Common Health Problems Associated with Alcoholism

Don’t regard alcohol as something that’s pure evil. The fact is medical experts say that you may enjoy increased good cholesterol and lowered risk of heart disease by consuming moderate amounts of alcohol. So how much alcohol should you drink to enjoy such benefits? A glass a day if you’re a woman, and up to 2 glasses a day if you’re a man.

If you want to enjoy more health benefits, it’s a good idea to opt for red wine. That’s because it is made of grapes which contains plenty of antioxidants. Everyone knows that antioxidants are good for the heart, immune system and skin. Antioxidants are also very good at controlling inflammation which is linked to cancer, obesity and osteoporosis. As you can see, alcohol is not really the worst beverage on the planet!

However, it is an entirely different story if you drink more than the recommended daily serving. Guzzling down lots of alcohol can increase your chances of ending up with a health condition. These are some of the common problems that you may have to deal with sooner or later if you habitually consume alcohol in excessive amounts.

Anemia

Abnormally low number of red blood cells (RBCs) can result from too much consumption of alcohol. Your RBCs are the ones that make it possible for the blood to transport oxygen molecules from the lungs to the various organs and tissues of the body. Anemia strikes when the RBCs are considerably reduced in number. Other than making you look pallid, anemia also causes you to suffer from the likes of fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath.

Cardiovascular Disease

Drinking lots of alcohol can wreak havoc to your circulatory system in a number of ways. Medical authorities say that blood clots may result in alcoholism, thus increasing your chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. Heavy drinking can also cause the heart of the muscles to weaken, and this may lead to heart failure. You may also experience abnormalities with the heart rhythm, such as ventricular and atrial fibrillation.

Cancer

Experts say that guzzling down too much alcohol can increase your chances of suffering from cancer. It is believed that the body converts alcohol into a compound which acts like a carcinogen. Types of cancers that are commonly associated with alcoholism include that of the mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, stomach, liver, colon and breast. Studies have shown that the risk of cancer is even higher in heavy alcohol drinkers who also smoke tobacco.

Nerve Damage

Regularly consuming alcohol more than the recommended daily serving may lead to alcoholic neuropathy. This condition causes the peripheral nerves (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord) to end up damaged. The symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy include numbness or pins-and-needles sensation in the extremities, as well as muscle weakness, constipation, erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

Depression

Some people drink a lot because of depression, allowing them to attain relief from emotional pain. However, it is also possible that depression may actually cause some individuals to resort to alcoholism, and this is exactly what a study conducted in New Zealand reveled. Experts involved with the said study had also found out that turning one’s back on too much alcohol consumption helped improve depression.

Cirrhosis

Alcohol can damage the liver cells which can lead to cirrhosis. This condition is characterized by the irreversible scarring of the liver tissue, preventing the organ from carrying out its many roles such as drug metabolism, chemical detoxification, fat breakdown and production of proteins necessary for blood clotting. However, medical authorities say that it can be hard to tell which drinkers may develop cirrhosis, although alcoholic women seem to be more prone to it.

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