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Health Hazards of Alcoholism



Alcoholism in its simplest sense can be said as compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages. The person who is addicted is least bothered about his health, relationships and social status. Alcohol is obtained through the natural process of fermentation. When a person drinks alcohol it gets absorbed into the blood stream and affects the central nervous system.


An interesting study found that when fly larvae were fed on alcohol spiked food for a period of days they became dependant on it for learning. In short alcoholism can be said as an addictive illness. When a person consumes alcohol for a long period of time it affects his mental health and physical health. Alcohol is so addictive that even a little fly larva depends on it and so, it would do a world of good if you would just walk away from alcohol.    

Drinking alcohol can lead to psychiatric disorders and increases the risk of suicide. It causes damage to the central nervous system: the one which receives and integrates information and coordinates the activities of all parts of the body. The peripheral nervous system whose main function is to connect the CNS to limbs and organs is also affected by alcohol.

There are a host of health problems waiting to get hold of the person addicted to alcohol. The list includes……

Cirrhosis of the liver- replacement of liver tissue by scar tissue leading to loss of liver function

Pancreatitis- inflammation of pancreas which requires immediate medical attention

Epilepsy- it is characterized by seizures

Polyneuropathy- occurs when nerves throughout the body begins to malfunction simultaneously

Alcoholic dementia- also called as wet brain. It is due to thiamine, vitamin B deficiency or beriberi. It mainly causes vision changes, impaired memory and uncoordinated muscle movements.

Peptic ulcer- it is the most common ulcer of the gastrointestinal tract that is usually acidic and extremely painful.
The other risk factors include cardiovascular diseases, problems related to fertility and cancer. Alcoholism can lead to general skeletal fragility that causes bone fractures.


The women who are addicted to alcohol have a higher rate of mortality than men. There are also increased chances of the risk of breast cancer. Alcoholism affects the reproduction of women. A study has pointed out that even small levels of exposure to alcohol while in the womb affects the intelligence quotient of the child. So women should avoid drinking alcohol completely during pregnancy.

Young people who use alcohol and marijuana suffer from poor neural structure, function and metabolism. These harmful addictive practices also leads to worsening of neurocognitive abilities which drastically affects their studies and work performance. Alcoholism results in vitamin D deficiency which leads to muscular weakness.



Alcoholism affects the entire body. Not only that it increases the risk of going against the law, leads to unemployment, marital conflict, domestic violence and divorce. It may also lead to child neglect and this causes a lasting damage on the emotional development of the children.


A new study found that UK’s alcohol problem would continue until the availability and cultural pressure of alcohol is subject to strict control. And I believe this applies to all the other geographical locations of the earth.

Life is beautiful and precious. We are going to be on this planet just once so why cannot we try to live a healthy and happy life? The choice is left to you……….


Take care,
Swarnam

Photo of empty bottles by zirconicusso
Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net  

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