An occasional night of drinking may not have permanent effects on your health. However, regular heavy drinking has severe consequences.
According to the Transit Accident Commission, 1 in 5 drivers involved in fatal accidents in the last five years had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than 0.05. Australian researchers have also linked frequent heavy drinking with more than 60 diseases.
Below are five of the most well-known health problems related to alcohol.
- Cirrhosis of the liver: Alcohol kills liver cells, which can eventually lead to a condition known as cirrhosis. This causes extreme scarring of the liver to the point where it cannot function properly. As the largest organ in the body, the liver transports oxygen, aids in digestion, and handles a range of other vital functions. Women, people with Hepatitis B or C, obese people, and those who drink heavily run the greatest risk of developing cirrhosis.
- Depression: The common assumption is that people drink because they are depressed and turn to alcohol to escape their pain and sadness. However, a recent medical study carried out in New Zealand states that people often depressed because of their drinking. The same study indicates that even serious cases of depression can be improved when heavy drinkers give up alcohol for good.
- Heart disease: Binge drinking is extremely hard on the body because it causes blood platelets to clot and can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Per a Harvard research study, people who survive a heart attack double their risk of death if they resume their binge drinking behaviour. Additionally, excess drinking can cause a condition known as cardiomyopathy, which weakens the heart muscles and causes abnormalities in heart rhythms. Atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation are the two most common types of heart rhythm disorders.
- High blood pressure: Blood vessels constrict and dilate in response to physical exertion, outdoor temperature, stress, and everyday life occurrences. An excess amount of alcohol in the body affects this process in a negative way. Bingeing and indulging in routine heavy drinking causes a permanent increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure is linked to heart disease, kidney disease, and strokes.
- Pancreatitis: Heavy drinking irritates the lining of the stomach and inflames the pancreas. This can cause chronic diarrhoea and abdominal pain as well as disruption of the digestion process. It can also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
If you are struggling with alcohol problems or have developed health-related complications because of your drinking, speak to a doctor as soon as possible. There is no shame in admitting you need help, and it could save your health and even your life.
You can use Whitecoat to easily find an appropriate healthcare provider near you.
Sourced from Whitecoat
09 Jan 2017