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Stop Drinking Tips - The Slow Poison

Jul 19, 2008
With today's competitive world and the endless pressures that come along with the breakneck pace at which we live, resorting to a soothing drink to tide you through the tough times isn't an uncommon phenomenon. In fact, with every day that passes, larger numbers of people are falling prey to the devastating disease called alcoholism. The problem lies not only in the fact that they are trying to drink their worries away, but also that they are in the dark about the fact that alcohol is in itself a depressant. And hence, they continue to drink, in order to relieve the depression which they have brought on to themselves by consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. And while they delve deeper into the recesses alcohol plunges them into, their bodies also suffer severe and often irrevocable damage, which if not treated in time, can also result in death.

Alcohol travels down your esophagus, into your stomach from where it spreads into your bloodstream. This blood then flows to your liver which metabolizes the alcohol by first breaking it down into simpler chemicals and finally into carbon dioxide and water for your system to excrete. Your liver is capable of converting only a certain amount of alcohol at a given point of time and if you inundate your system with larger amounts of alcohol than your liver can process, the alcohol stays back in the bloodstream, increasing the toxic levels of your blood tremendously.

Your liver is the worst hit, as alcohol causes large amounts of fats to be deposited in it. This condition is not very severe in its nascent phases and can even be reversed if you cut down on your drinking patterns. If ignored, it can even lead to the inflammation of your liver, a condition which is labeled Alcohol Hepatitis. Hepatitis is not usually discernible at its initial stages, as it does not display any explicit symptoms that are characteristic of it. But once this condition develops into the chronic phase, the liver begins to produce excessive amounts of bilirubin leading to jaundice and ultimately liver failure. Excessive consumption of alcohol also leads to the formation of scar tissue, a process labeled as Fibrosis. This scar tissue damages the cells in your liver and disrupts the production of new cells, thus causing your liver to grow weaker over time and finally results in liver failure. This disease is very difficult to detect and diagnose as the symptoms are often latent for many years and only emerge when the condition is in its most crucial chapters.

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.

Alcohol Abuse is also responsible for severe inflammation of the pancreas or Pancreatitis, a condition that often develops into Diabetes. Alcoholic drinks are also very high in calories, leading to the individual growing obese and suffering from high blood pressure. Alcohol also depletes the inner stomach lining, thus depriving the body of many vital nutrients. The loss of appetite, which most alcoholics suffer from, also makes them malnourished and impairs their immunity to a host of diseases. Alcohol also induces cancerous growth in the victim's mouth, liver, colon and gullet. Males are susceptible to erectile dysfunction while women may face several complications in their pregnancy and also an irregular menstrual cycle.

Although research has proved that the body can absorb moderate levels of alcohol and even profit from the lowered risk of heart disease that alcohol grants, it is vital that you remember that drinking any more than three times a day, brings the negative traits if alcohol to the fore. There are several other, more proven ways to boost your cardiovascular health, like a well-planned diet and an active lifestyle which incorporates a reasonable amount of exercise. It may so happen that you, as a victim may very often be unaware of the devastating impact your consumption of alcohol is causing, as one of the primary symptoms of alcoholism. Many symptoms may not be discernible, until they are at their most crucial phases, which makes treating them a lot more difficult. So, the next time you set out on a night of mindless partying, which can't do without frivolous amounts of alcohol, pay heed to that little voice which reminds you of all the damage you are inflicting on yourself and consider if that shot of vodka is indeed worth jeopardizing your physical and mental wellbeing
About the Author
Find out how to Stop Abusing Alcohol Written by Ed Philips and Quit Alcohol Today.
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