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Alcohol - A List of Diseases Associated With Alcoholism

Updated on December 09, 2008
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/adrian_wallett/382878458/

Alcohol – should you drink it for your heart health?

Maybe, there is valid evidence that alcohol offers some cardiovascular protective effects when consumed in moderation - Moderate drinkers may well live a little longer and a little better from a glass of wine or two most nights.

But leaving moderation behind, few drugs devastate as systematically as alcohol when abused in large doses and over a long period of time. Here is a partial list of diseases and other medical conditions that are associated with the abuse of alcohol. These list items are taken from a document produced by SAMHSA for medical professionals.*

Alcohol…Does a Body Good?

Alcohol's effects on different systems or areas of the body

Cancer

Increased rates of tongue, lip, larynx, stomach, colon, breast, liver, bile duct and esophagus cancers.

The Reproductive System

Impotence, sexual dysfunction, infertility, gynecomastia, testicular atrophy, osteophenia

The Endocrine System

Diabetes, ketoacidosis, gout

The Cardiovascular System

High blood pressure, heart disease, artery disease, sudden heart failure, heart attack

The Liver

Fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis

The Blood

Anemia(s), marrow toxicity, an iron or folate deficiency, leucopenia

Increased Risks of Infection

Hep C, HIV, tuberculosis, meningitis, STD's, pneumonia

Gastrointestinal

Pancreatitis, gastritis, diarrhea (chronic) esophagatitis, colitis, acid reflux, parotid enlargement

The Brain

Seizure, Korsakof's syndrome, Wernicke's Syndrome, dementia, brain shrinkage, stroke, subdural hematoma, hemorrhage, neuropathy

Nutrition

Malnutrition from vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Only a Partial List

This is a very partial list (I left out any conditions or disorders that I had never heard of, which was more than half of all listed) but I think that even this partial list illustrates the damage that chronic alcohol abuse does.

So, a drink or two a day may do your heart good, but more than a few drinks a day greatly increases your risks of disease and death. You delude yourself if you accredit your heavy drinking to health preservation.

Happy holidays

(Sorry, I know this sounds a bit preachy at the end there…but I sort of mourn for my own lost health and function – lost to only a decade or so of hard drinking- and I wouldn't wish it on anyone else.)

*(Read the full SAMHSA document here, Figure 3-11)

P.S. – The holidays are a notorious period of excess, including excessive drinking. They are also a time of family togetherness, and a time during which you might come to wonder about the health and habits of a loved on in your family. If you suspect that someone you care about is suffering a lessening of health and well-being due to alcohol abuse, you would do them a great service to get educated about the problem and the possible solutions, and then to do something about it.

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    • Amy M profile image

      Amy M 7 years ago from Manzano Mountains

      I work in a nursing home and I have wished for a long time that I could bring teens in to show them 1st hand what the longterm effects of drugs and alcohol are. We get so many residents with alcohol related dementia, Parkinson's, and at such a young age. Someone 63 looks like they are 75. It is really sad. I wish I could get this message across to them.

    • profile image

      Nwabuisi, kins 7 years ago

      i am living in a soecity where drinking habit is the order of the day, i get irratated each day seeing bottles of acohol on the street, both the youngs and the old complete with this drinking habit, too bad.

      i want to do some work on health dangers of acoholism.

    • Rezmelts Review profile image

      Rezmelts Review 7 years ago

      Alchohol is harmful for your health, that is right. No excuses. Full stop.I may admit it is OK to drink a glass of wine occasionally, but certainly not everyday.

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      Thanks RA. I'm going to link this to my hub on relapse prevention: holiday edition. Holidays trigger a lot of strong feelings of loss and pain from family conflict for a lot of people. I've seen people with "wet brain" and in the troes of withdrawal - not pretty pictures.

    • profile image

      Clayton 6 years ago

      It looks like there are tons of diseases associated with alcoholism. That's why people should get rid of it.

    • profile image

      Stanley Arinze 6 years ago

      Alcohol is a killer,flee 4rm it!

    • profile image

      GALANDINA 5 years ago

      ALL OF YOU LITTLE KIDS NEED A LIFE!!!

    • profile image

      Jonsey 5 years ago

      Sure galandina you need a life dude!

    • profile image

      GALANDINA 5 years ago

      SHITT UP!

    • profile image

      Jonsey 5 years ago

      apologize at once!!

    • profile image

      GALANDINA 5 years ago

      NO!

    • profile image

      Gigi 5 years ago

      Stop Girls,this page talkes about alcohol,this is dangerous and you cant play with this horrible situation GALANDINA

    • profile image

      Jonsey 5 years ago

      thanks gigi

    • profile image

      GALANDINA 5 years ago

      UR ALCHOLIC GIGI!!!1!!!

    • profile image

      Gigi 5 years ago

      no,sorry but i enter hear for information,for my science fair proyect

    • profile image

      GALANDINA 5 years ago

      YOUR SCIENCE WHAT?

    • profile image

      Gigi  5 years ago

      IM IN THE SCHOOL

    • profile image

      Jonsey 5 years ago

      :O

    • profile image

      no one 5 years ago

      ur retards

    • profile image

      forget it 5 years ago

      HaHaHaHa

    • profile image

      Ada 5 years ago

      Alcohol is a chronic killer and also a slow poison ,as you go into dis new year,ask 4 d Grace Of God to desist from it

    • profile image

      tomoyo 5 years ago

      u can take me instead of taking alcohol ..!!

    • profile image

      GOD 4 years ago

      You all are going to hell

    • profile image

      brooke 4 years ago

      wow this is dumb lmao

    • profile image

      john 4 years ago

      how is this dumb ?

    • profile image

      brooke 4 years ago

      i cant see your comment !

    • profile image

      brooke 4 years ago

      peolpes posts are dumb just like ours lol haha im bored ask if we could have free time

    • profile image

      tim 4 years ago

      brooke what are u doing

    • profile image

      john 4 years ago

      hey brook!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i can see you lol

    • profile image

      tim 4 years ago

      i love beer

    • profile image

      john 4 years ago

      i love boys, boys, boys, boys!!!!!!

    • profile image

      brook 4 years ago

      i love p-u-s-s-y

    • profile image

      tim 4 years ago

      i love two brown aka chastity

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