Effects of alcohol

February 2017


Definition


The effects of alcohol taken chronically are devastating. The body not being able to digest alcohol, passes it directly into the bloodstream and reaches various organs such as the brain, liver, heart, muscles, etc? Excessive consumption of alcohol leads to regular and sometimes irreparable life-threatening diseases. The effects of alcohol are also at the origin of indirect deaths:
  • violence;
  • homicides;
  • accidents;
  • suicide.

The effects of alcohol on the body are immediate or delayed and related to the amount of alcohol ingested. They can affect the entire nervous system. Alcohol consumed regularly is addictive: it is a psychotropic drug.

Symptoms


A very moderate alcohol consumption generally results in a feeling of relaxation. Over time, a larger consumption is the cause of the intoxication, the main problems being:
  • a change in the balance;
  • difficulty speaking;
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • changes in behavior: euphoria, aggressiveness;
  • dehydration;
  • headaches;
  • alcoholic coma if the blood alcohol level reaches more than 2.5g/L


Chronic use leads to many repercussions including neurological (dependence...), cardiovascular (hypertension, heart disease), cancer (digestive tract, liver, throat ...), digestive (gastritis, pancreatitis ...), liver (alcoholic cirrhosis, cancer ...) and genital (impotence, sexual dysfunction ...) problems.

Diagnosis


Some clinical signs give reason to suspect alcohol dependence. Even if the consumption is not excessive, it will have an effect on the liver, which will increase in volume. Other suggestive signs include signs associated with the above-mentioned diseases. The timely diagnosis of alcohol intoxication is a blood test that determines that the level of alcohol in the blood has increased. For those who suffer from chronic alcoholism, the presence of complications is comprised of an in increase in GammaGlutamylTransferases as well as in the average volume of red blood cells (called macrocytosis). Some clinical signs that appear even when a subject is not using alcohol confirm a dependence on alcohol.

Treatment


The treatment of alcoholism consists firstly of a withdrawal of the substance. Weaning can be successful only if the person concerned is willing to stop drinking. Hospitalization in a specialized structure is often necessary. In parallel, a treatment based on sufficient hydration, vitamins and benzodiazepines is sometimes prescribed to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Finally, psychological and medical follow-ups are essential. The risk of relapse is strong, and multiple courses of alcohol detoxification may be necessary. Former consumer associations can help the patient in his healing.

Prevention


The effects of alcohol are devastating on both the health of the consumer and his community. Prevention campaigns are becoming more numerous, especially in regards to the protection of young people who are especially pulled to alcoholic beverages. It is best not to consume at all or to only drink alcohol occasionally and in small quantities.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on June 10, 2013 at 06:30 AM by Jeff.
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