There are many long term effects of alcohol. Long term alcoholism takes a toll on your health. You don't have to drink everyday, all day, to suffer. Drinking more than your recommended daily allowance puts you at risk for a wide variety of health problems.
Here are some of the long term effects of alcohol.
1. Cancer - Do you know that, after smoking, drinking alcohol is the second activity that is most likely to raise your risks of developing cancer of the throat or mouth? Do you also know that smoking AND drinking carries the biggest risk of all?
But that's not all. Heavy drinkers are at risk of developing liver cancer and breast cancer, too!
2. Heart Disease - In post-menopausal women and in men over the age of 40, alcohol taken in small amounts may actually lessen the risks of heart disease. For everyone else, however, too much alcohol can cause, not reduce, heart problems.
And large amounts can increase the risk of heart disease for anyone!
3. Stroke - A 20-year-research project looking at the drinking habits of 6,000 Scottish males showed that compared to non-drinkers, those who had more than five units of alcohol a day were two times more likely to die from a stroke.
Strokes happen for two reasons. First, blood clots clog up the arteries in the brain. Second, blood vessels burst and leak into the brain. A heavy drinking session (which translates to six units of alcohol for women, eight for men) causes dehydration and thickens the blood, making it more prone to form clots. Over time, heavy drinking can also raise your blood pressure, and this in turn is also likely to cause strokes.
4. Diabetes - Heavy drinkers are usually overweight. As with most overweight people, they are highly prone to diabetes. The good news is that diabetes is manageable. The bad news? It isn't always easy to manage diabetes. Diabetics need to take medication or inject insulin daily. They also have to be put on a restricted diet. Sometimes, blood glucose levels are difficult to stabilize in spite of the insulin and diet.
5. Pancreatitis - Do you know that in the UK alone, roughly 500 people die every year due to pancreatitis that's alcohol-related? Left untreated, this painful condition can easily lead to malnutrition or even worse, diabetes.
Of course, these long term effects of alcohol are only some of the less savory facts about alcohol. There are many other long term effects of alcohol, none of which are pleasant.
Do not wait until you're sick to start trying to control your drinking. If you have a drinking problem, do not hesitate to do something about it. Get alcohol addiction rehab treatment if you need it. Get a family member to help you. The point is to do something about your problem before it does something to you.