Alcohol is a poison. While alcohol affects each person in their own individual way, from how much they drink to the actual physical, spiritual, mental and emotional effects, the overall activity of alcohol on the human body is fairly easy to predict.
Predictability and Free Reign!
Regardless of how much or how often you drink the actual effects that alcohol have on the body are consistently predictable. Alcohol is a depressant, and one of the main reasons why alcohol can cause such extensive damage to the body is because it can reach every single nook and cranny in your body!
After ingestion some of the alcohol is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream through tissues in your cheeks, gums and tongue. What doesn’t seep into tissues is quickly deposited into your stomach, where it is absorbed with the food and various acids in the region. Having a little food in there is important because the added mass will slow the absorption into the blood stream.
The Last Defense?
When all else fails and your body has had way too much alcohol what does it do? Regurgitate, of course. When you overdose on alcohol your body will try to extract the alcohol as quickly as possible in the most effective way – you throw up!
How Else Does Alcohol Affect You?
The Brain – As a depressant, alcohol slows down brain activity. Once inside the brain alcohol affects the neurons, causing judgment problems, coordination problems, and a host of other problems. Alcohol’s first effect as it reaches the outer brain is to distort your judgment and lower you inhibitions. As you consume more alcohol, and it reaches the cerebellum, your coordination and perception are affected, and you can have memory blackouts. As the alcohol reaches your mid-brain, reflexes diminish, you experience confusion, stupor, and may lapse into a coma. Once the alcohol finally reaches the medulla, or inner core of the brain, your heart rate drops and breathing ceases, resulting in death. Research suggests that continued alcohol use can cause depression. Alcohol robs brain cells of water and glucose, the brain’s food, contributing to a hangover the next day.
The Gastrointestinal Tract - The stomach is irritated by alcohol, causing increased stomach acid production, causing heartburn and eventually ulcers. Alcohol use is linked to cancer of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. The liver, due to its role in breaking down alcohol, suffers the most damage. Alcohol use leads to destruction of liver cells, fat accumulation around the liver, and cirrhosis which is a fatal condition.
The Reproductive System – Long-term use of alcohol can certainly lead to both a decrease in sexual desire and actual size of sex organs! Short-term use of alcohol in men and women causes increased sexual desire, but decreased performance.
The Fetus - Alcohol is toxic to unborn children causing permanent tissue and organ damage.
Physical Appearance – Prolonged consumption of alcohol is not good for the largest organ in the human body – the skin! Research has shown than one or two drinks a week promote aging. Alcohol use also has sown to dry out the hair as well as giving you cracked lips, aggravating acne, making your eyes look glassy, and giving your skin a puffy, broken vein look.
Increases Chances of Disease
Virtually any disease your body can become afflicted with, alcohol use increases the chances and/or severity of the illness. Why? Because alcohol depresses the body’s immune system making it easier to get sick. It also disrupts your sleep patterns, further depressing the immune system.
Alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, constipation, and strokes.