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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.