7 Harmful Effects of Alcohol That You Need to Be Aware Of

Updated on July 5, 2021

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Alcohol abuse and heavy drinking habits can be found in a lot of people. Despite its serious psychological and physical effects, a lot of people continue drinking alcohol because it has become a norm in our society. You see people chugging on alcoholic drinks at parties and formal events, which makes you think. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who simply have no idea regarding what alcohol does to their bodies or simply don’t care.

In this article, I am going to highlight some of the most harmful effects of drinking alcohol that can be found in heavy drinkers. The effects take action from the moment you take your first sip and continue affecting the body till you stop drinking. So, without further ado, let’s get right down to it so that you have something to think about. 

Total Dependency on Alcohol

The first and the most harmful effect of drinking alcohol is that you become dependent on it over time. Everyone starts drinking alcohol from a small amount. They think that if they limit their drinking habits to a minimum, they will be able to negate the urgency to drink more.

However, as time goes on, they develop a tolerance for alcohol and have to drink more in order to get the same effect. As time goes on, they develop an emotional and physical need for alcohol. If you reach that stage and are trying to quitting alcohol drinking, you are going to face withdrawal symptoms, which can be life-threatening. 

Deteriorative Sexual and Reproductive Health

The general idea behind drinking alcohol is that you tend to loosen up so that you can have more fun. While you may think that consuming alcohol allows you to have more fun in bed, the facts state otherwise. In reality, heavy drinking is related to erectile dysfunction in men and also lowers their libido.

On the other hand, drinking too much alcohol is also very bad for women. Heavy drinking is linked with disturbed period cycles and infertility. Moreover, drinking during pregnancy is especially bad for women as it increases the chances of premature delivery. 

Increased Blood Pressure

Binge drinking causes your blood pressure to shoot up temporarily and causes heavy breadths. If you keep on drinking for a long time, you may have to face blood pressure issues as it might fall up or down randomly, causing lots of other problems. 

Heavy drinking also causes the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline into your body. The more alcohol you drink, the more adrenaline is secreted, leading to raised blood pressure. High blood pressure is a gateway to a lot of other conditions such as heart attack, aneurysm, dementia, memory loss, etc. 

Inflammation of the Liver 

Alcohol hepatitis or inflammation of the liver is one of the main problems caused by heavy drinking for many years. Alcohol-related liver diseases cause the liver to start building up fat, which accumulates around the liver. 

The more alcohol you drink, the more fat is accumulated. Over time, it causes lots of damage to the liver, which eventually leads to permanent liver damage. The main symptoms of liver damage are nausea, loss of appetite, jaundice, etc. 

Damage to Heart Muscles

As we have discussed before, heavy drinking leads to increased blood pressure. As time goes on, the increased blood pressure weakens the heart muscles, causing a lot of damage. This condition is known as cardiomyopathy, and it often leads to a heart attack. 

The most common symptoms of cardiomyopathy are loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, and nausea. On the other hand, research suggests that red wine might protect the heart as it contains antioxidants, which are great for the heart. 

Nerve Damage

Damage to the nerve takes some time to build up in heavy drinkers as they might not even recognize it until it is too late. People who drink too much alcohol might feel a little bit of pain in their legs and limbs, which is related to alcoholic neuropathy.

It is essential that you go see a doctor as soon as possible if you suffer from conditions such as numbness of arms and legs, muscle spasms, movement disorders, or sexual dysfunction. If left alone, it can cause epilepsy or other nerve-related issues. 

Weight Gain 

Last but not least, a lot of people don’t realize it, but continuous drinking also leads to an increase in weight as it stops your body from burning any fat, makes you feel more hungry, and is itself rich in calories that are hard to burn down.

The amount of weight you gain from drinking alcohol depends on your personal drinking habits and your current health. Male drinkers are generally more prone to gain weight compared to females expect red wine, which is actually good for losing weight. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.