Alcohol can damage the cells in your mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus. Alcohol can help cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco and other sources enter your cells more easily. effects of alcohol on the body Anyone with an alcohol dependency disorder who desires to stop drinking should seek professional medical care or a treatment center specializing in safe alcohol detoxification.

  • Alcohol consumption can also affect the immune system and produce complications in people with HIV, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.
  • That means drinking no alcohol is actually your safest bet, according to the study authors.
  • Studies have not yet determined the exact cause of alcohol abuse and how it relates to brain damage, aside from the fact that drinking has been found to cause brain shrinkage.
  • These effects may be more serious and more noticeable if you drink regularly and tend to have more than 1 or 2 drinks when you do.

But long-term, repeated binges can suppress your immune system to the point where you become more susceptible to serious infectious diseases, Duhaney explains. These can include pneumonia and even tuberculosis, a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection that typically affects the lungs. Pancreatitis is a painful condition marked by heavy inflammation that can lead to diabetes and pancreatic cancer, one the deadliest forms of cancer.

Sexual and reproductive health

If a woman consumes alcohol during pregnancy, the child may be born with fetal alcohol syndrome . In 2015, this was believed to affect between 2 and 7 newborns in every 1,000. Trends in premature deaths from alcoholic liver disease in the U.S., 1999–2018.

long term effects of alcohol on the body

With so many physical consequences resulting from long-term abuse of alcohol, curbing your drinking can prevent many health complications down the road. It’s time to put an end to alcohol abuse, and live a strong and healthy life. Contact a treatment provider to help you find alcohol treatment programs. Excessive drinking can affect your nervous system, causing numbness and pain in your hands and feet, disordered thinking, dementia, and short-term memory loss. Over time, heavy drinking can cause involuntary rapid eye movement as well as weakness and paralysis of your eye muscles due to a deficiency of vitamin B-1 .

What does it mean to drink in moderation?

The landmark INTERHEART Study has revealed that alcohol consumption in South Asians was not protective against CAD in sharp contrast to other populations who benefit from it. In fact Asian Indians who consume alcohol had a 60% higher risk of heart attack which was greater with local spirits (80%) than branded spirits (50%). The harm was observed in alcohol users classified as occasional as well as regular light, moderate, and heavy consumers. Additionally, confounders such as underreporting of alcohol intake might lead to the underestimation of how much mortality is reduced in light-to-moderate drinkers. The overall mortality from alcohol use was found to be similar to that of the effect of physical inactivity.

There are several possible reasons for this, although the exact reasons cannot necessarily be pinpointed in any individual. One reason is that alcohol abuse and many mental illnesses have several of the same risk factors, like experiencing trauma or lacking good social support. It is also likely that alcohol abuse triggers or worsens mental illness and that mental illness can lead a person to use alcohol as an unhealthy way to cope. Besides contributing to these illnesses, alcohol abuse often prevents a person from managing existing chronic diseases.