5 Things Drinking Too Much Alcohol May Be Doing to Your Body

The effects of alcohol on the body may not be immediately apparent, but they do begin from the time of ingestion. If you're a drinker, you're certainly familiar with alcohol's side effects, such as the nice, fast buzz, the less pleasant wine headache, and the dreadful, lingering hangover you feel the following day. If you don't drink often, you probably don't need to worry too much about those effects lasting too long.

A lot of individuals think it's OK to have a beer or glass of wine with dinner once in a while or on special occasions since it won't hurt them. Nonetheless, there are risks associated with consuming any quantity of alcohol.

Although the negative health consequences of alcohol may be more apparent in heavy or habitual drinkers, even social or moderate drinkers are not immune. Eventually, everyone who regularly consumes alcohol will see negative effects on their health. You may have more severe and obvious effects if you often drink and have more than one or two drinks. Find out the specific ways alcohol use may damage your physical, mental, and emotional well-being and where you can turn for help if you're thinking about cutting down.

When is Alcohol use Considered Excessive?

Binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any alcohol use by those under 21 are all examples of excessive drinking.

The term "binge drinking" refers to the most frequent kind of excessive drinking, defined as consuming five or more drinks in a row.

  • Four or more drinks in one sitting for females.

  • Specifically, guys who consume five or more alcoholic beverages in one sitting.

In general terms, excessive alcohol consumption refers to

  • Women who consume eight or more alcoholic beverages each week.

  • It's recommended that guys only have fifteen drinks each week.

The vast majority of heavy drinkers do not suffer from alcoholism or addiction.

Physical Harm Caused By Alcohol

The effects of alcohol on several bodily systems are described here.

The Endocrine and Digestive Systems

Pancreatitis, and pancreas inflammation, maybe the outcome of chronic alcohol abuse. Abdominal discomfort and the production of pancreatic digesting enzymes are two symptoms of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis has the potential to persist for a long time and lead to major problems.

Damage Caused by Inflammation

Toxins and other toxic chemicals (including alcohol) are metabolized and eliminated by the liver. The use of alcohol for an extended period of time disrupts this procedure. This also makes chronic liver inflammation and alcohol-related liver disease more likely. Toxins and waste products accumulate in the body, making the alcohol-related liver disease a potentially fatal illness.

Scarring, also known as cirrhosis, may develop as a result of persistent liver inflammation. The formation of scar tissue may irreversibly damage the liver.

Glucose Levels

The pancreas plays a role in coordinating the body's response to glucose and insulin. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, may occur if the pancreas and liver aren't working correctly due to pancreatitis or liver illness.

If your pancreas is injured, your body won't be able to make enough insulin to process sugar. In extreme cases, this may cause hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. Increased diabetes-related problems and adverse effects may occur if your body cannot control and maintain normal blood sugar levels. If you suffer from diabetes or hypoglycemia, it is advised that you limit your alcohol consumption.

The Brain and Spinal Cord

What are some of the most obvious physical manifestations of alcohol's effects?

Recognizing the impact on your brain and nerve system.

Due to alcohol's ability to dampen neurotransmitter activity, impaired bodily awareness is a hallmark of drunkenness. This makes it more challenging to communicate and coordinate physical activities (such as maintaining balance and response time). That's why it's important to never get behind the wheel when intoxicated.

Alcohol abuse may lead to permanent harm to the brain and neurological system. Affected extremities may feel numb or tingly.

The frontal lobe, which regulates higher-order cognitive processes, including abstract thinking, decision-making, social conduct, and performance, might be negatively impacted by chronic alcohol use.

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a brain condition that impairs memory, results from chronic excessive drinking.

The Digestive System

It may not be obvious that drinking alcohol might negatively affect your digestive system. People often don't feel the ill consequences until after the fact. To make matters worse, keeping up your drinking might exacerbate these problems.

Consuming alcoholic beverages may impair digestion and the absorption of vital nutrients by damaging the cells lining the digestive system. Malnutrition may result from this harm over time.

Consequences of heavy drinking include

  • Gas

  • Bloating

  • A satiated sense of fullness

  • Abdominal discomfort or diarrhoea

  • Bleeding or sores (due to dehydration and constipation)

  • If an ulcer is not treated quickly, the internal bleeding it causes might be deadly. not treated quickly, the internal bleeding it causes might be deadly.

Health Dangers in the Long Run

Long-term, heavy alcohol use has been linked to several health issues, such as −

  • Problems with digestion, the liver, the heart, and the intestines.

  • Breast cancer, oral cancer, oesophagal cancer, vocal cord cancer, hepatic cancer, colon cancer, and rectal cancer

  • Reduced resistance to disease due to a compromised immune system.

  • Issues with learning and memory, such as forgetfulness and underachievement in school, or even dementia.

  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

  • A variety of societal issues, such as broken families, lost jobs, and high unemployment.

  • Diseases caused by excessive alcohol consumption

Effects on the Mind

Changes in the brain caused by chronic alcohol consumption may have an effect on

  • Concentration and recollection

  • Restraint of Explosiveness

  • mental states, character traits, and temperament

Since alcohol may exacerbate the symptoms of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, chronic heavy drinking can also hurt one's mental health and well-being.

Anxiety is another symptom that might accompany your hangover. There may be a correlation between alcohol usage and mental health symptoms like other mental health diseases.

Diagnostic criteria for the following mental health issues may be found in the most recent version of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

  • Alcohol-related manic-depressive illness

  • Psychosis brought on by alcoholism

  • Alcohol-related sleep disturbance

  • Alcoholic depression

  • Disorder of Anxiety Caused by Alcohol

Only when someone is drunk or trying to quit drinking will you become aware of these problems. When alcohol usage is discontinued, these symptoms normally recover rapidly.


Yet, it may have several negative consequences on the human body. Before your next drink, make sure you've thought everything through. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms or behaviors, and if you need more support, dial the Help Line.

Updated on: 03-Apr-2023


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