The Long Term Effects of Alcoholism
Alcoholism affects people of all ages, sizes, race, gender; it has no boundaries to whom it hurts. Alcohol addiction not only affects the every day activities that a person is engaged in, but can also have a drastic effect on long-term health. And often times, because alcoholics don’t seek help until they’ve hit rock bottom, many of these health problems cannot be reversed.
The liver is one of the bodies major organs most drastically affected by alcohol abuse. More than 2 million people suffer from alcohol related liver disease in America today. Alcoholic hepatitis, also known as inflammation of the liver, is a problem that can become common in those people who engage in excessive drinking patterns throughout their lives. Symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis include abdominal pain, jaundice, and fever. Another well known long-term cause of alcoholism is cirrhosis of the liver. Roughly about 10 to 20% of heavy drinkers are diagnosed with cirrhosis. Sadly, this disease is not reversible and can become fatal if the person does not stop drinking alcohol. Another common problem for alcoholics, but may not be as well known is heart disease. Long term excessive drinking habits increase the risk for stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure because the heart becomes weakened by the large quantities of alcohol making it more susceptible for health related problems.
Another alarming effect of alcoholism is the damage that can be done to a person’s stomach and intestines. Large quantities of alcohol put people at a greater risk for developing pancreatitis, which in lay terms refers to the inflammation of the pancreas. Excessive drinking also can lead to stomach ulcers, which can cause internal bleeding and an irritated stomach lining.
Alcoholism not only effects a number of the body’s major organs but it also can inhibit people from having children as alcohol can have an impact on a person’s fertility, which can lead to an onset of social problems within the family circle.
Alcohol addiction can be a deadly disease that has no concern for a person’s health, well being and life overall. If you know of a family member who is struggling with alcoholism, don’t hesitate to get help.