Author: Gary Jackson

Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health Learn the facts

Below we explore the specific parts of the body alcohol affects. Drinking also adds calories that can contribute to weight gain. And drinking raises the risk of problems in the digestive system. The morning after a night of over-imbibing can cause some temporary effects on your brain. Things like trouble concentration, slow reflexes and sensitivity to bright lights and loud sounds are standard signs of a hangover, and evidence of alcohol’s effects on your brain. Your gut microbiome is a hotbed of bacteria that help keep your digestive system happy and healthy.

effects of alcohol on the body

A  causal relationship has been established between harmful drinking and incidence or outcomes of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV. There’s been an uptick in non-alcoholic drink options, as more and more companies are creating alternatives. A 2020 study found that when weekly drinkers were presented with and aware of increased non-alcoholic options, they were likely to choose them. Your central nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and neurons that communicate messages throughout your body. It powers key functions and processes like movement, memory, speech, thought processes, and more. Heavy drinking also has been linked to intentional injuries, such as suicide, as well as accidental injury and death.

Find science-based information on the effects of alcohol on health.

The trillions of microbes in your colon and large and small intestines are critical to proper digestion. They also help fend off inflammation and support healthy metabolism. But there’s plenty of research to back up the notion that alcohol does lead to weight gain in general. Cirrhosis, on the other hand, is irreversible and can lead to liver failure and liver cancer, even if you abstain from alcohol. Steatotic liver disease used to go by the name fatty liver disease. If alcohol continues to accumulate in your system, it can destroy cells and, eventually, damage your organs.

  • “Excessive alcohol consumption can cause nerve damage and irreversible forms of dementia,” Dr. Sengupta warns.
  • But when you ingest too much alcohol for your liver to process in a timely manner, a buildup of toxic substances begins to take a toll on your liver.
  • However it happens, drinking means you need a sound to be louder so you can hear it.
  • From the first sip, alcohol impacts the body—even if you don’t realize it.

Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21. In the past, moderate drinking was thought to be linked with a lower risk of dying from heart disease and possibly diabetes. After more analysis of the research, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In general, a healthy diet and physical activity have much greater health benefits than alcohol and have been more extensively studied.