Long-Term Effects of Alcohol

Drinking too much over time can cause chronic physical and mental health problems. Heavy drinking can cause or contribute to liver damage, heart disease, brain damage and some types of cancer.

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Long-term effects of excessive drinking can include:

Reduced grey matter and white matter in the brain.

Memory loss.

Loss of attention span.

Learning difficulties.

Alcoholic hepatitis.

Liver fibrosis.

Steatosis (ie, fatty liver).

Throat, mouth, larynx, breast, liver, colorectal or oesophageal cancer.

High blood pressure


Irregular heartbeat

Alcohol poisoning

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Chronic heavy drinking is associated with many serious health problems. Here are a few ways alcohol can impact the body:

Liver: A common serious consequences of long-term alcohol abuse is liver disease. Over a period of time of alcohol abuse, the liver can develop inflammation and scarring. Medical issues such as fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis can occur. Liver cancer is also a higher risk.

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Digestion: Alcohol can contribute to breaking downs the stomach lining and raise the amount of stomach acid, which can cause ulcers. Alcohol can also change the breakdown of nutrition, absorption of nutrients and its storage, leading to malnutrition. Sever thiamine deficiency is often experienced and can cause serious neurological problems, such as Korsakoff Syndrome. What is Korsakoff Syndrome? It is a chronic memory disorder brought on by serious thiamine deficiency. For more information on What is Korsakoff Syndrome, contact a site like ARBDCare.

Pancreas: Alcohol forces the pancreas to produce harmful substances, which can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can destroy digestion.

The central nervous system: A deficiency in thiamine or vitamin B1, which is often kinked to heavy chronic drinking can result in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. The symptoms may include a coordination problem, difficulty learning and memory problems. Liver disease can also impact the brain, causing symptoms such as changes in sleep, mood changes, depression, anxiety, poor concentration, and a lack of coordination. Too much alcohol can also inhibit the growth of new brain cells.

Cardiovascular Health: Drinking alcohol has complex effects on cardiovascular health. In 2016, alcohol-related CV disease caused about 593,000 deaths globally. Consuming too much alcohol is associated with high blood pressure, heartbeat problems, blood flow problems, clots, stroke and heart attack. Excessive alcohol use, either directly or through malnutrition, can also cause anaemia.

Bones: Alcohol abuse can lead to an imbalance of calcium in the body, which is an essential nutrient for bone health. Drinking too much alcohol can also impact Vitamin D production which is essential for calcium absorption. A deficiency in calcium can raise the danger of osteoporosis, which in turn increases the risk of fractures leading to possible serious illness and disability.