Unfortunately, alcohol use disorder is a serious medical and social problem in the United States. In 2018, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health(NSDUH) concluded that more than 14% of the nation’s entire adult population were afflicted with this disease. Perhaps even more frightening was that northward of 400,000 youths age 17 and under suffered from alcohol dependence as well.
Over time, chronic alcohol abuse can exert a significantly adverse impact upon the body. Ultimately, such abuse can precipitate comorbidities, which are serious illnesses that develop as a direct or indirect result of alcohol dependence. Music City Interventionists, drug and alcohol dependency counselors serving the residents of Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding regions invites you to read the following short blog discussing the potential comorbidities that might occur in conjunction with alcoholism.
Alcohol is a powerful drug that can be quite harmful to the body when used in excess. When you consume this substance over a long-standing period, serious, potentially life-threatening associated alcoholism comorbidities might emerge. Major bodily systems that could be afflicted include:
High Blood Pressure
Numerous research studies conducted have concluded that repeated alcohol usage can place a significant strain on the heart and blood vessels. Said occurrence might precipitate raised blood pressure readings. Compounding the problem is that alcohol-dependent individuals typically do not consume a healthy diet and fail to receive adequate amounts of exercise.
The heart muscle of those stricken with alcohol dependence often weakens, which causes said organ to not pump blood effectively. As said condition progresses, impacted persons experience symptoms of heart failure such as extreme fatigue, breathing difficulties and swollen extremities.
Elevated Cholesterol Levels
Chronic alcohol abuse has been linked to increased blood concentrations of cholesterol. This substance can block arteries, ultimately leading to potentially fatal conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
Alcohol dependency possesses a notorious reputation for precipitating significant, potentially irreversible liver damage. The liver has many important bodily functions. However, amongst its most important actions is the processing of systemic waste. Ergo, as the organ’s efficacy wanes, the body accumulates greater quantities of toxins. Eventually, liver damage could progress to cirrhosis, which is typically irreversible and, unless the afflicted subject receives a transplant, invariably fatal.
Stomach And Intestinal Lining Damage
The irritating effects of alcohol can precipitate serious damage to the lining of the digestive system organs like the stomach and intestines. This can eventually lead to permanent conditions like ulcers that might cause significant substantial bleeding or obstruct digestive flow.
Alcohol abuse is known to elicit inflammation in the pancreas known as pancreatitis. This small organ is responsible for producing and secreting a vital metabolic hormone called insulin. Abnormal insulin balances can precipitate diabetes and other potentially serious chronic disorders.
Nervous System Problems
Alcohol dependency can elicit premature brain cell death. Destruction of brain cells could have far-reaching consequences impacting the stricken individual’s ability to speak, execute basic motor functions or execute optimal cognitive functions like remembering or concentrating. Moreover, excessive alcohol intake has been linked to a variety of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Scientific researchers opine that alcoholism is often a significant contributing factor to various malignancies. The corrosive effects of alcohol are thought to damage cells and, in some instances, is even thought to alter genetic makeup of said systemic structures. In particular, alcohol dependency has been linked to higher incidence of stomach, esophageal, head and neck and oral cancers.
Reaching Out To Us
With this information in mind, if you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism we urge you to seek help. Music City Interventions offer a unique approach to helping those affected by addiction overcome their struggles. Though we are located in Nashville, we serve people from all across the United States. For more information about our programs and services, please contact us.