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Illnesses caused by excessive alcohol consumption

Illnesses caused by excessive alcohol consumption


A legal drug, and easily accessible to many, alcohol can be the enemy of a balanced life. Being liable to quickly become a dependency due to excessive and continuous consumption, alcohol can have devastating effects on a person.

It is important to note that the main consequences of alcohol consumption manifest themselves in the individual’s personal life in different ways and with different contours. In addition to the consequences on family relationships, excessive alcohol consumption can only be the beginning for the development of mental disorders, but also physical diseases.

Thus, in this article, VillaRamadas will highlight the dangers of alcohol dependence in terms of physical/mental health. Get to know the main diseases caused by excessive alcohol consumption – not all of them appear in a certain individual, but the probability of one is high.

And don’t forget that when you understand this topic better, you will be more prepared to take preventive actions, such as encouraging professional help.

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The consequences of excessive alcohol consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption is known to be prone to liver damage. But this is not the only consequence! In addition to liver diseases, alcohol dependence is a trigger of several types of disease, including some types of cancer.

Alcohol Consumption
© Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels

Alcohol can increase the risk of developing several types of cancer: mouth, esophagus, pancreas, even the intestine and breast.

In the field of diseases caused by alcohol, VillaRamadas divides the topic into five central groups, which encompass various types of pathologies.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

The human body is capable of developing defenses against organisms harmful to the system, but when excess is the order of the day, the organism itself begins to fail. When we talk about excessive alcohol consumption, the most common physical diseases are gastrointestinal, including those linked to the liver, the organ responsible for “cleaning” our body.

Excessive consumption of alcohol, combined with poor nutrition, once drinking becomes the 'food' of choice, creates a chain of negative body reactions © Austin Loveing/Unsplash

When we talk about excessive alcohol consumption, the most common physical diseases are gastrointestinal, including those linked to the liver, the organ responsible for “cleaning” our body. The most common diseases in this area are:

  • Ulcers;
  • Esophageal varices;
  • Gastritis;
  • Hepatic steatosis (fat in the liver);
  • Alcoholic hepatitis (degeneration of the liver and considered pre-cirrhosis);
  • Pancreatitis;
  • Cirrhosis (considered one of the worst consequences of alcoholism).

Neuromuscular Diseases

An exaggerated consumption of alcohol at a given moment has consequences at the psychological and physical level, so continuous consumption is no different. The constant presence of alcohol in the system will affect the brain and the way it commands the body. In this case, when the impact begins to be neurological, in motor terms it is reflected in:

  • Cramps;
  • Loss of muscle strength;
  • Numbness;
  • Lack of coordination.
Alcohol Consequences
© Ben Hershey/Unsplash

Cardiovascular diseases

Putting the body on high alert due to excessive consumption of a harmful substance, the individual enters a state of greater risk of cardiovascular diseases. With the onset of failure of some organs, such as the liver, the body feels it and begins to not cope with changes in blood, vitamins and cholesterol or fat. Among these problems the most common are:

  • Hypertension;
  • Arrhythmias;
  • Infarction;
  • Thrombosis.

Sexual Diseases

Although they are not the most mentioned when talking about the consequences of alcohol, sexual diseases are also a reality. In these cases, these are a consequence of nerve damage. With some differences between men and women, alcohol dependence can cause:

  • Decreased libido;
  • Premature ejaculation;
  • Erectile dysfunction;
  • Irregular menstrual period;
  • Infertility.

Mental Disorders

Due to the depressant effect on the central nervous system, the continuous and excessive consumption of alcohol affects the chemical reactions of the brain. Thus, the propensity that exists for the development of mental disorders turns out to be high.

Dependency effects
© Kat Smith/Pexels

However, it is important to emphasize that in some cases alcohol dependence arises on the basis of some type of mental disorder. For example, the individual uses some drug to forget about a certain situation.

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to:

  • Depression – weight change, sleep disturbance, fatigue, loss of energy, negative thoughts, among other symptoms;
  • Dementia – the addict’s memory can be affected by the action of alcohol in the body, but in many cases it is also due to a lack of vitamin B1. Although you can start a process of recovering from addiction without consumption, after treatment, dementia can continue to get worse and last for time – emerging the need for medical intervention and neuropsychological rehabilitation;
  • Psychosis – Hallucinations and delusional ideas may arise, without logic, derived from excessive alcohol consumption. This type of disturbance differs from case to case.

Although according to World Health Organization, no pattern of alcohol consumption is completely safe, to be consumed, it should be done in a moderate way. Se sentir que apresenta signs that may indicate that you are developing a dependency, or if you already detect symptoms in your life or that of someone close to you, ask for help.

At VillaRamadas we have a multidisciplinary team specialized in the treatment of alcohol dependence. Talk to us and learn more about our intervention model and how we can help you return to a more balanced life.


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