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What Happens to the Body During Alcoholism

Cody Rowan
Written by Cody Rowan

Alcohol use disorder affects the person who is dependent upon the use of alcohol, but is also affects the people around them. Often times relationships with family members and friends become strained to to the fact that the person with alcohol dependency becomes forgetful and disengages because their need to drink becomes the most important thing in their lives. Besides the emotional stress and strain alcoholism causes, there is also a physical aspect the disorder that people seldom think about. At rehab centers like the Largo treatment center, their goal is to educate people about how excessive alcohol consumption can change the human body. Here are some of the things that happen to the body when it is addicted to alcohol.

Excessive Alcohol Use and Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension is one of the most deadly medical conditions known. The reason is because hypertension is at the root many medical conditions like heart attacks, strokes, venous stasis disease and atherosclerosis. When your blood pressure is elevated, your veins, arteries and blood vessels narrow and the flow of blood in your body is diminished. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol elevates your blood pressure to levels that are unhealthy. Drinking more than three drinks at a time causes a temporary increase in your blood pressure. When people binge drink on a regular basis long term blood pressure increases can occur.

Alcohol Can Lead to a GI Bleed

Alcohol in the form of ethanol is a known ulcerogenic, which means that it can create ulcers in the upper GI tract. Small amounts of alcohol stimulate the secretion of acid in humans. Large amounts of alcohol cause damage to the mucosa which lines the gastrointestinal tract, this creates the atmosphere for the development of ulcers. Ulcers are painful under normal circumstances, however when ulcers become inflamed, they can rupture and and bleed. Bleeding ulcers constitute a surgical emergency, and will lead to death if medical treatment is not sought.

Alcohol Abuse Can Lead to Permanent Nerve Damage

Alcohol can cause both temporary and long-term nerve damage, and it can happen sooner than most people think. Nerve damage due to the use of alcohol does not necessarily happen over an extended period of time. It can occur as the result of assuming too much alcohol at one time. People who drink too much alcohol in one sitting generally feel tingling and pain in their upper and lower extremities. People who have been diagnosed with alcoholic neuropathy have permanently damaged their peripheral nerves due to their high alcohol use. The peripheral nerves send signals between the brain, spinal cord and the body. In addition, consuming too much alcohol can alter the levels of vitamins and nutrients the body needs for the proper function for nerves like niacin, folate, vitamins B6, B12, E, and C.

Sometimes people have a hard time determining when their consumption of alcohol is safe, and when it isn’t. Here are some indicators that you may misuse alcohol: you feel guilt after you drink, you have to drink large amounts of alcohol to feel its effects, you are violent or are easily irritated when you drink, or you believe your life would be better if you didn’t drink. If you believe that you are consuming too much alcohol you should seek the services of a professional who can help you understand the source of your dependency on alcohol, and help you break free of your addiction.

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Cody Rowan

Cody Rowan

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