Drinking Dangers

For the casual drinker, it can be comforting to hear that a few glasses of wine each week can have health benefits. But promoting alcohol as “healthy” may be a bit of a stretch, especially for those who consume several drinks a day. Those who indulge at that level could be doing irreparable damage to their bodies. In addition to the personal issues that go along with any addiction, alcohol use (or in this case “misuse”) can lead to a host of health problems.

For starters, it can affect your sex life, and no one wants that. Stats show that alcohol abuse is the leading cause of impotence and other sexual dysfunctions. Erectile dysfunction and other issues are a result of the depressant effect of alcohol on the nervous system. Alcohol also interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain and nervous system. Chronic abuse damages brain cells and the nervous system, resulting in psychological problems, rapid pulse, trembling, anxiety and the loss of intellectual ability.

We hear a lot about rising diabetes rates these days, but it’s rare to hear it linked to alcohol abuse. There is a direct connection, though. Studies show that too much alcohol can cause chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), impairing that organ’s ability to secrete insulin, ultimately leading to diabetes. For those already dealing with diabetes, alcohol is definitely taboo because liver damage can cause glucose levels to become unsteady, putting you at risk for hypoglycemia. Even if you don’t have diabetes, pancreatitis is still a problem, with eight out of 10 cases caused by heavy drinking. This is bad because the alcohol disrupts the digestive process by inflaming the pancreas and damaging its cells, usually resulting in severe pain.

Other organ issues include cirrhosis of the liver. While many people consume alcohol without ever suffering any liver damage, heavy drinking over a period of several years can severely injure your liver – sometimes irreparably. And what constitutes “heavy drinking” may be less than what you’d think. For women, it’s consuming two to three drinks per day or three to four drinks per day for men. That’s not just the hard stuff, either. Beer and wine count too.

If your alcohol consumption is becoming a problem, call The Oaks at La Paloma at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about addiction, treatment, financing or insurance.

Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Oaks. For more specific information on programs at The Oaks, contact us today.