Alcohol – The ‘Wonder Drug’ to Bad Health
Alcohol has been termed as an ‘unhealthy drink’ since ages, by science as well as religion. However, people continue drinking it and worsening their health more and more. There are many health problems associated with drinking of alcohol. This articles aims to get you acquainted with them.
‘No Alcohol’, Why?
Do you often see signs on boards in many public places that ask you not to drink alcoholic beverages in these premises? If yes, then there may be a strong reason behind it. And the reason is that this drink is actually a drug, in simple terms. Therefore, you are advised to stay away from this drug when you are in some official or public premises. There are various reasons why you must stay away from this drink for your own good – for good health and well-being.
And the reasons are…
- It is a depressant, and therefore, reduces the activity or function of parts of the body.
- When it is consumed on an empty stomach by any person, it may increase the likelihood of making him drunk.
- It can impair the judgement required to safely operate a vehicle, even if it is taken in small amounts.
- Prolonged consumption of alcohol may cause physical damage to the major organs, such as liver, stomach and pancreas, as these are the organs that are used in the process of absorption and digestion of alcohol.
- It also negatively affects the brain and the heart. A developing adolescent brain is vulnerable to the poisonous effects of alcohol in particular. It inhibits new brain cell development.
- Children are likely to get the trait of drinking alcoholic drinks excessively from their parents who do the same.
- If an expectant mother, who consumes alcohol during this period, gives birth to a child, then the child may suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It can affect fetal weight and growth, create distinctive facial marks, damage the brain structures and neurons, and cause many other mental, behavioural, and physical problems in the inborn.
- Fetal exposure to alcohol is one of the leading causes of mental retardation.
- It can, and often does, lead to serious side effects if it is consumed with certain medicinal drugs.
- There is a substantial weight gain in people who have prolonged exposure to alcoholic beverages.
- It can lead to fatty degeneration of the liver, which gives rise to the so-called ‘fatty’ liver. Fatty liver is responsible for causing vomiting, fever, nausea, lack of weight, and lack of appetite.
- Alcohol abuse can cause one of the most well-known liver disorder called ‘liver cirrhosis’.
- It has been found out by several investigations that there is a relation between excessive consumption of alcohol and cancer of the throat, mouth, and oesophagus. Heavy drinkers run a high risk of contracting cancer of the large intestine, liver, pancreas, pharynx and larynx, digestive system and the respiratory system.
- There is a high risk of developing ovaries and breast cancer in women who drink a lot. In men, there is a risk of cancer of the colorectum.
- It gives rise to the suicidal feelings in people who are excessive drinkers.
- The other health ailments that are caused include chronic gastritis, stomach bleeding, acute and chronic pancreatitis, low absorption of nutrients, as well as, loss of weight.
- It damages the central as well as the peripheral nervous system, if it is regularly consumed.
- Brain damage, such as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, can also occur.
- It is responsible for many serious health issues such as coronary heart diseases, ischemic strokes, alcoholic hepatitis, pneumonia, cardiomyopathy, hypertriglyceridemia, malignant neoplasms, hematologic diseases, anemia, thrombocytopenia and mal-absorption.
- Those who consume more than the recommended level of alcohol may tend to become violent.
- It causes psychiatric disorders including impaired prospective memory, dementia, brain shrinkage, increased neuropsychiatric or neurological impairment, distortion of the brain chemistry, cognitive disorders, alcohol-related cognitive disturbances, alcohol-induced brain atrophy, difficulty in the retrieval of verbal and nonverbal information and neurologic deficits such as impairments of working memory, as well as many other neuropsychiatric complications.
- There are severe affects on mental health causing hypertension, panic disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, phobias, dysthymia, impairments of emotions, mania, hypomania, and generalized anxiety disorder.
- It weakens the body by impairing the visuo-spatial abilities, gait, executive functions, and balance. It also causes gouty arthritis, bone loss, peripheral neuropathy and myopathy.
- Over-consumption of alcohol is among the leading causes of most deaths worldwide.
- It is a major cause of road and other accidents.
- Studies have found that those who drank this toxic beverage in moderate amounts, had decreased serum levels of fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is a protein that improves the formation of clot. It also increases a tissue type known as ‘plasminogen activator’, which is an enzyme that helps to dissolve the clots.
- It increases the plasma levels of the harmful amino acid known as ‘homocysteine’ which causes seizures at the times of alcohol withdrawal.
- One who consumes alcohol also suffers from nutritional deficiencies, and electrolyte disturbances.
- It can also show other side effects such as insomnia, frequent moving between sleep stages, awakenings due to diaphores and headaches, psychosis, prominent hallucinations, delusions, vivid dreams and other psychotic type symptoms. It is also associated with suppression of REM sleep and fragmentation of REM sleep.
- As acetaldehyde is produced by the liver during the breaking down of ethanol, those whose bodies have a problem in converting acetaldehyde into acetic acid, may have a chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- It is a main cause of antisocial behavior among children.
- People who are into this addiction often feel irritable and go through carvings.
- It causes personality disorders.
- A person suffering from toxic alcohol effects will not benefit from medications or therapies as they do not address the root cause of these symptoms.
- Regular ingestion of this toxic element impairs many critical cellular functions in the lung. There are also chances of developing ARDS or acute respiratory distress syndrome, which can lead to higher rates of mortality.
- It also results in the loss of sexual interest, impotence, testicular failure, as well as the development of feminine traits such as male breasts, in men.
- Acute intoxication, hormonal imbalance and physical dependence are also some of the effects of this addiction.
- It is responsible for a wide range of skin problems including flushing, urticaria, psoriasis, porphyria cutanea tarda, pruritus, rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis.
- Alcoholic beverages are carcinogenic in nature and are harmful for humans.
- High concentrations of acetaldehyde, that is produced due to the breaking down of ethanol, may damage DNA in healthy body cells.
The Bottom Line
The unhealthy effects of alcoholic drinks on the body are so many to mention. Due to these unhealthy effects, alcohol must be totally avoided as it is responsible for complete bad health.