Alcohol is an addictive substance. The main reason is that it alters the brain’s chemistry, specifically affecting the prefrontal cortex. It’s an area that controls decision-making and judgment.
When someone consumes alcohol, it may initially create a feeling of euphoria or relaxation. However, as they consume more, it can lead to impaired motor skills and slurred speech. In extreme cases, alcohol can cause alcohol poisoning, which can kill a person.
Many Americans have this particular addiction, affecting most adults in general. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it’s essential to be aware of how it affects your body. Alcoholism is a severe disease that can lead to many health problems, including liver damage, brain damage, and heart disease. Here are some of the most common health problems associated with alcoholism and what you can do to mitigate them.
One of the most well-known effects of alcoholism is liver damage. Alcoholism can cause a build-up of fat in the liver, which can lead to inflammation and scarring. Over time, this scarring can reduce the liver’s ability to function correctly. If left untreated, liver damage caused by alcoholism can be fatal.
You can do a few things to reduce your risk of liver damage if you’re struggling with alcoholism. First, it’s essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You should also avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. Eating before you drink will help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Finally, limit your alcohol intake to two drinks per day. If you cannot stick to this limit, it’s time to seek professional help. Specific therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, can aid in managing alcohol cravings and controlling harmful drinking behaviors.
Another common effect of alcoholism is brain damage. Alcoholism can lead to shrinkage of the brain’s frontal lobes, which are responsible for executive functioning skills like decision-making and planning. This shrinkage can cause problems with coordination and balance, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating. In severe cases, alcoholism-related brain damage can cause permanent disability or even death.
If you’re worried about brain damage from alcoholism, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. First, limiting your alcohol intake or stopping drinking altogether is always good. Next, ensure that you’re getting enough sleep every night. Alcoholism can cause insomnia, so it’s important to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Finally, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Exercising and eating right will help keep your body and mind healthy overall.
Another severe effect of alcoholism is heart disease. Alcoholism can cause high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Alcoholism can also weaken the heart muscle, which leads to heart failure. If you’re struggling with heart disease due to alcoholism, it’s essential to talk to your doctor about your risks for heart disease and what you can do to mitigate them.
Dental Caries and Infection
Alcohol has been known to damage the teeth and increases the risk of dental caries, also known as cavities. Alcohol can also lead to dry mouth, which reduces saliva production and leaves the mouth vulnerable to bacteria and infection.
If you’re concerned about the impact of alcohol on your dental health, there are a few steps you can take. Here are some of those ways.
Dentures can help deal with your lack of teeth due to dental carries. It can also protect your remaining teeth from further damage. Getting robust partial dentures is your best choice. A partial denture is removable and only taken out for cleaning. It’s also much cheaper than dental implants.
Good Oral Hygiene
Maintaining good oral hygiene can go a long way in preventing dental carries and infections. Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and use mouthwash to keep bacteria levels low.
Reduce Sugary Drinks
Alcohol is often combined with sugary mixers, damaging your teeth further. Reduce or eliminate sugary drinks from your alcohol consumption to protect your teeth. However, you should eliminate alcohol from your diet altogether if you don’t want dental caries.
Alcoholism is a severe disease that can hurt every system in your body—including your brain, heart, and liver. If you’re struggling with alcoholism, it’s vital to seek professional help to get on the path to recovery before any permanent damage is done. You can also take steps on your own to reduce your risk for complications from alcoholism, like brain damage and heart disease—so don’t hesitate to reach out for help today!