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Alcohol consumption effects on the body

When the alcohol is drunk, it goes in the stomach and intestines, and enters the bloodstream being carried all over the body. The alcohol mainly affects those tissues riched in blood vessels.

The alcohol is a toxic substance for the body's cells. It works as a poison for the cells having a hygroscopic effect (big concentrations of alcohol uses the water from the cells). The alcohol causes the protoplasm's albumins (a simple water-soluble protein found in many animal tissues and liquids) to segragate and the protoplasm to coagulate destroying the cell. No wonder that a long and abusive alcohol consumption damages the body's cells.

On the other hand, the alcohol is a stress factor for the entire body causing an increased blood pressure. High amounts of substances like sugar, lipids and cortisone are released into the bloodstream.

The amounts of alcohol also causes malnutrition, because deprives the body of proteins, minerals and vitamins. Excessive amounts of ethanol progressive decreases the small intestine's capacity to resorb essential substances as proteins and vitamins A, B1 and C, the fluoric acid, and the sodium and water. An impaired intestine function causes somatic nervous disorders.

Blood tests conducted on alcoholics reveal low concetrations of calcium, phosphates and vitamin D associated with important loss of bone mass. This leads to an increased risk for bone's fractures.

The body uses a big amount of energy to eliminate the alcohol. This energy is usually used by the body's organs to function normally. The liver uses more than 80 percent of its available oxigen to metabolise the alcohol. The alcohol becomes a "metabolic paralizer".

The cardiac and cerebral cells are seriously affected by the alcohol because these cells also use a high amount of oxigen.


The alcohol's effect on the body


Alcohol affects all the organs of the body.

The lungs and kidneys are two organs less vulnerable to the alcohol effects because they are well irrigated with blood, and the danger of oxygen deprivation is not so high.

The most affected organ is the liver. The liver affections cover a large area of diseases starting with hepatic steatosis, cronical hepatitis up to hepatic cirrhosis. The liver's atrophy can be stagnated with alcohol abstinence, but is not cured. Around 15 percent of the alcoholics suffer from hepatic cirrhosis. Its complications include: hemorrhoids, esophageal varices ( they break lcause the death) and ascithis (the abdomen cavity gets filled with liquid).

The liver lesions are usually diagnosed to late and, sometimes, only accidentally in routine analyzes, because the liver does not hurt. Some of the liver lesion's symptoms include flatulence and frequent eructation. Some of the other symtopms of liver disease are: a pressure sensation under the arcade of right ribs or flatulence, loss of appetite, exhaustion, sometimes potency and sexual appetite's disorders, nausea and vomiting. The protein's synthesis is impared when the hepatic cells do not function normal causing bleeding troubles and immunity problems. Small interior traumas can cause intense internal and external bleedings, and an increased risk for infections.

The increased alcohol consumption sets up an additional catabolic mechanism of the alcohol called in medical terms the microsonale ethanol oxidation system (MSEO). This additional mechanism catabolize more than 2/3 of the entire amount of alcohol. This explains why alcoholics can metabolize and drink high amounts of alcohol. Howevere, this additional mechanism also functions when small amounts of alcohol are drunk after long abstinence periods causing a strong desire to drink more alcohol and block the possibility of a controlled alcohol consumption.

Another organ affected by the alcohol is the pancreas. Pancreatic affections are quite painful, and the ill person consults a doctor and its advice impose alcohol consumption breaks. If the pancreas is not treated, it can cause diabetes. The entire digestive system - from the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach to the intestines - can be seriously damaged. Affections caused by an excessive alcohol consumption can be fatale. For example, a permanent consumption of alcohol increases the risk for esophagian cancer. or other form of cancer such as oral, laryngeal, and intestinal cancer, and breast cancer (in females).

The alcohol can also affect the extremity's nerves (polineuropathy) causing tingles, pricks or burning sensations in the superior and inferior extremities. Also, the skin in these areas is either extremly sensitive or non-existent. In advance stages, this disorder causes an imbalenced walk or even the patient cannot walk at all.

The cardiac muscle is affected by the alcohol (cardiomyopathy). Four times more alcoholics die from cardiac problems than from cirrhosis. Also, most of the alcoholics smoke too much and the health problems are complexed. The alcohol causes a so called hypertensivity effect which becomes dangerous when the amount of alcoholc consumed per week is more than 240 grams (meaning more than 1 liter of beer per day).

The testosterone level (the male sexual hormone) decreases in males causing impotence and loss of sexual appetite, which seriously affect the alcoholic's sexual life. They loose an important aspect pleasures and he/she feels lot stronger bound with their drug.

In females, the alcohol can cause serious damages to the fetus (when the woman is pregnant), situation called in medical terms alcoholic embriopathy. Even the "inoffensive" glass of alcohol before lunch or dinner is more dangerous than it seems. The fetus is the most affected in its first month of pregnancy. Almost one in three women that drink abusively now and than, give birth to children with different malformations such as mental debility, nanism, or cranial modifications. However, women that choosed an abstinent life style are perfectly healthy (without any genetic mutations caused by the alcohol) being able to give birth to normal, healthy children.

The most important organ affected by alcohol is the brain, because the nervous cells do not regenerate. Each time a person excessively drinks alcohol thousands of nervous cells are destroyed. However, because the human being has some billions of neurons, their destruction is felt after a while and is notice mainly by those around the alcoholic. This disorder is called the organic psychosyndrom, and its characteristic symptoms are an decreased memory performance, an decreased understanding capacity, loss of critical thinking, and an impaired judgement capacity. The alcoholic character also changes and becomes noticeable when the emotions alter, the person displaysfrequent indispositions, and start liking new things and activities. Their body movements become inflexible and rigid and their face expression becomes immobile, like a mask.

Severe cases of cerebral impairements are convulsions and Delirium tremens, which are more common during dezintoxication treatment.

The alcohol affects the nervous system. I have dedicated two section for the nervous system complications caused by the alcohol which can be found by clicking on Forward option.


  »  Alcohol consumption
  »  The Alcohol
  »  Alcoholemy
  »  Alcohol abuse
  »  Drunkenness
  »  Dependence
  »  The Alcoholism
  »  The alcoholism a disease
  »  Alcoholism's casualty
  »  Evolution of dependency
  »  Loss of control
  »  Consumption's effects
  »  Co-dependency
  »  Alcoholism treatment
  »  Avoid the consumption


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