Effects of abuse of alcoholic beverages

The negative effects of alcohol abuse have been known for centuries. Alcohol causes serious disorders in the proper functioning of key internal organs, including the nervous system.

Alcohol causes dehydration because it inhibits the production of the antidiuretic hormone of the pituitary gland. This hormone co-operates with the kidneys that filter the blood, separating water from toxins, if necessary. When alcohol causes a hormonal disorder, the kidneys stop absorbing enough water – which leads to frequent urination and – as a result, dehydration. Toxic by-products of the alcohol processed by the body are the cause of the next day's painful symptoms, commonly known as "a hangover." The dehydration mechanism is only part of the problem. The liver produces aldehyde when it processes the alcohol. Acetaldehyde is very toxic and also is responsible for feeling of "hangover". Unfortunately, no better cure for hangover has been invented so far than to wait and drink a large amount of non-alcoholic beverages. Available in shops or pharmacies electrolyte drinks will help relieve painful symptoms. A person addicted to alcohol also has cognitive impairment, which is dominated by illusionary perception and denial. An alcoholic has a much more difficult reception of signals about how destructive the alcohol consumption is. His mind does not recognize lies and truth. His perception and the ability to remember events as they occur disappear. The alcoholic has no shame, morality or self-criticism. Also, the limited ability to identify personal emotional states becomes an important issues for all alcoholics. Emotions becomes unvarying, which results in their easy transformation into a desire to drink alcohol.

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The effects of alcohol abuse – physical and mental health issues

The desire to drink alcohol goes hand in hand with pleasant experiences when drinking it, which help reduce negative emotions. Alcohol addiction destroys the ability to self-control and make the right decisions. The sense of own identity, values, competence and sense of existence are disturbed, as well as the feeling of having influence on one's own actions. Mental issues related to alcohol consumption play a key role in the formation of addiction. Addicts think that alcohol can give them superhuman strength, reduce emotional tension, improve well-being and increase self-confidence. Alcohol addiction syndrome results in neurological and psychological complications, which include:

  • peripheral nerve damage,
  • Korsakov's psychosis,
  • alcoholic epilepsy
  • alcohol dementia
  • alcohol insanity etc.
  • delirium tremens,
  • alcohol hallucinosis,
  • alcohol encephalopathy
  • Alcoholic cerebellar degeneration.

Alcohol damages the liver, and is the factor attributing to development of many cancers – including pancreatic cancer, as well as leading to chronic airway obstruction and mucosal inflammation. Alcoholics suffer from numerous dermatoses, which are manifested by characteristic skin discoloration or changes in skin vessels. They also suffer from chronic conjunctivitis. Alcoholics have mental illnesses associated with brain damage due to prolonged consumption of alcoholic beverages. These include, among others: Wernicke encephalopathy, which develops due to a lack of vitamin B1 (thiamine). Symptoms of this disease are disturbances in the perception of space and time, double vision, involuntary eye movements, apathy, irritability, poor coordination, numbness in the feet, or temporary or long-term memory loss. The method to get rid of alcohol addiction is to use the appropriate therapy.

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