The Effects of Alcohol on Your Body

The Effects of Alcohol on Your Body

When you drink alcohol, you won't feel the effects on your body immediately, but without you noticing, it starts from the first sip. The noticeable impacts are usually some headache or the hangover that would occur the next morning. But since those won't last long, you usually won't worry too much especially if you're just a social drinker.

A lot of people think that drinking alcohol only on special occasions or some wine after a meal wouldn't pose any health concerns. But in fact, drinking alcohol in any amount could lead to unwanted health consequences. Heavy drinkers would notice the health impacts sooner, but alcohol also poses health risks for social drinkers. Here are the effects of alcohol on your body whether you're a heavy drinker or social one.

Inflammatory Damage

The liver works to break down and then remove any toxins or harmful substances including alcohol from your body. The consumption of alcohol in the long term will interfere with this important process. This will increase the risks for liver disease and liver inflammation.

When a liver disease that is alcohol-related happens, the next thing that would happen is the buildup of toxins and waste in your body since your liver couldn't work properly anymore. Meanwhile, liver inflammation could lead to cirrhosis and could damage your liver permanently.

Sugar Levels

Excessive consumption of alcohol could also damage your pancreas. This organ is responsible for the use of insulin and how your body responds to glucose. If your pancreas couldn't work properly because you drink too much alcohol, you could experience hypoglycemia or low level of blood sugar.

On the other hand, a damaged pancreas could also lead to hyperglycemia or high level of blood sugar. This is because a damaged pancreas could disrupt your body from creating enough insulin in order to use sugar. If you already have diabetes or hypoglycemia, you should avoid the consumption of alcohol.

Central Nervous System

When you drink too much alcohol and start getting drunk, you will notice that it is becoming more difficult to talk or move properly. This is because alcohol will reduce the communication between brain and body. This is exactly why you should never drive when you are under the influence of alcohol.

This is only after one drink, over time, regular consumption of alcohol could damage your central nervous system and start to make long lasting impacts such as tingling or numbness in your hands and feet. Drinking regularly can also damage your brain, especially the frontal lobe which is responsible for social behavior, decision making and abstract reasoning.

Digestive System

Drinking habit could also have negative effects on your digestive system by damaging the tissues in your digestive tract. This issue will prevent your digestive system from digesting food properly and absorbing vitamins and nutrients. Over time, this damage could lead to malnutrition.

Reproductive and Sexual Health

Since alcohol consumption can lower inhibitions, a lot of people think that alcohol can ramp up the fun in the bedroom. But in reality, heavy drinking could lower your libido, making it hard to get or maintain an erection, prevent the production of sex hormones, and make it harder to get an orgasm.

For women, one of the effects of alcohol on your body in terms of reproductive health is the affected menstrual cycle. Excessive consumption of alcohol on women could also lead to the increased risk of infertility making it harder for women to bear a child.

Circulatory System

Alcohol could also damage your circulatory system, especially your heart and lungs, raising the risk of heart or lung related health issues. These health issues include irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, heart disease, and even heart failure.

Immune System

Your immune system is working hard every day to protect you from various viruses and germs. Drinking heavily could reduce the capability of your immune system, making you more susceptible to different kinds of diseases. People who drink heavily over a long period of time are more likely to get tuberculosis and pneumonia compared to the general population.

Not only that, drinking alcohol excessively could also increase the risk of various types of cancer like liver, colon, throat, mouth, breast and esophagus cancer. If you drink and also smoke, this risk of cancer will increase even higher, especially throat and mouth cancer.


Not only physically, drinking alcohol as a habit could also create negative impacts on your psychological state. There are several mental health issues that can be induced by alcohol such as depression, sleep disorder, anxiety, and even psychotic and bipolar disorder.

The symptoms for these mental health issues usually would not be obvious during alcohol consumption, but will improve quickly during withdrawal or intoxication. The conditions that could develop during withdrawal is the reason why quitting alcohol is so hard, just like quitting smoking.

When you drink alcohol heavily for a long period of time, your body will develop a tolerance. Because of this, you will need to drink more and more alcohol in order to get the same effects. Your body and brain would also grow used to alcohol, and when you stop drinking, you will notice several symptoms such as emotional, physical and mental health.

These symptoms would usually disappear when you drink alcohol again, making quitting alcohol a very difficult and sometimes even life threatening process. Depending on how often and how much you drink, you might need assistance from a healthcare professional in order to stop drinking.

Cold turkey approach could be dangerous, so you need to get help from medical professionals when you want to stop drinking. There are several symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as tremors, nausea, anxiety, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and heavy sweating.

Those are the effects of alcohol on your body. It is best to avoid alcohol entirely but if you have to drink alcohol like on special occasions, please drink it as little as you can.

Faisal "The successful warrior is the average man, with laserlike focus." - Bruce Lee

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