The Side Effects of Alcohol
There are many side effects of alcohol, some are good and some are bad. Drinking is fast acting. Alcohol is ingested so quickly by your body it is almost akin to injecting an I.V. into your arm... in other words alcohol goes straight into your blood so some effects are acute and some happen over time after chronic use. The most well known side effect is that alcohol can create a sense of euphoria (i.e. it makes you feel good). Alcohol is a depressant, so a person’s hesitation, inhibition, self-doubt and restraint are subdued while drinking (giving alcohol its alias “liquid courage”). Furthermore alcohol can initially stimulate the heart, adrenal and skeletal systems which can make you feel temporarily active and energetic.
There are a lot of negative aspects to consider when tying one on. The second most well known side effect of liquor comes in the form of a hangover. The rest of this site covers this topic in length, and a summary of hangover symptoms can be found here.
Moving beyond the hangover, alcohol can lead to weight gain. Unfortunately alcohol is high in calories (only fat has more calories per gram). Also, drinking too much at once can cause you to pass out and lose consciousness. This is the result of alcohol poisoning. Here, breathing slows dramatically with cold skin and a blue complexion. Beyond this is the possibility of heart or lung trauma that can lead to death so over doing it is just plain stupid.
Furthermore, a number of illnesses and problems can occur with chronic alcohol use. Over time alcohol can raise your blood pressure and lower immune resistance, making it more likely for you to get sick.
The possibility of cancer increases with chronic alcohol use. This is most common in the upper part of the body (mouth, throat, etc.) but is not limited to any one of your organs. People who drink more than double their chance of skin cancer and female drinkers are more likely to get breast cancer than ladies who do not drink.
Then there’s the liver, of which alcohol has a huge impact. A healthy liver can process one drink each hour. Repeatedly exceed this rule and you could end up with liver issues like hepatitis, cirrhosis and cancer.
Becoming an alcoholic is a condition in which you cannot control how much, when or whether or not you drink. Alcoholism can take ten years off your life and increases your chances of the health problems we’ve already discussed.
If you continue uncontrolled revelry you might end up with bodily deficiencies, lack of appetite, impotence issues, stomach problems, poor memory and nerve damage. In short, enjoy yourself and be a responsible drinker and you can avoid a lot of the negative side effects of alcohol.
Return to Hangover Symptoms.
Done reviewing the side effects of alcohol? Return to the Hangover Cures homepage.