Alcohol and Your Health – Long Term Health Risks of Alcohol

Speaking of “Alcohol and your health”, Knowing the effect of alcohol on your health will be very beneficial in helping you know how much alcohol to consume or know when to stop consuming.

Alcohol and your health

Drinking too much can be harmful to your health. From 2011 – 2015 excessive alcohol use led to approximately 95,000 deaths and 2.8 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 29 years.

Furthermore, excessive drinking of alcohol was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were estimated to be $249 billion, or $2.05 a drink.

Alcohol and Your Health – What is a Standard Drink?

According to the standards of the United States, a standard drink should contain 0.6 ounces (14.0 grams or 1.2 tablespoons) of pure alcohol. This amount of pure alcohol is found in;

  • 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content).
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content).
  • 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content).
  • 5 ounces of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey).

Excessive Drinking

Excessive drinking is the act of taking some amounts of alcohol that is too much for your body’s consumption. This includes drinking by pregnant women, binge drinking, drinking by people younger than 21, and heavy drinking.

Binge drinking is a form of excessive drinking defined as consuming;

  • 4 or more drinks during a single occasion, for women.
  • 5 or more drinks during a single occasion, for men.

Heavy drinking is defined as consuming

  • For women, 8 or more drinks per week.
  • For men, 15 or more drinks per week.

Most people who drink excessively are not alcoholics or alcohol-dependent.

Moderate Drinking

According to the dietary guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking for adults is limited to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed.

People who Shouldn‘t Drink

The list of people below should not take any alcohol at all.

  • Younger than age 21.
  • Pregnant or may be pregnant.
  • Driving, planning to drive or participating in other activities requiring skill, coordination, and alertness.
  • Taking certain prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol.
  • Suffering from certain medical conditions.
  • Recovering from alcoholism or are unable to control the amount they drink.

Adhering to these guidelines means that you have reduced the risk of harming yourself or others.

Short-Term Health Risks of Alcohol

  • Injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns.
  • Violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.
  • Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels.
  • Risky sexual behaviours, including unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. These behaviours can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women.

Long-Term Health Risks of Alcohol

Below are the long-term health disorders that people can develop from taking too much alcohol.

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, oesophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.
  • Weakening of the immune system increases the chances of getting sick.
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
  • Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment.
  • Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence.

Generally, consumption of alcohol may not be totally harmful to your body system if only it is consumed according to the guidelines given in this write-up. Further research can be done on Google.

Effects of Alcohol on the Boby

It’s no gainsay that excessive intake of Alcohol causes extreme damage to the body. Hence on this section we will be giving you a list of the extent excessive intake of this substance can damage the human body. You can check them out below:

Digestive and Endocrine Glands

Well, this is one of the damages that can be done to the body when there is an excessive intake of alcohol in the body. Over time causes inflammation of the pancreas, resulting in pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can become a long-term condition and cause serious complications.

Inflammatory Damage

Long-term intake of alcohol can result in exposure to Liver disease and when this happens the Liver will not be able to break down food particles again. And this can negatively affect the body’s performance.

Sugar Levels

The pancreas helps regulate how your body uses insulin and responds to glucose. If your pancreas and liver don’t function properly due to pancreatitis or liver disease, you could experience low blood sugar or hypoglycemia and it can prevent your body from producing enough insulin to use sugar.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Drinking alcohol can lower your inhibitions, so you might assume alcohol can ramp up your fun in the bedroom. Hence, it can prevent your sexual hormone promotion, lower libido and more.

How Done Alcohol Affect Your Body 

High intake of alcohol in your body can cause headaches, severe dehydration nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and indigestion. Drinking excessively can increase your risk of detrimental heart effects.

What are the Symptoms of Taking Too Much Alcohol?

Some of the symptoms include mental confusion, difficulty remaining conscious, vomiting, seizure, trouble breathing, slow heart rate, clammy skin, dulled responses such as no gag reflex and more.

Can I Drink Alcohol and Still be Healthy? 

Yes. You can take alcohol and still be healthy. However, your intake of alcohol should be at a moderate level. Hence, if you want to mental a healthy life while taking alcohol yu will have to be on a moderate level.



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