Here’s What Happens If You Are Drinking Alcohol Every Day
Clinically Reviewed by:
12 January, 2023
Alcohol addiction is a serious problem today that mainly affects young people in society. Though the impact of alcohol consumption is not prominent in the initial stages, it slowly degrades the functioning of various internal organs.
The effect of alcoholism goes way beyond just a hangover. Let us find out about all the possible effects of drinking alcohol regularly on the human body.
How Drinking Alcohol Regularly Affects the Body
Drinking alcohol daily can attract serious mental and physical disorders that can be both short-term and long-term. However, with timely intervention, these negative effects can be significantly controlled.
For this reason, it becomes essential to identify the early signs of alcohol addiction and treat them accordingly. Here are the effects of alcoholism on different internal organs and its various symptoms:
Effect on the Gastrointestinal Tract
Whenever an individual consumes alcohol, it enters the body through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, the irritant nature of the alcohol, causes the tract to inflame.
During this inflammation, the body uses the cells present in the blood to heal the damage. Nevertheless, this healing is possible if the consumption of alcohol is limited. In the case of chronic drinking, the damage becomes significant.
This also leads to various types of cancers, autoimmune diseases, and chronic damage to the cells. Moreover, people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may suffer from severe inflammation due to heavy drinking.
Effect on the Heart
People with alcohol abuse disorder tend to have less proportion fluid in their bodies. This makes the heart function harder to push the same proportion of blood. This brings one of the significant effects of drinking alcohol, i.e., an increase in blood pressure and distortion in a heartbeat. In addition, excessive drinking also leads to cardiomyopathy, an ailment that affects the heart muscles.
Effect on the Kidneys
The diuretic nature of alcohol reduces the ability of the kidneys to filter the blood. As a result, it alters the functions of the organ and its capabilities to regulate fluid and electrolytes in the human body. Many people with chronic alcohol addiction have noticed problems like increased urine production and kidney failure.
As alcohol dehydrates the body, this changes the functions of different cells and organs of the human body, including the kidneys.
Effect on the Vascular System
People with chronic alcohol consumption generally have poor diets that lead to several health issues. One such health problem is high cholesterol. In fact, it has become a common problem in the US. Between 2015 and 2018, around 12% of adults (above 20 years) had total cholesterol of 240 mg/DL and above.
Good cholesterols transfer molecules in the form of lipids to different parts of the body that are used to construct cell membranes. However, the presence of excessive cholesterol in the blood makes the molecules affect the membranes of the veins and arteries. This causes damage like blood clotting inside the vascular system of a body.
Effects on the Liver
Alcohol addiction increases the liver's functioning, speeding up its work of breaking up toxins from alcohol. Not only this, daily consumption of alcohol leads to scarring of the liver tissue or fibrosis, resulting in alcoholic hepatitis. With long-term alcohol addiction, individuals will likely face liver failure in the future.
Effect on the Brain
The effect of drinking alcohol regularly can be a threat to the functioning of the brain. Various reports and case studies show that drinking alcohol frequently intervenes in the brain's communication path. At different stages of chronic alcoholism, individuals experience euphoria and excitement.
In addition to this, they also face short-term memory loss and confusion after drinking beyond the moderate level. Some individuals have experienced severe headaches after drinking alcohol, which also shows that alcoholism is a threat to brain function.
Effect on Mental Health
Excessive drinking of alcohol causes brain damage and other repercussions. Furthermore, it also affects one's mental and emotional well-being. Many individuals, especially young adults, have undergone many mental health problems borne by alcoholism.
Here are the significant alcohol abuse symptoms of mental health that required urgent treatment:
Irritation and frustration
Sleeping problems or insomnia
Cravings for particular food or alcohol
According to different alcohol addiction treatment centers, severe alcohol consumption leads to major depressive disorder. However, these co-occurring problems can be treated effectively with methods like dual diagnosis.
What are the Short-Term Effects of Drinking Alcohol Regularly?
Here are the short-term effects that one will notice after drinking alcohol:
A feeling of euphoria or relaxation
Slurred or slowed speech
Loss of coordination
Experience gap in memory
Some of the early signs of drinking alcohol may start to show up just after one drink. In addition to this, individuals may face acute dehydration-related problems like headache, nausea, or dizziness. This largely depends on what and how much he or she is drinking.
Moreover, some of the effects can be long-lasting, like the feeling of impulsiveness or coordination issues, or memory loss.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Alcohol?
Depending on the mood and immunity of an individual, drinking alcohol regularly can have a long-lasting effect on one's health, which is:
Sense of anxiety, irritability, and continuous change in mood
Weakens immune system
Challenges to focus on work
Difficulty in sleeping or insomnia
Loss of appetite or eating disorder
Increase in tension or anger outburst
Apart from this, drugs and alcohol abuse are also one of the primary reasons for liver disease and depression among young adults. Hence, it is always recommendable to consult with a licensed healthcare professional to offer quality support and fight against alcohol addiction.
What are the Effects of Making Alcohol A Lifestyle?
Making alcohol consumption a part of the lifestyle can instigate several health issues that include:
Cancers (mainly breast cancer, liver or esophagus cancer, and throat or mouth cancer)
Increase in blood pressure
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome
In addition, drinking alcohol regularly and in large amounts can lead to weight gain, chronic dehydration and serious illness in people having diabetes.
Generally, individuals consuming alcohol more than the ‘moderate level’ are likely to encounter these problems. However, this does not mean that drinking at a moderate level is safe as it may too lead to alcohol addiction, causing detrimental effects on health.
What is Moderate Drinking?
Upon understanding the effects of drinking alcohol regularly, it is pivotal to be aware of how much consumption of alcohol can be tagged as a threat.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, for an adult of legal drinking, moderate drinking includes an intake of 2 drinks or less than that in a day for men and one drink or less for women in a day.
What is Standard Drinking?
In the United States of America, standard drinking includes 0.6 ounces of alcohol. An individual is said to have standard consumption of alcohol if, in per sitting, he or she is consuming:
Beer (12 ounces) which contains 5% alcohol
Malt liquor (8 ounces) that contains 7% of alcohol
Wine (5 ounces) that contains 12% of alcohol
However, an individual indulging in standard drinking of alcohol regularly may also attract various threats among individuals.
What is Excessive Drinking?
Excessive drinking refers to heavy drinking or binge drinking. Binge, as well as heavy drinking, can instigate alcohol addiction to a great extent. Hence it is pivotal to understand the level of these two natures of drinking habits:
Binge drinking is when:
A woman is consuming more than four drinks in a single seating
Excessive drinking is when:
A man is consuming more than 15 drinks in a single seating
A man is consuming more than five drinks in a single seating
A woman is consuming more than eight drinks in a single seating
Who Should Not Consume Alcohol?
The Dietary Guidelines also recommend a list of criteria for individuals who should not make any alcohol consumptions, which are:
Someone below the age of 21 years of age
Driving or doing other work that involves skills, coordination, and acute alertness
Pregnant or trying to conceive
Someone who has heart problems, diabetes, or any other health issues.
What is the Treatment Process Available for Alcohol Addiction?
The methods of treatment for alcohol addiction have improved over the past few decades. With a plethora of research and behavioral analysis, healthcare professionals developed a treatment plan that showed significant results in most individuals. This plan includes the following:
Individuals who have been drinking alcohol regularly first undergo medically-acclaimed detoxification. This enables them to get rid of toxins from alcohol under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an essential practice used not only for the treatment of alcohol addiction but also for food addiction and prescription drug addiction. This method allows the patient to understand unhealthy behavioral habits and also create awareness of the signs and symptoms of alcoholism.
Treatment with Medication
Treatment for alcohol abuse also includes using different medicines that decrease the urge to consume alcohol. These medications must be taken under the guidance of a licensed healthcare provider, as a patient may encounter withdrawal symptoms during the treatment.
An authorized addiction treatment center usually makes customized therapy plans that are based on the individual’s health and medical records. Moreover, depending on the symptoms of an individual, the center makes individualized treatment plans that include experimental therapies.
From the above information it is clear individuals who are drinking alcohol regularly can avoid the detrimental effects of alcoholism with proper help and timely intervention. Moreover, it is quintessential to take necessary medical help to overcome the addiction and speed up recovery.
Connect With The Edge Treatment Center to Combat Alcohol Addiction Today
The Edge Treatment Center provides expert dual diagnosis Care for addiction and anxiety. We take care of both your mental and physical health for complete recovery and reduced chances of relapse. For this, our highly experienced therapists prepare an individualized plan, arrange for therapy sessions and provide motivational talks.
Also, we maintain a sense of community, so nobody feels alone. We also organize frequent adventure trips and fun outings to strengthen bonds and create new healthy relationships. So, take a step towards a happier life. Contact The Edge Treatment Center today to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the health diseases involved in excessive alcohol consumption?
Long-term alcohol abuse causes significant damage to the heart, kidneys, and liver. However, the health diseases one can get affected with, include cardiovascular diseases, anemia, cirrhosis (Fibrosis), dementia, nerve damage, and seizures.
Is it safe to drink while breastfeeding?
Though standard consumption of alcohol while breastfeeding does not attract any detrimental threat, it is always a safe option to avoid the same. Moreover, women lactating should consider consulting about alcohol consumption with a medical professional.
What are the symptoms of alcohol addiction?
Some of the prominent symptoms of alcohol addiction are trouble breathing, slow heart rate, low body temperature, difficulty concentrating or focusing, losing consciousness, vomiting, etc.
What types of cancer can occur due to over-drinking?
Drinking alcohol frequently can cause various types of cancer in internal organs, including the oropharynx, esophagus, liver, breast, colon, rectum, etc.
What are the signs of alcohol poisoning?
Some prominent signs of alcohol poisoning in humans may include vomiting, frequent loss of consciousness, traces of pale skin, irregular breathing, hypothermia or extremely low body temperature, confusion, etc.