Alcohol’s Effects on the Body

Alcohol Awareness Month is a public health program that was developed to increase outreach and awareness regarding the dangers of alcoholism. It’s a national movement that educates communities about the causes and effects of alcoholism. During this Alcohol Awareness Month, we discuss alcohol’s effects on the different parts of the body!

Brain

Alcohol can cause blurred vision, lapses in memory, difficulty keeping balance, and impaired speech and reaction time. Overall, these physical effects are all due to the way that alcohol affects the brain. Through the alteration of receptors and neurotransmitters, alcohol can affect a person’s moods, emotions, and reactions, with long-term heavy drinking linked to early and permanent dementia.

Heart

Alcohol can have detrimental effects on the heart. And excessive drinking causes stretching and drooping of the heart muscle and irregular heartbeat. It’s no secret that consumption of alcohol can increase levels of fat in your blood which can lead to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Additionally, over time, heavy drinking can weaken the heart and impact how oxygen and nutrients are delivered from the heart to other parts of the body.

Liver

It’s no secret that alcohol affects your liver and that heavy drinkers are at risk of developing a number of life-threatening liver problems. When you drink, your liver breaks down alcohol, removing it from your blood. In excess, this alcohol can overwhelm the metabolism process and lead to a fatty liver, which is the cause of liver failure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Pancreas

Excessive alcohol consumption over time can prove very dangerous as it’s the cause of many lasting health conditions. From pancreatitis, acute pancreatic attacks, to even pancreatic cancer, alcohol consumption can cause serious damage to this vital organ that regulates your blood sugar levels.

Cancer

In terms of cancer, there are a number of extensive reviews that link alcohol consumption to different cancers. This includes cancer of the head and neck and esophageal cancer. Additionally, with liver cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer, the risk increases with every 10 grams of alcohol.

Immune System

Overall, drinking too much alcohol directly affects your immune system, which makes your body a target for disease. Chronic drinkers experience diseases at much higher rates. And even drinking on occasion can affect your ability to ward off infection even after 24 hours.

This Alcohol Awareness Month, we seek to educate about alcohol’s effects on the body and the importance of maintaining sobriety. For more resources about alcohol awareness month and the effects of alcohol, visit alcohol.org.