Alcohol abuse: 12 Chronic Health Risks of Heavy Drinking
Alcohol and Health Risks
It's no secret that alcohol consumption can cause major health problems, including liver cirrhosis and injuries sustained in a car accident. But if you think heart disease and car accidents are the only health risk posed by drink, think again: researchers have linked the consumption of alcohol to more than 60 types of disease.
Drink heavily can cause the amount of oxygen carrying red blood cells become abnormally low. This condition, known as anemia, can trigger a number of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.
"The habit of drinking can increase the risk of cancer," said Jurgen Rehm, PhD, chairman of the University of Toronto's department of addiction policy and a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The scientists believe that the increased risk comes when the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde , a potent carcinogen. Cancer sites associated with the use of alcohol, including mouth, pharynx (throat), heavy drinkers are also smokers.
3. Cardiovascular Disease
Drink heavily, especially binge drinking a stroke. In a study published in 2005, Harvard researchers found that binge drinking increases the risk of death doubled among those who initially survived a heart attack.Drinks can also cause severe cardiomyopathy, a condition that is potentially lethal in havoc than a pucker in rhythm, turvy in the main pumping chamber of the heart (ventricles). It causes loss of consciousness quickly, without immediate treatment, can cause sudden death.
Alcohol is a poison so be not working seriously injured. But it is difficult to predict which drinkers will develop cirrhosis. For some unknown reason, women seem most vulnerable.
As we get older, their brain is shrinking, the average at a rate of approximately 1.9% per decade. It is still considered normal. But the speed of shrinkage in heavy drinkers are located in certain key areas in the brain, causing memory loss and other symptoms of dementia.
Drinks can also cause severe deficits in subtle but potentially weaken the ability to plan, make decisions, solve problems, and other aspects of "executive function," which "high-level capabilities that allow us to maximize our function as human beings," said James C. Garbutt, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
In addition to dementia "specific" is derived from brain atrophy, heavy drinking can also lead to malnutrition so severe that they lead to other forms of dementia.
Has long been known that heavy drinkers often goes hand in hand with depression, but there has been debate about which came first - drinking or depression. One theory is that depressed people turn to alcohol in an attempt to "treat-yourself" to reduce their emotional pain. But in 2010, a large study from New Zealand suggests that perhaps the opposite - namely, heavy drinks that cause depression.
Drink heavily may be the cause of epilepsy and also can trigger seizures in people who do not even have epilepsy. It can also interfere with the action of drugs used to treat the disorder.
A painful condition, gout is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. Although some cases are mostly hereditary, alcohol and other dietary factors apparently also play a role. Alcohol also appears to aggravate the cases that already have gout.
9. High Blood Pressure
Alcohol can interfere with the sympathetic nervous system, among others, which controls the constriction and dilation of blood vessels in response to stress, cultivation temperature, etc. Weight drinks - and in particular, heavy binge drinking, can cause increased blood pressure. Over time, these effects can become chronic. High blood pressure can cause many other health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.
10. Infectious Diseases
Drink heavily suppress the immune system, providing pedestal for infections, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, HIV / AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (including some that cause sterility). People who drink heavily are also more likely to make risky sex. "Heavy drinking is associated with a threefold increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases," said Rehm.
11. Damage to nerves
Drinks can cause severe forms of nerve damage known as alcoholic neuropathy, which can produce feelings of pain like pins stuck in - and - needles in the legs, as well as muscle weakness, incontinence, constipation, erectile dysfunction, and other problems. Alcoholic neuropathy may arise because alcohol is toxic to nerve cells or due to malnutrition resulting from heavy drinking which endanger the functioning of nerves.
In addition to causing irritation of the stomach (gastritis), drinking can also stimulate the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis interfere with the digestive process, causing acute abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some cases of chronic pancreatitis induced by gallstones, but up to 60% comes from the consumption of alcohol.