I have decided to write a series on the impact of various health issues in the daily lives and nutritional facts on health. This health impact series will see regular updates on different health related useful articles. Today I will discuss about the impact of alcoholism related risks and problems in daily life.
How to determine you are alcoholic
- Do you generally have five or more drinks at a time (four for women) or need a drink to start in the morning?
- Do you feel guilty about your drinking and think that you should reduce your drinking?
- Are getting too much disturbed and annoyed when told to reduce your drinking?
If the answer is yes for any of the above mentioned questions (as well as partly), then you must consider yourself having an at least problem drinking if not alcoholism.
People who are at risk of having alcoholism
- People engaged in a regular drinking habit over long time with a tendency of binge drinking can eventually develop problem drinking or alcoholism.
- People who started drinking from a young age have a greater risk of developing problem drinking or alcoholism.
- People with prior family history (parents and close relatives) of alcoholism and thinking that drinking will increase the social status
- People under mental stress and problems or suffering from depression
- People who use to mix certain medication with alcohol, thereby increasing the toxic effect may cause eventual problem drinking or alcoholism. It often can be very dangerous as well.
Alcoholism associated complications
Alcohol has several adverse effects on your system. The central nervous system gets depressed on alcohol consumption. Initially, it gets stimulated, but gradually on continued drinking habit it is sedated. Furthermore, alcohol decreases one's inhibition (which is quite dangerous in certain situation) and also affects one’s judgment, emotion and overall thought processes.
Excessive alcohol adversely affects the vital centre of your brain, causing distorted in muscle coordination and speech. In severe cases it may cause fatal coma and even death.
The above distortion can cause severe damage indirectly as well through accidents while driving; behavioural problems; domestic violence or relation disturbance; reduced performance in study or work and drawing in violent crimes.
Too much drinking can also cause several health problems
- Hepatic disorders and diseases are common problem associated with excessive drinking habit. Inflammation of the liver (Alcoholic hepatitis) takes place on prolonged drinking habits leading to cirrhosis i.e. irreversible scarring and destruction of liver tissue.
- Gastritis is a common problem in drinkers due to inflammation of the stomach linings eventually producing ulcers in the stomach and esophagus. Absorption of vitamin B and other essential nutrients get affected. It also damages the pancreas, causing pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
- High blood pressure, enlarged heart and chances of heart failure are common trouble associated with heavy drinking.
- Drinking can cause hypoglycemia as alcohol interacts with glucose release from the liver, a dangerous situation for diabetes patients receiving insulin.
- Heavy drinking can cause erectile dysfunction in men and menstruation interruption in women.
Other diseases include eye problems (nystagmus or uncontrolled eye movement, paralysis of eye muscles); birth defects (fetal alcohol syndrome if heavy drinking is carried out during pregnancy); bone loss (osteoporosis); neurological complications (thinking disorder, short-term memory loss, dementia, numbness in hands and feet); weakened immune system; increased risk of cancer (breast, colon, throat, mouth and liver).
Use of too much alcohol is a serious problem in young adults making them susceptible to vehicular accidents, drowning, homicides and suicides, unprotected sex, sexual abuses, and many more unacceptable situations.
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