Alcohol is undeniably a social and celebratory component of many cultures and activities. However, it can lead to serious health problems when overused, such as cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and addiction. Alcohol is linked to the following ten negative health effects that everyone should be aware of.
1. Breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, with an estimated 276,480 new cases diagnosed in the United States in 2020, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Alcohol is a major risk factor in breast cancer, and it’s even worse when consumed by women with BRCA mutations. There is no amount of alcohol that is safe for women with the mutation.
2. Liver disease
Alcohol is a leading cause of liver disease, liver cancer, and other related health problems. It damages your liver cells and can cause cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver tissue becomes progressively scarred and nodular. The risk for developing liver disease increases with the number of drinks consumed and frequency of drinking.
3. Amnesic syndrome
Amnesic syndrome is a condition that affects the brain and causes memory impairment. It can occur as a result of alcohol-related brain damage or head trauma. The memory impairment prevents people from remembering new information, and this often leads to people feeling like they are reliving the same day over and over again.
Chronic alcohol consumption has been linked to pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis can lead to infection, organ failure, and death. It can happen quickly or gradually over time.
5. High blood pressure
Studies from the National Institutes of Health have shown that drinking beer every day can negatively affect your cardiovascular system. Alcohol abuse can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
6. Learning disorders
The negative health effects of alcohol include memory loss, slowed reaction time, decreased attention span, depression, and anxiety. These learning disorders can occur in chronic alcohol drinkers of any age and any IQ level.
7. Birth defects
Alcohol is a big factor in birth defects, and the main negative health effects of alcohol are on the baby. The fetus can be exposed to alcohol in many ways, but the most common is through breast milk after birth after drinking. Alcohol will damage their brain development and lead to developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Risky sexual behaviour and alcohol consumption often go hand in hand and it’s not always as simple as getting a pill or a cream from the doctor. STDs like HIV are something that can affect you for the rest of your life despite countless improvements in treatment.
9. Mental Health Issues
You don’t need to be a psychologist to recognise the connection between mental health problems (including depression and anxiety) and excessive alcohol use. In fact, excessive drinking is often a sign of self-harming and is used as a coping strategy for people will poor mental health. If this sounds like you may be practising a little more self-care is in order.
Self-care can be an easy way to improve your self-esteem and make yourself happier. It’s all about doing the things that make you happy, taking time for yourself, and treating yourself with kindness. Taking care of yourself can help you to impact others in a positive way: It allows you to be there for that person fully, in your right mind.
10. Risk of Death
Once you start to enter the realms of excessive alcohol use you are also talking about an increase in the chances of an accident happening. Death via motor vehicle crash, drowning and falling have all been attributed to excessive alcohol use.
Alcohol can lead to many negative health effects. Whether you occasionally drink or on a regular basis, alcohol consumption can cause various health problems, including breast cancer, heart disease, liver disease, and many other health conditions. This is why it’s important to understand the risks associated with alcohol assumption and how it can affect your health.