Nearly everyone understands the dangers of drinking and the possibility of developing alcohol related diseases. Run a search online for the benefits of drinking and you find countless articles proclaiming the health benefits of a glass of wine per day. This is great for people capable of controlling their drinking. If you don’t drink more than that single glass of wine you’re fine.
There are still plenty of people who cannot remain within those guidelines. Alarming rates of people with alcohol dependence issues and still more who binge drink regularly prove this. More than 1 in 4 adults in the United States binge drank at least once in the last month. 15 million drink to the point of qualifying for an Alcohol Use Disorder diagnosis.
If you’re in this section of the population, your drinking puts your health at risk. Alcohol is the direct cause of a total of 25 chronic diseases and other conditions. The development of many other conditions and diseases include alcohol consumption as a factor.
Three factors play a role in the development of alcohol related diseases:
- The amount of alcohol you drink
- How often you drink
- The quality of the alcohol you consume
Are you curious about the dangerous health risks that come with excessive alcohol use? How does regular heavy drinking impact your body? Continue reading to find a list of 10 alcohol related diseases and what they mean for you in the long-run.
10 Examples of Alcohol Related Diseases
1. Alcohol Use Disorder
Many still debate whether Alcohol Use Disorder (or AUD for short) qualifies as a disease. Only those who have it, or those who know someone with it, understand the truly baffling way someone with an AUD can’t stop drinking. There is no one cause of Alcohol Use Disorder but this serious condition is often fatal if you don’t address it.
2. Mental and behavioral health disorders
Alcohol has a direct effect on your brain. Excessive drinking leads to essentially rewiring your brain to handle the amount of alcohol you consume. You risk developing a behavioral or mental health disorder if you don’t cut down on or quit using alcohol. People who already have a disorder make their condition worse when they drink heavily.
3. Gastrointestinal conditions
Alcohol destroys many different parts of your body, especially your digestive system. It’s one of the first parts to take the chemical beating from alcohol. Heavy drinking may cause a few different gastrointestinal conditions including:
- Acid reflux
- Stomach ulcers
- Gastritis (stomach lining inflammation)
4. Immune system disorders
Heavy drinking repeatedly weakens and breaks down your body’s immune system. A weakened immune system alone isn’t one of the types of alcohol-related diseases. However, it does leave you more vulnerable to developing various diseases and conditions as a result.
5. Alcoholic fatty liver
Your liver is responsible for processing most of the alcohol you consume. This eventually leads to a few different liver diseases. Alcoholic fatty liver is the first stage of liver disease. When you drink too much for your liver to process, it results in a buildup of fat on the organ. You can reverse the condition if you make significant changes in your alcohol consumption, diet, and physical activity levels.
6. Alcoholic hepatitis
Alcoholic heptatitis is the next level of alcohol related diseases in your liver. Hepatitis refers to the inflammation of your liver cells. This affects your body’s ability to carry out its regular processes, including blood detoxification, hormone production, and vitamin storage.
7. Cirrhosis of the liver
Cirrhosis of the liver is a condition that describes when your liver develops scars from healing. The liver regularly heals itself but it scars when you frequently damage it. As scar tissue builds up, it becomes more and more difficult for your body to carry out its regular functions. Medical treatment can manage cirrhosis but it cannot heal tissue that is already scarred.
The pancreas is another organ responsible for processing alcohol in your body. Pancreatitis is a condition that refers to the painful inflammation of the cells in your pancreas. If you don’t do anything to reverse the condition, it eventually leads to a permanent effect functioning. 70 percent of pancreatitis cases result from excessive alcohol consumption.
9. Heart disease
Heart disease is one of the most serious types of alcohol related diseases. Alcohol affects your blood pressure and leads to constricted blood vessels. This has a direct impact on your heart function. Heart conditions that result from alcohol use include:
- High blood pressure
- Angina (tightness or pain in your chest)
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
Alcohol is notorious for causing multiple types of cancer, such as:
- Mouth cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Liver cancer
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
Everyone understands the seriousness of cancer and it’s one of the worst types of alcohol related diseases. If removing alcohol from your system significantly cuts down your risk of developing cancer, why would you continue drinking?
Quitting Drinking to Avoid Alcohol Related Diseases
You might find you cannot stop drinking even after being diagnosed with one or more alcohol related diseases. If you’re in this class of drinker, alcohol addiction treatment can help. Alcoholism, or Alcohol Use Disorder, is a serious problem that needs treatment of its own. If you don’t address your alcoholism, you have little chance of recovering from your health problems.
Hawaii Island Recovery is an addiction and alcoholism treatment facility that can help you quit. We offer well-rounded care through a combination of holistic approaches and classic treatment methods. Give us a call at 877-721-3556 to start your recovery journey in one of the most beautiful places in the world today.