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Stop Drinking Tips - Alcohol is a Killer

Jul 17, 2008
Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction as it is better known, is one of the most widespread diseases that afflict the modern world. With the ever increasing pace of life and the myriad tensions that come along with it, more and more people are turning to the bottle as a respite from the mounting stress of their workplace and social life. However, not many know that alcohol is, in itself, a major cause of all their woes. The reason for this is that alcohol, by nature, is a depressant which means, the more you drink, the more your mind succumbs to the plunging depths of despair, which in turn leads you to drink even more to cope with this depression. And as a result of this vicious cycle, the body of the alcoholic suffers, unable to keep up with the mounting levels of the intoxicant that are poured into it.

When you drink alcohol, it passes into your esophagus and then into your stomach, from where it is absorbed into the blood. All this blood then passes into your liver, which is responsible for breaking down this alcohol into other chemicals, which are then further converted into water and carbon dioxide which can be excreted. This process is far from simple and cannot be carried out by your liver instantaneously. So, when you drink more alcohol than your liver can put up with, the level of alcohol in your bloodstream rises.

The liver is the first to face the wrath which alcohol lashes out on your body. Alcohol makes your liver store excessive amounts of fat, which, if disregarded, can culminate in Alcohol Hepatitis. Although this condition can be averted by simply cutting down on your intake of alcohol at the early stages, it is relatively difficult to do so as Hepatitis does not boast of any typical traits which can be accorded to it. However, if you allow the inflammation of your liver to become chronic, your liver will begin to produce surplus amounts of bilirubin which results in jaundice and ultimately liver failure. Your alcohol abuse can also lead to the formation of scar tissue in your liver, which damages the healthy cells and prevents new ones from taking their place. Thus, your liver grows weaker and finally gives up on you, a condition which is known as Cirrhosis. This disease many take years to progress to its advanced stages and usually does not display any major symptoms before the disease is at its most crucial phases.

Alcohol is also a primary villain in the development of heart disease. Heavy drinking, over a period of time, damages the heart and leads to high blood pressure and even stroke. Further, alcoholism is also known to cause Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, where your heart becomes weakened and enlarged on account of your prolonged alcohol abuse. Excessive intake of alcohol also increases the triglyceride levels, making you more vulnerable to heart disease.

Sustained abuse of alcohol also results in Alcohol Dementia, where your drinking patterns inflict severe damage on your nervous system, negatively influencing your memory, learning abilities and reasoning. With time, you may even begin to experience lapses in your memory which many alcoholics try to cover up with elaborate tales, which is called Korsakoff Psychosis which can even result in paranoia. The alcoholic may also experience difficulties with his basic cognitive functions like reasoning and problem solving which impairs his social and personal interactions.

Alcoholism also puts the individual at a heightened risk of contracting Pancreatitis or a severe inflammation of the pancreas, which may increase his changes of contracting diabetes. Alcoholics are also prone to high blood pressure and obesity as a result of the high calorific value of alcohol. Further, alcohol can also wear out the lining of your stomach, thus impairing the absorption of many essential nutrients, eventually leading to further loss of appetite and eventually undernourishment. Excessive consumption of alcohol has also been found to be one of the influencing factors in the development of cancer of the mouth, liver, colon and gullet. Male alcoholics are also prone to erectile dysfunction, while women face disruptions in their menstrual cycle and can also cause severe complications during pregnancy.

Many casual and social drinkers often find solace in the fact that their body is capable of absorbing moderate amounts of alcohol and even benefiting from the heart-disease thwarting characteristics that have been accorded to alcohol. But they risk walking on a very fine line here, as increasing your consumption to just one extra drink above the recommended average of three times a day, makes you vulnerable to a host of diseases -which far outweigh the benefits of alcohol. There are several other, more time tested methods that can be used to curb heart disease like a controlled diet and regular routine of exercise. The most dangerous of all the characteristics which are typical to alcoholism is that the victim is unable to discern his own addiction. Which is why, unless the more drastic complications come to the fore, the victim may be in the stage of denial unless only desperate measures can have to be implemented to rid the body of the innumerable afflictions that alcohol imposes. So, the next time you are tempted to reach for that bottle for one night of excess, think about how much damage this seemingly innocuous drink can cause your body and if that tempting drink is indeed worth risking your health and happiness for
About the Author
Find out how to Stop Abusing Alcohol Written by Ed Philips and Quit Alcohol Today.
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