Excessive consumption of alcohol, whether it happened only once or several times over a period of time, can have significant effects of your body. Long term effects of alcohol on the body include serious health issues and in some cases these issues can lead to death.
Pregnant women who drink alcohol in excess can cause their children to be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can have lifelong mental inadequacies and physical impairments and malformations. It is undetermined how much alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy, but studies have shown that alcohol in moderation may be safe. The safest choice is to choose not to drink alcohol while you are pregnant.
Excessive alcohol consumption like many other drugs has a large impact on the liver. The most common and most recognized effect of alcohol on the liver is Cirrhosis which is the destruction and scarring of the liver. Cirrhosis is permanent and over time can result in liver failure and death. People who drink in excess can also develop alcoholic hepatitis. Chronic and excessive alcohol use may cause the kidneys to enlarge which increases the chances of kidney failure.
Alcohol hinders brain function and can influence the way the brain processes information and controls the body. Alcohol can interrupt brain signals which cause changes in mood and the way we behave. Alcohol can cause the brain to mismanage motor control which lends to impaired movements and this is why people stumble and fall when drunk. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, dementia and memory issues are all associated with the effects of alcohol on the body.
Heavy alcohol users can develop high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, damage to the heart muscle, and are at a high risk for heart disease and stroke. At the same time, research has shown that moderate alcohol use may prevent coronary artery heart disease. Moderate consumption is considered to be no more than one drink for healthy women who are not pregnant and two drinks for healthy men, each day. Keep in mind that while moderate consumption is considered to be safe, chronic alcohol consumption can be dangerous and have a significant impact on your health.
Tragically and too often the news reports of the death of a young person who died after drinking too much at a slumber party or college party or after a high school event. These are the unfortunate serious long term effects that alcohol can have on the body. In most of those cases the individual drank until they passed out and while they were sleeping they either vomit and die from asphyxiation, or simply never wake up and die from alcohol poisoning. Rapid and heavy consumption at one event can be more devastating than drinking moderately over many years.