The long-term effects of excessive alcohol consumption can be debilitating. In some cases, they may even prove deadly. While most people think that you must be coined an “alcoholic” to experience a higher risk of lifelong health problems, that is not always the case. In fact, it only takes a few drinks each week to put you or a loved one in danger of experiencing lifelong health problems.
How Many Drinks are Too Many?
As previously mentioned, it only takes a few drinks each week to potentially cause a problem. For an average adult without any major health issues, more than 10 drinks per week can potentially cause lifelong health problems. In some cases, the problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption can be life-altering. Sadly, there are other cases where the issues caused as a direct result of alcohol consumption are life-ending. It is also worth noting that any individual who already suffers from certain health problems such as liver disease or cardiovascular issues may not be able to safely consume 10 drinks per week without experiencing problems. In fact, those individuals may not be able to safely consume any appreciable level of alcohol whatsoever.
Too Much Alcohol Can Damage Your Heart
How does alcohol damage your heart? Even in healthy people, it causes an increased heart rate. At the same time, blood pressure also increases. In people who are predisposed to an irregular heartbeat, a single drink can cause an arrhythmia. When you consume large amounts of alcohol over time, it can cause both your heart rate and blood pressure to remain elevated at all times. This puts undue strain on the heart. Eventually, it can lead to a weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy). If left untreated, the individual in question is at risk of going into heart failure. This is a condition where the heart is unable to keep up with the demands of the body. Unless treated successfully, it is a terminal diagnosis. All of the stress placed on the heart also means that there is an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, even in people who don’t have a family history or other risk factors.
Alcohol is a Carcinogen
Alcohol is also known to cause a variety of cancers. It is a toxic substance that can cause cancer just as easily as any other substance like it. While it is capable of causing any type of cancer, the varieties most commonly associated with excessive alcohol consumption involve cancers of the liver, throat and mouth. Bowel cancer is also commonly associated with alcoholism, as is breast cancer.
Other Health Problems
Of course, one of the most common health issues associated with alcohol consumption is liver damage. Alcohol is absorbed into the liver and stored there. When the amount of alcohol ingested is excessive or too frequent, the liver cannot rid itself of the toxins. Eventually, this results in the liver itself becoming diseased. It’s also crucial to remember that anyone who consumes more than 10 alcoholic drinks per week runs the risk of becoming dependent on it.
Moreover, some people experience declining mental cognition as a direct result of excessive alcohol consumption. For those who have spent the majority of their adult lives drinking too much alcohol, the decline can be so severe that it is no longer possible to function normally. In a worst-case scenario, you might even find yourself looking at someone with a Master’s degree who can no longer follow a simple conversation. One’s judgment also becomes impaired, almost as if the individual in question were drunk all the time. This may present itself regardless of whether or not there is any alcohol present in the bloodstream.
Alcohol Consumption Can be a Risky Endeavor
Drinking too much alcohol carries several long-term health risks, including the following:
- Cardiovascular damage, including irregular heartbeat, heart attack and stroke
- Liver damage
- Alcohol dependence
- Impaired cognitive function
While it is usually okay for a healthy individual to enjoy a few drinks a week, it is imperative that they not consume more than 10. Otherwise, they run the risk of suffering from lifelong health issues that could prove fatal. Fortunately, help is available. All you have to do is contact a treatment center and start reclaiming control of your health. Call us at 833-610-1174.