Alcoholism health impacts a must read

Alcoholism health impacts when consumed moderation: The positives

The conventional accepted wisdom is that ‘A little bit of low alcoholic red wine is good for the gut’. And this conventional wisdom is now backed by science which has in recent years through research indicated that moderate consumption of red wine indeed has health benefits.

Red wine made from crushed grapes contains resveratrol a natural antioxidant in the skin of grape.

  • May reduce risk of dementia
  • May reduce risk of diabetes
  • May reduce the risk of stroke
  • Can make you more social
  • May lower your inhibitions 

Alcoholism health impacts when abused: The negatives

The key point here is moderation. Some countries  even give guidelines on what is deemed healthy amounts of alcohol to consume, and these guidelines are constantly revised as more studies are released. It is important to point out that what is moderate to one person can be that bit too much for another person. So, even where there maybe guidelines provided as to what may be deemed moderate alcohol consumption, the most responsible think to really do is know your own consumption limit.

It is also a known fact that moderate drinking can increase leading to heavy drinking with time depending on personal circumstances and susceptibility to alcoholism. At such a point, alcohol becomes a major problem to personal, family and overall social health. 

It then becomes critical to balance between possible health benefits of alcohol and known side effects of uncontrolled consumption. Scientists and lay people in the remotest parts of the earth have confirmed that alcoholism can negatively affect a person’s health. Health problems can be immediate, intermediate and long-term. Consider the following:  

  1. Impaired judgement. This can lead to taking unnecessary risks that could lead to injury as it happens in accidents due to driving under alcohol influence. It can also increase risky behaviour as in engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners that could lead to sexually transmitted diseases.
  2. Assault on the liver. This organ is tasked with metabolizing alcohol and detoxifying the body from the alcohol’s metabolites. Heavy drinking can lead to damaged liver cells that can eventually lead to hardening (cirrhosis) and even cancer of the liver.
  3. Damage of the pancreas.
  4. Increased risk of GI tract ulcerations and haemorrhoids
  5. High risk of developing diabetes
  6. Brain shrinkage and neurological problems
  7. Vitamin deficiencies and overall malnutrition
  8. Reduced sexual health such as erectile dysfunction and infertility
  9. Muscle wasting and weakness
  10. Reduced immune system and an increased risk of infections
  11. Heart problems. While moderate alcohol consumption has some benefits on the heart, heavy drinking increase risk of heart problems that include:
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Clogged or hardened blood vessels
  • Heart failure
  1. Increased risk of developing cancer. A study published in the JAMA of February 18 1998 found a direct correlation of the risk of developing breast cancer and alcohol consumption.
  2. Increased risk of other cancers that include colon cancer
  3. The unborn child. Pregnant women suffering from alcoholism not only affect their own health but also that of their unborn child. Alcohol blocks the uptake of folate acid. This vitamin is vital for the development of the brain and the spinal cord (among many other uses). A deficiency of the vitamin in the unborn child leads to serious neurological deformities.

help with Alcoholism health impacts:

Alcoholics Anonymous Inter group Phone Numbers in Africa

Further reading:

 Mayo Clinic Beyond Hangovers – Understanding alcohol’s impact on your health (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) 

NIH Alcohol’s Effects on the Body

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