Addictive drinking can severely affect your health. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that in 2014 at least 87.6% of adult Americans had consumed alcohol at some point. As much as 24.7% reported binge drinking and 6.7% reported heavy drinking in past thirty days.
Consuming alcohol in excess can lead to health problems, irrespective of whether you are a heavy drinker, drink regularly or binge drink on occasions. Apart from common mental and physical health problems, there are some physical conditions which develop as a result of alcohol dependence.
Hence, avoiding routine alcohol consumption can help prevent these effects. Let’s have a look at how serious these problems can get.
- Liver cirrhosis: This condition is most highly associated with alcoholics. Drinking can lead to severe scarring of liver which can stop it from functioning. It can potentially be fatal too. From 2006 to 2010, out of 88,129 alcohol-attributable deaths, 14,695 were caused by alcoholic liver disease.
- Anemia: This means you have a considerably low red blood cell count. Since these cells are responsible for carrying and supplying oxygen throughout your body, a lack of these cells results in fatigue, shortness of breath and lightheadedness. Consistent condition may result in serious organ damage.
- Cancer: Heavy drinkers run the risk of developing cancer later in life. Sustained drinking can even speed up cancer development. And it’s not just liver cancer we’re talking about. Mouth, throat, breast, larynx, and colorectal cancers can develop as a result of high alcohol consumption too.
- Cardiovascular problems: The risk of heart attacks, weakening of heart muscles and problems with heart rhythms increases with higher alcohol consumption. Drinking raises the level of fats in your blood, resulting in high blood pressure and constriction.
- Infectious diseases: Low blood cell count and organ damage can severely affect your immune system and its ability to fight infectious disease. With alcohol dependency, you’re likely to suffer from common colds and other infections which your body was able to combat previously.A risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases increases as well. Most drinkers are often heavily intoxicated and are unable to take sensible decisions. Unprotected sex and syringe usage for drugs often follows alcohol consumption.
- Seizures: Heavy and binge drinkers may suffer acute and epileptic seizures which can be life-threatening. It can even trigger epilepsy in individuals who originally didn’t have the condition. During 2005 and 2010, a total of 203 persons died due to alcohol-induced epilepsy.
- Depression: It is a common symptom associated with heavy drinking. Apart from depression, dementia and short term memory loss is also observed in such drinkers.
Depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and suicide eventually. A total of 8179 deaths occurred from alcohol-attributable suicides in a five year period.
Alcohol’s negative health effects are numerous; however, there are several alcohol addiction treatment programs available too. Join Orange County Recovery’s addiction recovery program to turn over a new leaf, with a healthier you!