According to a recent study, over 80,000 people died alcohol-related deaths in 2018 in the United States. Substance abuse and alcoholism affect over 15 million people and only a small percentage seek help. The first step in fighting your addiction is to admit that you have a problem. Most people don’t realize just how damaging alcohol abuse is to both their body and mind. Read on to discover 3 ways alcohol affects your physical and mental health and why seeking help today is in your best interest.
Enjoying one or two alcoholic beverages a day is fine, but anything in excess can damage your internal organs. Alcohol can thin the intestinal lining, sending bacteria into your bloodstream and triggering inflammation throughout your body. Inflammation is your body’s reaction to a foreign substance. The immune system turns out and stays on if bacteria are present. Excess alcohol causes your immune system to work overtime and creates dangerous inflammation. Inflammation due to alcohol abuse also affects the liver. Your liver is responsible for breaking down harmful substances and recognizes alcohol as such. When your body is exposed to alcohol for too long, it interferes with your liver’s ability to recognize and properly break down foreign substances. You may experience chronic liver inflammation and develop a condition known as cirrhosis, which can destroy the liver over time. This puts you at risk for foreign substances and illness.
2. Digestive Issues
It’s no surprise that alcohol abuse causes digestive issues. Too much alcohol can thin the lining of your stomach and intestines. This can cause several issues including peptic ulcers, acid reflux, and even IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Alcohol contains acid. Constantly consuming this acid will burn and wear away at the lining of your throat, esophagus, and stomach. When your diaphragm doesn’t keep the acidic foods and drinks you consume in your stomach, these acids come back up your throat causing damage and discomfort, known as acid reflux. Ulcers are sores that develop in the stomach, esophagus, or intestines and can cause extreme discomfort and internal bleeding. IBS causes a long list of stomach issues including constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue, and food intolerance.
3. Sexual Health
A healthy sex life is important for both physical and mental health. Drinking too much alcohol can negatively impact your sex drive and ability to perform. This is surprising to some people who feel more relaxed, uninhibited, and flirtatious after a few drinks. While small doses of alcohol can create a more relaxed feel, too much will have adverse effects. Drinking large amounts of alcohol causes many men to experience erectile dysfunction and prevents your body from producing the sexual hormones it needs to perform, lowering lobido. Women who abuse alcohol can also encounter infertility issues. Alcohol stops some women from menstruating. If you’re struggling to kick your alcohol habit and worry about the effect it’s having on your sex life, the stop drinking expert can help.
Alcohol abuse is a common struggle that millions of Americans face. This is especially true in the stressful, demanding world we live in where a few drinks offers a brief escape from reality. But when those few drinks turn into dozens and become a dependency rather than a luxury, a serious problem develops. Knowing how alcohol can destroy your physical and mental health may help convince you to get the help you need.
Article Submitted By Community Writer