Alcohol & The Effects on Your Body
11/01/18: Addiction \ Alcohol AddictionAround the world, people partake in different addictive substances, but one of the most common is alcohol. It is estimated that around 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older (6.2 percent of this age group) had AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder), according to a 2015 statistic. Though not all alcohol consumers have AUD, they can be susceptible to the disorder and its effects. But what are the effects that alcohol consumption can have on a person? Heavy alcohol consumption can affect a person’s health, mentally & physically. Someone that drinks regularly or binge drinks is highly likely to develop a serious addiction, and alcohol is no easy substance to quite. In this blog post, we will talk about alcohol addiction and what it can effect in a person’s body.
- The Brain
- Alcohol acts as a depressant, which slows down brain activity. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a constant sense of fatigue and brain fog. Since alcohol is a depressant, it slows you down mentally which will, in return, slow you down physically. This is why many people who wake up after a night of binge drinking can’t remember everything that happened. Alcohol also releases dopamine in your brain which gives people the feeling of pleasure or satisfaction. However, when your brain is deliberately slowed down & altered, you are bound to see some direct effects as well as long-term effects. Blackouts, hallucinations, slurred speech, behavioral changes, and even the frontal lobe in your brain shrinking are all effects that alcohol can bring in your brain. The frontal lobe in the brain controls important cognitive skills; such as emotions, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors. This is essentially the headquarters of someone’s personality, as well as their ability to communicate.
- Higher Risk for Cancer
- When a person regularly consumes alcohol, they are putting themselves at higher risks of esophagus cancers (throat & mouth). Women who also are heavier drinkers put themselves at a higher risk of getting breast cancer. Some people argue that these types of risks only happen with certain types of alcohol, but this is not true. Anyone who binge drinks any type of alcoholic beverage puts themselves at a higher risk of getting these types of cancers.
- Immune System
- When someone has a dependency on alcohol, they can develop a weaker immune system. When someone has a weaker immune system, they can be more susceptible to diseases, viruses, other health issues. Alcohol acts as a depressant on a person’s brain and, therefore, does the same to the immune system.
- Organ damage
- Ethanol, or alcohol, has effects that affect the brain, heart, and other organs. Drinking excessively can lead to some serious damage in all these vital organs. Some short-term effects would be an upset stomach, throwing up, diarrhea, headache, and others. Many people who binge drink drive themselves to the point of being sick, which can side effects like these. However, there can also be last effects on a person’s liver, pancreas, heart, brain, and even reproductive organs. Many people know about the birth defects alcohol can bring on a newborn child if it is consumed before birth, but they don’t know the effects it can have on them as well. Men who drink in excessive amounts can have sexual dysfunction and even infertility; women can have the same issue with being infertile as well.
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