Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health. Moderate drinking is taking up to 1 drink per day for women, 2 drinks per day for men. Individuals who do not drink alcohol are not recommended to start drinking for any reason.
The list of short and long term health risks of excessive alcohol consumption are given below:
1. Short Term Risks
Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that can increase risk a lot of harmful health conditions. They are:
- Injuries such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, burns, drowning.
- Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from the high blood alcohol levels.
- Violence including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, violent behaviors.
- Miscarriage and still birth among pregnant women.
2. Long Term Risks
Overtime, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of the chronic diseases and the other serious problems.
Heavy drinking can cause the oxygen carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low leading to Anemia. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath and lightheadedness.
Regularly drinking increases the risk of cancer. Increased risk comes when the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. Cancer sites linked to the alcohol use include the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast and colorectal region. The cancer risk increases when the heavy drinkers use tobacco as well.
5. Cardiovascular Disease
Heavy drinking makes platelets clumps together into the blood clots, which can lead to the heart attack and stroke. Heavy drinking can also cause the cardiomyopathy and a deadly condition in which the heart muscles becomes weak and eventually fails as well as heart rhythm abnormalities.
Alcohol is toxic to the liver cells and many heavy drinkers develop the cirrhosis, a dangerous condition in which the liver is heavily scarred and it is unable to function.
7. Infectious Disease
Heavy drinking leads your immune system making you susceptible to infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia. The people who drink heavily are more likely to engage in risky sex, increasing their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Image courtesy of: guardianinterlock.com.