5 Ways Alcohol Is Destroying Your Body

effects of alcohol abuse

If you were to research the benefits of limited alcohol consumption, you would undoubtedly find plenty of medical studies that promote the positive effects certain alcoholic beverages can provide. For example, some medical studies indicate that there are powerful antioxidants in red wine that can be beneficial to the heart, assist in maintaining ideal cholesterol levels and contribute to a longer life if one consumes this beverage in moderation. However, one of the most dangerous things any individual can do is perform limited research on any subject or topic—weighing only the benefits without also considering the damaging effects. So while one can consider that small amounts of certain types of alcohol have the potential to be beneficial to their health, one must also consider that any amount of any drug substance, alcohol included, has the potential to seriously damage their health.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse

The effects of alcohol on the body have largely to do with the individual’s overall health condition along with the quantity and frequency of their alcohol consumption. That said, alcohol is primed to destroy some very specific aspects of the human body, which means that even those who consume it infrequently and in small volumes can face devastating consequences as a result. Following are just five of the ways that alcohol can destroy the human body:

  1. Alcohol severely damages the liver. One of the more well-known facts about alcohol addiction is that it damages the liver. The liver is an amazing and vital organ that works very hard to filter out harmful substances in the food we eat and convert nutrients into energy for the body. It is therefore designed to encounter and handle harmful substances, but not in large volume. Unfortunately, alcohol is a harmful substance that does occur in large volume, especially if the individual consumes a lot in a short period of time. Alcohol can overwork the liver, presenting it with more harmful substances than it can handle, and causing damage ranging from jaundice to massive scarring and cirrhosis. When pushed too far, the liver will actually become unable to filter out harmful substances and the individual is at great risk of death.
  2. Alcohol damages the entire digestive system. The digestive system is complex and made up of many important organs that can be damaged from excessive and regular alcohol abuse. This includes damage to salivary glands and teeth, mouth, esophageal, throat, stomach and intestinal cancer, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, pancreatitis, ulcers, hemorrhoids, and much more.
  3. Alcohol weakens the immune system. Even though we may not realize it, our immune systems are constantly working hard to fight off disease and infection from a variety of different sources. Large amounts of alcohol consumption can weaken this important system. For example, while vitamin A is an important part of proper immune system function, alcohol can stop the body from properly digesting, absorbing and distributing this vitamin. Alcohol can also inhibit both the production and function of the body’s main germ fighters--white blood cells.
  4. Alcohol leads to weak bones. One of the most important elements of healthy bones is calcium, which is absorbed into the body with the help of the pancreas as well as the liver’s activation of vitamin D. Since alcohol can damage both the pancreas and the liver, it impairs these organs’ ability to effectively help the body absorb calcium, which can lead to weak bones.
  5. Alcohol can cause brain damage and dementia. Alcohol is a sedative drug substance, which is easy to understand when one considers that some of the most common effects of excessive alcohol consumption include slurred speech, impaired coordination and poor judgment. When alcohol is consumed regularly over a long period of time, it can shrink the frontal lobes of the brain, which increases the individual’s risk of developing dementia.

For many individuals, preventing or resolving alcohol abuse and addiction problems is as simple as recognizing that the potential of experiencing extensive damaging effects far outweighs any perceived benefits. After all, there are many pleasurable things available to us in our lives that don’t have the potential to also destroy the body.