Long Term Effects of Alcohol

Possible long term effects of very heavy alcohol abuse

Stomach

Gastritis is the inflammation of the lining of the stomach. The symptoms can include sickness, indigestion, pain, diarrhoea, vomiting blood or loss of appetite.

Pancreas

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, an organ in the digestive system. The symptoms often include vomiting, sudden severe pain and flushes, but are reversible, whereas a possible irreversible side effect is diabetes.

Throat

A possible side effect of long term alcohol abuse is throat cancer, which is especially true in those who also smoke heavily.

Oesophagus

The oesophagus is also know as the gullet and is the muscular tube through which food passes to your stomach. A possible side effect can again be cancer.

Liver

The liver is a vital organ which aids detoxification and digestion. The side effects of alcohol use can often include ‘fatty’ build ups, Hepatitis, jaundice and vomiting with more severe and irreversible effects being Cirrhosis. This is chronic liver disease which eventually leads to loss of liver function or liver failure.

Heart

Long term alcohol abuse can also affect your heart, leading to possible heart disease and heart failure.

Blood

Alcohol abuse can have a number of different effects on the blood, including anaemia which is a decrease in the number of red blood cells and can lead to tiredness and breathlessness. Another side effect can be gout, which is the painful swelling of joints, normally in the toes.

Lungs

If you regularly abuse alcohol, it may also affect your lungs, which means you’ll be more prone to infection, coughs and colds, as your immune levels decrease.

Nervous system

A common side effect to the nervous system is peripheral neuropathy which is damage to the nerves, leading to tingling, cramps, pain and possibly paralysis of the limbs.

Brain

It is a well known fact that alcohol consumption causes damage to your brain cells, but long term abuse can also cause dementia or Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome whose symptoms include changes in vision, impaired memory and a loss of muscle movement.

Benefits of cutting down

The benefits of cutting down are many.

Physically they will sleep better, have more energy, lose weight, no hangovers and an improved memory.

They will also reduce the risks of high blood pressure, cancer, liver disease and brain damage.

As well as saving money their mood will improve as will as their relationships. They will also reduce the risk of drink driving.