How Alcohol Effects the Body

How alcohol effects the body

Most drugs specifically damage and negatively effects certain parts of your body.  Alcohol is the number one mind alter-er that effects every part of your body.  Consumption of alcohol over a long period of time can lead to irreparable damage. While an occasional glass of wine with dinner is not much cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking wine, beer, or spirits will take its toll.  It is immediate to notice the damage it causes to your skin as it widens blood vessels, causing your skin to look red or blotchy.  Unhealthy weight gains may occur also as alcohol is high in calories. Weight for weight, the alcohol in a drink have almost as many calories as fat.

How alcohol effects the body

Mental Health

To understand alcohol’s impact on your body is by understanding how it affects your central nervous system.  Binge drinking can result into blackouts, memory loss and anxiety. Long-term drinking can lead to permanent brain damage, serious mental health problems and alcohol dependence. Young people’s brains are particularly vulnerable because the brain is not fully developed during teenage years. Alcohol can damage parts of the brain affecting behavior and the ability to learn and remember… especially with younger individuals

Slurred speech is one of the first signs that you have had too much to drink. Alcohol reduces communication between your brain and your body which makes coordination more difficult. You may have a hard time balancing and this is what leads to falls while intoxicated.

With slower reaction time to what is going on in your surroundings, you should never drive after drinking.  As alcohol causes damage to your central nervous system, you may experience numbness and tingling sensations in your feet and hands.

Drinking also takes its toll on your long term memory.  It reduces your ability to think clearly, and you may have an inability to look back and know if you are making rational choices. Over time, frontal lobe damage may occur. This part of the brain is responsible for emotional control, short-term memory, and judgement in addition to other vital roles.

People may think that alcohol helps them cope with difficult situations and emotions, and that it reduces stress or relieves anxiety; but your problems temporarily goes away and you will eventually sober up to the same problems.  This fact is what leads to a range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, risk-taking behavior, personality disorders and schizophrenia.  A large percentage of suicides have been linked to excessive drinking; 70% of men who take their own life drink alcohol before doing so and almost one third of suicides among young people take place while the person is intoxicated.

Excessive drinking can disrupt normal sleeping patterns, resulting in insomnia and a lack of restful sleep, which can contribute to stress and anxiety.

 Digestive System

Pancreatitis can become a long-term condition causing serious complications as a result of excess drinking.  A damaged pancreas may prevent the body from producing enough insulin to utilize sugar. The pancreas is what helps regulate your body’s insulin use and response to glucose.  You run the risk of experiencing low blood sugar levels when your pancreas and liver aren’t functioning properly.  When your body can no longer manage and balance your blood sugar levels, you will experience greater complications and side effects related to diabetes. It’s important for diabetics to avoid excessive amounts of alcohol.

Drinking takes a heavy toll on your digestive system.  It can damage the tissues in your digestive tract and prevent your intestines from digesting food. This will  negatively effect your ability to absorb vital nutrients and vitamins that you need. As a result, you may become malnourished.  Difficulty absorbing vitamins and minerals from food may also cause anemia. This is a condition in which you have a low red blood cell count. Fatigue is one of the biggest symptoms of anemia.

Besides Pancreatitis, people who drink heavily may develop ulcers or hemorrhoids due to dehydration and constipation. dangerous internal bleeding may also occur. Ulcers can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early.  People who consume excess alcohol are also at higher risk for cancer opposed to people who moderately drink.  Frequent drinking can cause a development of cancer in the mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, or liver. People who regularly drink and use tobacco together are at an even higher risk of developing cancer.

Inflammatory damage

Drinking too much alcohol can cause inflammation of the pancreas, which can be very painful – causing vomiting, fever and weight loss – and it can also be fatal.  Harmful Substances in the body, such as alcohol is broken down and removed through the liver.  Long-term alcohol use also interferes with the ability for the liver to function properly.

Excessive alcohol consumption can permanently scar and damage the liver, resulting in liver cirrhosis and an increased risk of liver cancer.  Drinking too much alcohol initially causes fat deposits to develop within the liver. After continued excessive drinking, the liver may become inflamed, causing alcoholic hepatitis, which can result in liver failure and death. Women tend to be at higher risk for developing alcoholic liver disease. This is because women’s bodies are more likely to absorb more alcohol, therefore needing longer periods of time to process it. Women that drink excess alcohol also tend to show liver damage more quickly than men.

Circulatory system

Alcohol can affect your heart and lungs.  chronic drinkers of alcohol are at higher risk for heart-related issues than people who do not drink. Women who drink are more likely to develop heart disease opposed to men who drink.  Circulatory system complications include:

  • high blood pressure: Heavy drinking can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure – a leading cause of chronic kidney disease.
  • irregular heartbeat: Binge drinking and drinking heavily over longer periods can cause the heart to beat irregularly (arrhythmia) and has been linked to cases of sudden death
  • Stroke: It also weakens heart muscles, which can affect the lungs, liver, brain and other body systems, and also cause heart failure

Sexual health

You may initially think that drinking alcohol can lower your inhibitions and help you have more fun in bed. You may have fun at that moment, but it does not outweigh the long term negative effects. Binge drinking makes you lose your inhibitions and affects your judgement. Besides lowering your libido over time, you become less likely to use a condom.  Therefore you become more susceptible to contracting a sexually transmitted infection such as chlamydia, HIV or hepatitis. An accidental pregnancy may occur with a person you barely know.  

Men who drink to excess are also more likely to experience erectile dysfunction. For women, alcohol causes problems with their menstrual cycle which puts them at a greater risk for infertility. Women should limit their drinks if having any at all while pregnant.  Women who drink heavily during pregnancy put themselves at higher risk for premature delivery, miscarriage, or stillbirth.

Skeletal and muscle systems

Long-term alcohol use may prevent your body from keeping your bones strong. Alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. As a result, your bones become weak and thin (osteoporosis).  Excess drinking may cause thinner bones and heighten your risk for fractures if you fall.  Fractures may heal more slowly as a result of weakened bones.


It is almost at the point of no return when your body becomes dependent on alcohol.  Alcohol withdrawal can be difficult and life-threatening. You often need professional help to break an alcohol addiction that has gotten out of control.  Many people seek medical detoxification to get sober which is the safest way to allow you to break the physical addiction. Depending on the risk for withdrawal symptoms, detoxification can be managed on either an outpatient or inpatient program.  Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal includes:

  • nervousness
  • nausea
  • high blood pressure
  • tremors
  • irregular heartbeat
  • heavy sweating
  • anxiety

Seizures, hallucinations, and delirium may also occur in severe cases of withdrawal.  It is inportant to get treatment and attending A/A meetings could help battle alcohol addiction.  If you or a family member are suffering from alcohol addiction it is better to act sooner than later.


  1. Hey there

    That was a really great article!
    Wow! Who would of known all of that about excessive alcohol consumption!
    I know a lot of people out there who binge drink or are heavy drinkers! And when you look at the effects and tolls it pays on your body, why would you want to drink! But like you said it is a drug and people can become dependant just the same as other drugs like cocaine.
    Thanks again for the great post
    Regards Hailey

    • I definitely have more energy and fun without drinking.  That one night of fun doesn’t make up for how I usually feel after.  People who do not know their limits should avoid drinking.   I am a candidate which is why I try to only drink wine or champagne instead of hard liquor.  I do not like the feeling of not being in control of my emotions which hard liquor can tend to get you to. In the past I would often regret or question how I acted the night before because I can not remember everything.  That is a bad feeling to have and sometimes I can hold on to it for a while.  Long term, I definitely know everything I do feels better without excess drinking.  

  2. Thank you for writing such an informative article!

    Alcoholism runs in my family, quite literally everyone is or was some sort of functioning alcoholic. As a teenager, I hit that same road hard and fast. Little did I know that my body was already struggling with Lyme and Celiac disease. I was undiagnosed for several years all the while drinking like a hog. I know for a fact that was what tipped the scales for my body. I got caught in a cycle of drinking to get away from my health problems but in turn causing more. My entire body was inflamed, internally and externally. I was anemic and close to kidney and liver failure. I can still feel my kidneys aching in my back sometimes.

    It’s been quite the journey, especially for being just 20 years old, but I haven’t had anything to drink for a long while and along with other lifestyle changes my body is doing a ton better.

    Thanks for informing your readers about this very serious social disease!



    • I had a rough spell at a time in my life as well.  I ended up in an impatient program because of an act I did under the influence.  I would drink everyday without knowing my limits and I am lucky to not be suffering from any health issues as a result of alcohol. Drinking just zaps my energy like nothing else. I have a family issue of depression and after laying in bed a whole day after, I usually fall into a state of depression that lasts almost a week after I consumed alcohol.  If you haven’t drink for a while try to keep it up especially for your health.  I can not function and I know everyone are better representations of themselves when sober and mellow.

  3. Hey there! I drink alcohol twice or thrice a week. I enjoy drinking alcohol but I didn’t know that it has a lot of negative effects in our body. I found your article very informative especially to people like me who doesn’t know much about the effects of alcohol in our body. Thank you for sharing this information.

    • I use to over indulge in then was educated on the fact that it effects your body more than any drug. Glad this provided some insight to guide you to a healthier lifestyle. 

  4. I really don’t understand the reasoning behind why alcohol is such a widely accepted substance when, as this article explains, it’s so damaging to the body. It’s considered “normal” and maybe even “funny” when a twenty-something goes out drinking and then wakes up in a gutter covered in what they hope is their own vomit.

    “I got so hammered last night that today is totally ruined and I can’t even go outside without the sun giving me a headache.” “Jerry, you little scamp, you are such a party animal! You are just so cool!”

    Yeah, alcohol is great! Let’s make it available to everyone and put a damn liquor store on every corner in every downtown area across the country.

    I won’t turn this into an MJ vs. alcohol debate but when you compare the health benefits and the health consequences, the winner is clear.

    • I agree with you on everything stated and the toll alcohol takes on your body over time is worse than any drug out there.  

      I can not function the next day as well when I over consume alcohol and it not only effects how I feel the next day but a few days after as well.  

      It is only readily avsailable to society because the government can make money off of it just like opiods.

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