Alcohol represents one of the most common legal substances that adults can use in the United States. Around four out of five people have tried alcohol at some point, and over half of adults use it on a regular basis.
Many of the harmful effects of alcohol become present when it is consumed on a frequent basis. The NIH found that 24.6 percent of adults binge drink, and 6.8 are “heavy” drinkers.
While it may seem like a harmless addiction, there are many reasons that you should reconsider drinking. Let’s examine the four biggest reasons based on how alcohol affects your health.
1. Cardiovascular Problems
One of the most prominent effects of alcohol consumption involves changes in how the heart functions. It can result in everything from heart arrhythmia to high blood pressure.
These problems can increase your risk of mortality. The America Heart Association found that in 348,102 cases, high blood pressure contributed to 14.5 percent of U.S. deaths in 2009.
Other cardiovascular problems may develop as a side effect of the other conditions alcohol consumption can bring, which in turn gives this problem a compounding effect.
2. Liver Disease
The liver converts alcohol into sugar and reduces the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. The liver is the primary way that your body detoxifies itself after consuming alcohol.
When you regularly consume alcohol, the liver begins to function less efficiently. Fat accumulates within it. The liver itself becomes more rigid. Inflammation and scarring may develop.
Though the specific effects on the liver will vary from person to person with respect to alcohol, the result of binge drinking tends to be impaired liver function.
3. An Increased Risk for Cancer
Alcohol produces toxic substances in different organs, but the most dangerous of those substances are produced in the pancreas. These toxins can travel through the body, which in turn can result in cell damage.
This damage coincides with a heightened risk for the development of certain cancers, which include cancer of the:
4. Bad Habits and Mortality
While most of the health effects listed here represent the side effects of repeated alcohol use, there are some particularly bad situations that can arise from using alcohol just once.
Alcohol impairs your ability to think. It makes your reactions sluggish. It alters your decision-making process, which in turn allows you to make decisions you wouldn’t when sober.
Driving under the influence of alcohol can result in accidents. You may injure yourself or others. You may even receive severe legal penalties when these events occur.
If this happens, ensure that you have legal representation of J. Lee Webb, a DUI lawyer, or that of an attorney in your particular area. These services can help you defend yourself, and receive treatment for some of the problems that alcohol can cause.
The harmful effects of alcohol may be minimized by drinking responsibly. You should drink infrequently and limit yourself when you do.
If you find yourself unable to limit your use of alcohol, then the best thing you should do is to stop consuming it. This will improve your health while giving you the ability to think clearly.