Some studies have found that even light or moderate drinking can lead to some deterioration of the hippocampus. Along with the hormone changes that alcohol triggers, that can keep your body from building new bone. Your bones get thinner and more fragile, a condition called osteoporosis. Alcohol also limits blood flow to your muscles and gets in the way of the proteins that build them up. By not drinking too much, you can reduce the risk of these short- and long-term health risks. For example, any amount of drinking increases the risk of breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Certain factors may increase your chances of experiencing alcohol use disorder. As a result, they eventually need to drink more to notice the same effects they once did. That’s because drinking during pregnancy doesn’t just affect your health. Excessive drinking may affect your menstrual cycle and potentially increase your risk for infertility.

Impact on Hormones

Long-term alcohol use can affect bone density, leading to thinner bones and increasing your risk of fractures if you fall. These effects might not last very long, but that doesn’t make them insignificant. Impulsiveness, loss of coordination, and changes in mood can affect your judgment and behavior and contribute to more far-reaching effects, including accidents, injuries, and decisions you later regret. Alcohol can cause both short-term effects, such as lowered inhibitions, and long-term effects, including a weakened immune system.

  • People with a parent, grandparent, or other close relative with alcoholism have a higher risk for becoming dependent on alcohol.
  • As the body adapts to the presence of the drug, dependency and addiction can result.
  • Alcohol dependence is a condition characterized by a strong and compulsive need to drink alcohol to the point that it interferes with everyday life or leads to health problems.
  • The consequences of underage drinking can affect everyone—regardless of age or drinking status.
  • That’s why hard drinking can lead to diarrhea, which can turn into a long-term problem.
  • A typical 25-ounce (750 ml) bottle of table wine holds about 5 „standard” drinks, each containing about 5 ounces.

Yet the mass appeal of alcohol often hides its serious consequences, which can prove fatal more often than you might expect. As the term “intoxication” suggests, alcohol does in fact have a toxic effect on the body. Ongoing heavy drinking can lead to an extraordinary number of adverse health outcomes, such as chronic illnesses affecting several organ systems, mental health conditions, and severe alcohol poisoning. Over recent months, increased attention has been devoted to disease burdens attributable to alcohol use worldwide. As more and more studies are conducted to illuminate the harmful effects of alcohol on different body systems, the mounting evidence generated requires documentation and publication.

Effects of Alcohol on Your Body

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. Be sure to ask your healthcare professional about what’s right for your health and safety. When you stop drinking, you might notice a range of physical, emotional, or mental health symptoms that ease as soon as you have a drink.

AUD can cause lasting changes in the brain that make patients vulnerable to relapse. The good news is that no matter how severe the problem may seem, most people with AUD can benefit from treatment with behavioral consequences of alcohol therapies, medications, or both. These individuals tend to drink more, socialize with people who drink a lot, and develop a tolerance to alcohol (i.e., it takes more and more alcohol to feel or act intoxicated).

What Parts of the Body Does Alcohol Affect?

This genetic choreography suggests that while your genes affect how your brain develops, which genes are turned on or off when you are learning new things is dynamic and adapts to suit your daily needs. The “One Week No Booze Method” recently went viral on TikTok and participants are challenged to stop drinking for one week each month. This method adds up to three months a year without alcohol, it could be an option for people who want to continue taking manageable breaks from alcohol beyond Dry January. If you’re a heavy drinker, you might notice symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as soon as eight hours after going sober. Treatment often includes an integrated approach to simultaneously address both alcohol use disorder and depression. ” self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

consequences of alcohol

After drinking 8 to 9 units of alcohol, your reaction times will be much slower, your speech will begin to slur and your vision will begin to lose focus. Alcohol is a powerful chemical that can have a wide range of adverse effects on almost every part of your body, including your brain, bones and heart. If you’re pregnant or think you could become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum. By Buddy T

Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism.