(Last Updated On: 23rd December 2017)

We all know alcohol severely affects our body, and the long term effects of alcohol abuse could me more harsh.

Whenever you drink alcohol it reaches every portion of your body and starts showing its effects for the next two hours (or more depends upon the gender, weight and age of a person).

Throughout this article I will tell you how a drink that we generally consume as a part of celebration, is basically a major cause of our body’s deterioration.

One major problem with alcohol is, only a little portion of alcohol exits our body through breathe and through urine and rest of it remains in our body, which our body have to deal with.

This remaining alcohol is metabolised in your body, and this metabolism slows down if we start eating after a drink, and you get drunk.

In the following points you will get to know about the effects of alcohol starting from head to toe in our body.

Long term Effects of Alcohol abuse on Human Body

1. Disorders in Brain

In a study, alcohol is found to be teratogenic, and have devastating effects on developing brain. Another study suggested about the binge-drinking can cause deterioration of brain and reduction in memory’s retention capacity.

Alcohol alters the levels of neurotransmitters and affects the chemistry of our brain. Some major (researched) neurotransmitters which get affected by alcohol consumption are : GABA, Endorphins, Dopamine, Glutamate, Norepinephrine and Adrenaline.

  • Alcohol affects endorphin system, acting like a pain-killer.
  • Affects of alcohol on GABA system leads to drowsiness and relaxation.
  • Affects of alcohol on Glutamate System leads to staggering, slurred speech, and memory blackouts.
  • Alcohol causes a release of norepinephrine, due to which alcohol acts as a stimulant and not just a depressant.
  • Alcohol activates the rewarding system of brain, due to which we start craving for alcohol.

You can get detailed information on how brain is get affected with alcohol on How Stuff Works’s article.

2. Eyes

Though it offers, blurry and distorted vision after being drunk. But alcohol either, occasional or long-term consumption can cause permanent loss of vision, since it affects the optic nerves in our body. These nerves carry vision from eyes to our brain.

This effect of loss of vision due to alcohol abuse is called Toxic amblyopia.

Some other effects of alcohol to our eyes are redness of eyes, caused by swelling of blood vessels in eyes; rapid eye movement (back and forth), twitching of eyes, decreased contrast sensitivity, Slower reaction of pupil, puffiness under eyes and dryness of eyes (study).

3. Heart

Drinking excessive amount of alcohol can cause hypertension, says study. Excessive alcohol consumption weakens the heart muscles, due to which heart can’t pump blood efficiently.

Another study also suggest, that cardiovascular health is directly linked to the amount of alcohol consumption in the body.

heart and cardiovascular muscles

So, if you want to make your heart healthy and want to live longer, stop drinking alcohol today!

4. Liver

Liver is our largest internal organ that has more than 450 roles. The most important functioning of liver is breaking down of food and converting it into energy. Liver also helps in fighting infections and getting rid of waste products.

And probably liver is the organ that is posed to the severe risk, when we over drink alcohol. Because this the organ which have to deal with the metabolism process of alcohol.

Drinking excess alcohol may pose two types of problems –

  • Short term problems, that could have occurred due to continuous overdose of alcohol for weeks.
  • Long term – Chronic problem, that occurs due to a long-term ( generally 10+ year) continuous excessive consumption of alcohol, which may even cause complete liver damage.

Ethanol is metabolised into acetaldehyde in the liver which is more toxic than the ethanol.

liver after alcohol abuse

Chronic consumption of alcohol leads to increase in hepatocytes, and about 50-60% of this increase in volume occurs due to the increase in intracellular water. This results in increased resistant to blood flow through liver. Thus excessive alcohol consumption causes liver enlargement and thus portal hypertension.

Excessive alcohol consumption can also cause fatty liver, liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis and risk of viral hepatitis.

Keep your biggest organ healthy to make your life healthy.

5. Stomach Distress

Drinking alcohol reduces the amount of nutrients from the body, since alcohol obstructs the proper absorption of nutrients in the body. It reduces the digestive enzymes from the body. It also dehydrate the body after every drink and causes distress in the stomach too.

6. Skin

Alcohol not only affects your inner body organs, but also deteriorates your beauty and glow from the skin.

adverse effects of alcohol

Alcohol may cause redness on face, due to enlarged blood vessels. Acetaldehyde, which get produced on the break down of alcohol can cause flushing too.

7. Pancreas

Continuous consumption of alcohol for 10+ years can cause pancreatitis. which is basically the inflammation of pancreas in simple words.

Study suggests that chronic alcohol consumption affects the pancreas greater than liver gets affected, and it also increases the risk of Diabetes type-II.

8. Sexual Dysfunction

Male chronic alcoholics often have to suffer from sexual problems, erectile dysfunction is the most common one.

In women’s case, it was found that they often consume alcohol to reduce anxiety and fears about sex.

9. Hampers Muscle Build-up

Alcohol consumption lowers down the testosterone level (hormone associated with muscle growth) in the body up to 25% low and increases Estrogen in our body.

long term effects of alcohol on the body

Apart from this, and most importantly it affects the secretion of growth hormone, which is secreted during early night sleeps and alcohol hampers this early sleep stage of our body. Thus decreasing the overall secretion of this hormone, resulting into the hampering of muscle growth.

10. Skinny Skeleton

Study says, when you drink alcohol your body doesn’t absorb calcium and vitamin D adequately. Since we have already read that alcohol affects the liver which activates vitamin D, this vitamin D is also important for absorption of calcium in our body.

Heavy drinkers are also prone to frequent fractures, due to their brittle bones.

Alcohol consumption should be completely avoided in the growing age of our body. Probably that is the reason why in some countries the legal age for drinking alcohol is 25 years.

Now you know the 10 severe effects of alcohol right from the head to toe.

We all need to stop taking this drink, which is unfortunately linked to celebration!

There is nothing more precious than life, and if there’s no life then who the hell would be present to celebrate.

So stop drinking alcohol now, and also tell this to your loved ones by sharing this article. Also do not forget to write down your queries related to health problems, below in the comment box.

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Co-Founder at Mymed
Health & Fitness Enthusiast, belong to a medical background. Started writing to make people aware of daily health routines and better lifestyle.
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