3 Common Health Problems Associated with Alcoholism
Drinking alcohol does not only destroy a person’s personal life, it can wreak havoc on their physical health. Someone who has been abusing alcohol for many years can often end up with chronic health problems that are difficult to treat. Alcohol-related diseases are all too common, especially among alcoholics that haven’t been treated for their addiction.
- Liver Disease/Cirrhosis
Alcohol consumption is the most taxing on the liver which has to filter out all the toxins that a person ingests. A person can develop liver disease even if they don’t drink a lot in one sitting. Chronic drinking is what causes liver problems, even if it is with a moderate amount of alcohol.
People often develop fatty liver disease first, which is a buildup of fat in the liver, which then leads to alcoholic hepatitis and then to cirrhosis which is the final stage of liver disease.
- Brain Damage/Dementia
Alcohol can have a profound impact on the brain both with short term and long term drinking behavior. Chronic drinking causes memory problems and difficulty processing information. The brains of heavy drinkers actually shrink and they can develop problems such as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome or “wet brain”.
- Heart Disease
Drinking alcohol can put a lot of stress on the heart and cause problems like high blood pressure. Alcoholics are at high risk for heart disease both because of their alcohol consumption and their tendency to have poor diet and exercise habits. Alcohol also causes direct damage to the heart when it passes through the body and can weaken the heart muscle by making it pump faster.
The illnesses associated with alcoholism can be treated and reversed in many cases if the individual is able to quit drinking. Continuing to drink will only worsen the symptoms and lead to a health crisis.