Long Term Alcohol Abuse
Long term alcohol abuse is linked to a variety of health problems, both emotional and physical. Studies have shown that long-term alcohol abuse produces serious, harmful effects on a variety of the body's organ systems. Parts of the human body most affected by long term alcohol abuse include the liver and the immune, cardiovascular, and skeletal systems. What’s more, long term alcohol abuse can also damage your emotional stability, your finances, your career, and your ability to build and sustain satisfying relationships. But it doesn’t stop there. long term alcohol abuse also impacts family, friends, the people you work with, and even the greater community you live in.
The best known consequence of long term alcohol abuse may be the burden it places on the liver. Long term alcohol abusers are at a risk for developing fatty liver disease, or FLD, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed and how long the person has been a drinker, symptoms of liver disease can vary from fatigue and jaundice to complete liver failure.
Long Term Alcohol Abuse and the Brain
Long term alcohol abuse can lead to problems with brain development, in turn increasing the risk of strokes and other issues related to the nervous system. Long term alcohol abuse can also increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Additionally. Results of autopsy show that patients with a history of long term alcohol abuse have smaller, less massive, and more shrunken brains than nonalcoholic adults of the same age and gender. Indications of most alcoholic brain dysfunction often disappear completely with long-term abstinence.
Long Term Alcohol Abuse and Gastrointestinal (GI) Problems
Long term alcohol abuse can lead to chronic gastritis, and gallstones and gallbladder disease, as well as other diseases of the digestive system. Additionally, long term alcohol abuse can produce acute problems, such as lesions in the small intestine or stomach, and chronic problems, such as gastrointestinal bleeding (due to the lesions) and diarrhea. It's not uncommon for long term alcohol abusers to gain weight around the waist, an issue caused by the peaks of insulin produced by the sugars and carbs in the drinks. In time, this may lead to diabetes if not addressed properly.
Long Term Alcohol Abuse and Diabetes
Long-term alcohol abuse increases the risk of developing diabetes. This is especially true in women, as they are particularly susceptible to insulin sensitivity. While alcohol itself does not cause cancer, long term alcohol abuse may increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus and colon and rectum.
Long Term Alcohol Abuse and the Heart
Long term alcohol abuse increases the risk of coronary heart disease, coronary vascular disease, peripheral arterial disease. Long term alcohol abuse can lead to high triglycerides, which in turn will cause high cholesterol, high blood pressure and an increased risk for heart attacks. Additionally, Other serious problems related to heart disease and long term alcohol abuse include cardiomyopathy; a disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and therefore doesn't work efficiently, cardiac arrhythmia, (abnormal, irregular heartbeat) and sudden cardiac death.