4 Long-Term Effects of Alcohol You Need to Know

Are you fond of taking alcohol? Are you aware that drinking large amounts of long alcohol for a long duration can have severe effects on your health?

Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol is a well-known depressant which comprises beer, liquor, and wine. It normally affects a person's central nervous system and vital organs such as the brain and liver. Shortly after consuming alcohol, most people experience difficulty in speaking, thinking and walking. However, some alcohol intoxication effects dissipate after several hours whilst others last for a longer period especially if one has been a heavy drinker for a long.

Prolonged alcohol intake and increasing a person's usual consumption amount could cause them to develop alcohol dependency. Generally, one is prone to alcohol dependence of they been consistently taking three drinks at once.

Often, the dependence is associated with an increase in an individual's tolerance to its numerous effects. It causes one to increase their alcohol intake to attain similar results. If you don't drink, you may experience several withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and continuous sweating. In severe, cases, you might develop delirium or seizures.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking refers to taking more than four drinks within two hours for women and more than five drinks for men within the same timeframe. The drinking style normally increases your blood alcohol content to more than 0.08. About 90% of American adults who take large amounts of alcohol are likely to have taken part in binge drinking at least once a month.

However, one isn't generally addicted to alcohol if they take part in binge drinking. The habit could cause detrimental health effects. For instance, binge drinkers are 14 times likely to drive while drunk compared to chronic drinkers.

Severe brain damage is a major long-term effect of taking alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol for long periods normally disrupts your neutrons' pathways. It affects your behaviors, mood and cognitive functioning. Neuronal activity is normally connected with various brain functions. For example, the cortex's neutrons are responsible for consciousness and psychological functions. It's vital to have a complete neuronal activity to attain adequate memory formation.

Alcohol has many intoxicating effects that often occur as symptoms arising while you are on a drinking spree. Other health consequences may last for extended periods when the alcohol alters your brain's neural system. They include;

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Liver disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Throat and mouth cancer
  • High blood pressure

Moreover, alcohol has distinct short-term effects on a person's brain when they consume it in low quantities. They normally disappear once you cease drinking. However, if you continue consuming large amounts of alcohol for a long period, the short-term effects can accumulate and last even after the drinking episode.

Also, some long terms effects of consuming alcohol can worsen due to deteriorating health of alcohol-related conditions including liver diseases. It's estimated that about 80% of alcohol addicts don't get adequate vitamin B1 and thiamine. They are vital for proper brain development. You can get vitamin B1 in cereals, meat, nuts, peas, and poultry.

Major Long-term Effects of Alcohol

1.    Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Most of the people who regularly take alcohol are prone to developing the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. It's a neurologic disorder with two types; Wernicke's encephalopathy and Korsakoff's psychosis.

Symptoms of Wernicke encephalopathy

  • Confusion and reduced mental activity which leads to coma or death
  • Leg tumor due to loss of the ataxia muscle coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Alcohol withdrawal

Symptoms of Korsakoff syndrome

  • Insufficient brain memory
  • Mild or severe memory loss
  • Hallucination

If you display any of these Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome symptoms, its critical to urgently seek medical assistance. The condition progresses quickly.

2.    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a severe health condition that occurs in a fetus is exposed to alcohol. It is a fetal alcohol disorder which has diverse psychological and physical effects. When an expectant woman takes alcohol, the substance passes to the embryo through the placenta. It's prudent for them to avoid consuming alcohol due to its health effects. Their newborn baby might have FAS.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome diagnosis

In a typical FAS diagnosis, the doctor assesses the central nervous system (CNS) damage. Prenatal exposure to alcohol causes mild to severe brain impairment depending on its intensity, frequency, and timing. CNS damage focuses on functional, neurological and structural impairments. 

An IOM system requires a doctor to perform a neurological and structural FAS diagnosis. It enables them to diagnose ARND and PFAS. During the diagnosis, functional anomalies usually measure are two deviations.

3.    Liver Damage

Excessive consumption of alcohol causes adverse damage to your liver. The effect is irreversible and in most instances, they don't manifest until after several years after your last drinking spree. Also, regular alcohol intake breaks down the fat cells hence hindering the liver from functioning well. Most frequent drinkers having vast liver damage normally display a variety of symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, nausea and reduced appetite. Furthermore, if you don't seek treatment, the damage can develop to Cirrhosis.

4.    Intestinal Damage

Many consumers of large amounts of alcohol experience severe intestinal damage. Alcohol greatly reduces the ability of your stomach to properly digest food hence damaging your intestines. Intestinal damage is related to brain damage due to excessive drinking. The brain is normally unable to coordinate vital body functions.

Also, alcohol facilitates the growth of bacteria in your intestines. They break down your intestinal walls leading to excruciating pain that causes discomfort. Permanent intestinal damage is due to tearing of your intestines' walls which weakens them. Alcohol is a toxic substance that kills beneficial cells in your digestive system and intestines leading to permanent damage.

A typical alcohol addiction rehabilitation center offers patients with psychiatric evaluations to study various mental disorders that could be influencing their alcohol addiction. Also, it comprises a treatment team to create personalized treatment plans ideal for different clients. As an inpatient client in the facility, you normally receive particular medications to prevent you from relapsing by suppressing your desire to take alcohol.