Alcohol And Its Effect On Health

Alcohol consumption is a much studied, and sometimes controversial, subject. Most modern doctors and nutritionists agree that a small amount of alcohol can actually be beneficial to the body. It will do little harm that way. However, for a heavy drinker or alcoholic, there can be a variety of serious health problems caused by alcohol consumption.The human body is only able to metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a single time. When a person drinks more than this amount of alcohol (approximately one ounce per hour), the alcohol will be absorbed into body and affect nearly every internal organ until it is slowly metabolized.

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The liver is one of the most vulnerable internal organs. It is not easy for the liver to metabolize alcohol, and it actually causes some very dangerous side effects. The liver breaks down the alcohol by removing hydrogen. This means that excess hydrogen will be left in the liver. This can cause liver damage.In addition, while the liver is breaking down the alcohol, certain important enzymes and nutrients become unavailable to the rest of the body. This causes the liver to become saturated with these enzymes and pockets of fat develop. These cause liver disease which may cripple a person for life.Heavy alcohol consumption also increases the chances for heart attack and stroke due to the rise in blood pressure. Alcohol, when consumed by pregnant women, can cause fetal alcohol syndrome. Excessive drinking may even increase the size of the kidneys, running the risk of kidney failure.It can affect the way a body metabolizes sugars as well. It can cause hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, which both run their own very dangerous health risks including coma and death. It can also contribute to obesity in some people.Alcohol also affects the brain, both physically and psychologically. Physically, it can cause a rise in acidity in the body that can contribute to the loss of memory and some neurological functions. It can even cause irreversible brain damage. This can lead to permanent tremors or a stroke.

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Psychologically, alcohol is a depressant and can cause serious depression and anxiety. The results of these conditions can be malnutrition and, again, obesity. People who are heavy drinkers who experience these problems often begin to drink more which can lead to even more health problems.While drinking in moderation can be beneficial, drinking heavily will have the exact opposite effect and can amplify medical problems that may have been of little consequence before.