermittent claudication, heart attack and stroke, cardiomyopathy, hematologic diseases.
The long term effects of alcohol abuse on the nervous system severely impair brain development. The long term effects of alcohol abuse on the nervous system are brain shrinkage, dementia, physical dependence, brain lesions, brain damage, chronic fatigue, nutritional deficiency, alcohol withdrawal, risks of stroke, loss of memory, learning disabilities, and blackouts.
The long term effects of alcohol abuse also impact the digestive system and can cause serious weight gain because of the high sugar/high calorie content of most alcoholic beverages. The long term effects of alcohol abuse on the digestive system in general are chronic gastritis or stomach inflammation, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, and pancreatitis both chronic and acute. The long term effects of alcohol abuse can also lead to metabolic syndrome. The long term effects of alcohol abuse also have a large impact on the gallbladder. Long term alcohol abuse can lead to gallstones and gallstone disease.
Long term effects of alcohol abuse always negatively affect the liver. The liver clears the blood of any impurities so the liver has to filter alcohol directly from the blood when an individual drinks. Alcohol liver disease is a main effect of long term alcohol abuse. Not only that but the long term effects of alcohol abuse on the liver are fatty liver, cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, liver disease and liver cancer. In worst case scenarios heavy alcohol consumption for a long period of time can result in needing a liver transplant.
Long term alcohol abuse also affects the lungs by impairing some of its critical cellular functions. This means that long term alcohol abuse can cause lung disease, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
The long term effects of alcohol also move into the kidneys and cause kidney stones. Not just that but the list of long term effects goes on and on. The effects of alcohol abuse in the long term can end up being sexual dysfunction, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and problems with the skin such as psoriasis or flushing and rosacea. Alcohol abuse can also affect the immune system. There is not really a whole lot long term alcohol doesn’t affect.
Alcohol can be very dangerous when used for long periods of time. The effects are grave and sometimes irreversible. What we thought was a social drink that may even be considered safe is far from safe when used for in the long term.