Long Term Effects
of Alcoholism


The long term effects of alcoholism can be deadly. There is really no other way of saying it. The longer a person drinks, the more profound alcoholism side effects can be on the body's organs. It is not uncommon for heavy drinkers to have health issues with their stomach, pancreas, liver, and brain.

While the above are the main organs most often damaged by excessive drinking, other health problems can arise as well. Some studies suggest that there is often a link between heavy drinking and certain types of cancers in the esophagus, throat, and mouth. This can be especially hazardous with those who smoke. Other studies have suggested that women who drink to excess may have a higher incidence of breast cancer than women who do not.

It should also be noted that long term, alcoholism can affect virtually every part of the human body. Associated health issues may include problems with malnutrition, memory loss, maintaining balance, problems walking even when sober, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, muscle weakness, heart problems, high blood pressure, lowered immune systems, anemia, low blood sugar, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and pale skin.

To make matters even worse, these are only some of the many alcoholism side effects that a person may experience. The severity and duration of the symptoms will vary from person to person, and not all persons will have all of the symptoms.

Emotional Long Term Effects of Alcoholism

In addition the physical problems that excessive drinking can cause, emotional and psychological issues may develop as well. Some of the more common problems reported include: increased sense of anxiety for no apparent reason; an increase in hostile or aggressive behavior toward others; anorexia nervosa, prolonged depression, bulimia, insomnia, suicidal thoughts or tendencies, and hyperactivity which may include over-talking.

Other alcoholism side effects revolve around work, family and friends. Often the drinker will encounter problems at home which cause marital and other relationship problems, problems at work, often caused by missed work or poor performance, and a tendency to socialize less with established friends.

Specific Trouble Areas

While it is true that all parts of the body can suffer from excessive drinking, it is also true that certain areas may suffer more than others. This is especially true as the long term effects of alcoholism become more pronounced.

The nervous system will often experience degeneration with prolonged drinking. Blackouts are common, resulting in a loss of memory. In addition, many heavy drinkers will experience problems with sleeping. This can include periods of very deep sleep to periods of insomnia. There can also be issues with feelings of tingling or numbness in the legs or arms. It is very common for heavy drinkers to develop tremors in their hands, and occasionally in their feet as the long term effects of alcoholism develop.

The gastrointestinal system will often experience health problems with prolonged drinking. Some of the alcoholism side effects associated with the GI system includes damage to the esophagus and to the stomach. Diarrhea is often an issue with those who drink excessively, and this can lead to dehydration.

The above are only a small sampling of the long term effects of alcoholism. It should be kept in mind that alcoholism side effects vary from one person to the next. Frequent drinkers who are in doubt about any health issue they may be experiencing should seek medical advice.






More than long term effects of alcoholism on our alcoholism stages page

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