Alcohol’s Effects on the Body National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

In liver diseases linked with alcohol, liver cirrhosis is a major concern. Statistics show that liver cirrhosis is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide and this in itself indicates the severity of the same [16]. The changing lifestyle and also many people turning to prolonged alcohol intake for many years are contributing to the increased number of liver cirrhosis patients in the modern world. In liver cirrhosis patients, there occurs an increased severity of fibrosis due to the loss of parenchyma and fibrous scar proliferation [17]. Alcohol intake has a prominently bigger impact on the mortality of liver cirrhosis when compared with the morbidity [19]. A systemic review and meta-analysis suggests that women might be at a higher risk as far as developing liver cirrhosis is concerned even with little consumption of alcohol, as compared to men [20].

If enough acid and alcohol build up, you get nauseated and you may throw up. It can also lead to irritation of the lining of the stomach, called gastritis. Regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week risks damaging your health. Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse.

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The bottom line is that alcohol is potentially addictive, can cause intoxication, and contributes to health problems and preventable deaths. If you already drink at low levels and continue to drink, risks for these issues appear to be low. Alcohol use can factor into mental health symptoms that closely resemble those of other mental health conditions. The pancreas helps regulate how your body uses insulin and responds to glucose.

What Is Alcohol and What Does It Do to the Human Body? – HowStuffWorks

What Is Alcohol and What Does It Do to the Human Body?.

Posted: Mon, 21 Aug 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Ulcers can cause dangerous internal bleeding, which can sometimes be fatal without prompt diagnosis and treatment.

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Dr. Sengupta shares some of the not-so-obvious effects that alcohol has on your body. For more information about alcohol’s effects on the body, please visit the Interactive Body feature on NIAAA’s College Drinking Prevention website. Here’s a breakdown of alcohol’s effects on your internal organs and body processes. Dehydration-related effects, like nausea, headache, and dizziness, might not appear for a few hours, and they can also depend on what you drink, how much you drink, and if you also drink water. Some of these effects, like a relaxed mood or lowered inhibitions, might show up quickly after just one drink. Others, like loss of consciousness or slurred speech, may develop after a few drinks.

effects of alcohol on the body

Fatty liver gradually develops in 90% of those who drink more than a 1/2 ounce (15 ml) of alcohol per day (4, 5). The main psychoactive ingredient in alcoholic beverages is ethanol. While there is no one-size-fits-all method for recovering from AUD, there are lots of effective treatment options. Some examples include behavioral treatments, support groups, and FDA-approved medications.


Each of those consequences can cause turmoil that can negatively affect your long-term emotional health. With continued alcohol use, steatotic liver disease can lead to liver fibrosis. Eventually, you can develop permanent and irreversible effects of alcohol on the body scarring in your liver, which is called cirrhosis. Drinking moderately if you’re otherwise healthy may be a risk you’re willing to take. But heavy drinking carries a much higher risk even for those without other health concerns.

  • Past guidance around alcohol use generally suggests a daily drink poses little risk of negative health effects — and might even offer a few health benefits.
  • Alcohol is a legal recreational substance for adults and one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States.
  • Tolerance and dependence can both happen as symptoms of alcohol use disorder, a mental health condition previously referred to as alcoholism, that happens when your body becomes dependent on alcohol.
  • Things like trouble concentration, slow reflexes and sensitivity to bright lights and loud sounds are standard signs of a hangover, and evidence of alcohol’s effects on your brain.
  • Liver diseases caused by alcohol consumption are collectively known as alcoholic liver diseases.