Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Your Body

If you drink alcohol over a long time, and in large amounts, your liver cells may lose their ability to regenerate. This may lead to serious health problems.
Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Your Body

Last update: 12 October, 2018

There are many side effects of alcohol consumption. You must take into consideration the amount of alcohol that you drink, and the circumstances in which you drink it. The more alcohol you drink, the more severe the side effects are.

Stages of alcohol consumption

Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, alcohol consumption causes the body to go through different stages. Here, we talk about each stage and the impact of each.

  1. The first stage of alcohol consumption is a feeling of excitement, euphoria and losing any sense of shame.
  2. Intoxication begins during the second stage. Therefore, this affects your nervous system and you lose the ability to coordinate movements and start to lose your balance.
  3. The third stage is the hypnotic phase. Here you feel confusion, tiredness, nausea with vomiting and start to suffer headaches.
  4.  The fourth stage is anesthesia. You become incoherent, lose muscle strength and you cannot control the urge to urinate.
  5. The most critical stage is the fifth one. This stage can eventually result in cardiac arrest and death.
    Group of people experiencing some effects of alcohol consumption

Effects of alcohol consumption on your body

Many of the effects of alcohol consumption on your body aren’t immediate, and appear over time. Some of these effects include:

  • Impact on your nervous system: causing mood changes, slurred speech, slower reactions and loss of balance.
  • Altering neurotransmitter actions and changing their structure and functions. This produces a series of consequences: it affects your ability to react, your reflexes are slow, you lose the ability to coordinate movements. It also causes tremors and hallucinations. You lose self-control and your memory, the ability to concentrate and your motor functions are seriously impacted.
  • Serious damage to brain cells.
  • Decrease in levels of vitamin B1. This can result in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. This disease alters feelings, thinking and memory.
  • Produces sleep disorders- common in people who consume alcohol.
  • In very high doses, alcohol can put you in a coma, which causes very serious mental alterations.
  • Some cases present periods of anemia, increased blood pressure and damage to the heart muscle. 
Guy getting treatment for alcoholism
  • Weakened heart muscle reduce the capacity to pump blood.
  • Gastric discomfort occurs and is due to ethanol eroding and irritating the gastric mucosa, causing heartburn.
  •  It inhibits the production of white and red blood cells.
  •  A lack of red blood cells (that carry oxygen), means that megaloblastic anemia can occur.
  • The deficiency of white blood cells causes the immune system to fail, so the risk of acquiring bacterial and viral infections is increased.
  • It may also cause infertility and erectile dysfunction.

Other effects of alcohol consumption

  • Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can result in fetal alcohol syndrome. The symptoms are: reduced growth, alteration in facial features and cardiac, hepatic, renal and ocular abnormalities.
Pregnant woman drinking red wine
  • The most severe damage is caused to the central nervous system of the fetus, in which significant mental retardation may result.
  • It causes alcohol dependence, also called alcoholism, which is the uncontrollable use of alcohol.
  • Alcohol increases the production of gastric acid, which causes irritation and inflammation in the stomach walls. This can cause ulcers and internal bleeding, and it can be fatal.
  • May cause stomach, larynx, esophagus or pancreas cancer.
  • It can cause acute pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas that can eventually result in death.
  • Alcohol provides a high calorie intake with very little nutritional value, it blocks the absorption of some minerals and it eliminates appetite, resulting in malnutrition.

In conclusion, alcohol consumption can cause many issues for your body. Consider how serious drinking alcohol in excess and without control can be. It can seriously damage  your health.

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The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.