Alcoholism can result in mental and social problems but more concerning are the disease risks that can occur from alcoholism. There is a number of short term and long term conditions that can develop from alcohol abuse include heart disease, an increased risk of cancer, liver disease, disease of the reproductive system and conditions that affect the blood sugar levels. These are just a few of the possible diseases that can occur from alcohol abuse and there are many more, the sad thing is that these can all be prevented if alcohol consumption is reduced, or better still, stopped completely.
When alcohol is abused the heart can be affected in a number of ways. Alcohol can cause an inflammation of the heart, known as cardiomyopathy, and prevents the heart from working the way it should. Alcohol can also cause an irregular heart beat known as catrial fibrillation and even though a person may otherwise be healthy, this can occur and can be very serious. Blood pressure or hypertension is also very common in people who abuse alcohol.
Alcohol abusers are also at a much higher risk of developing cancer, particularly liver cancer. Other types of cancer that are common in relation to alcohol are digestive cancers and these can begin in the mouth, tongue, lips and can also occur in the oesophagus, colon and rectum. Breast cancer is also at a higher risk in female alcoholics.
Because the liver is the organ that flushes out toxins from the body, when alcohol is consumed in great quantities the liver struggles to keep up and as a result liver disease is very common in alcoholics. There is a condition called steatosis or fatty liver than can occur and this can develop into the more serious conditions called steatohepatitis which is a serious inflammation of the liver. Scarring of the liver can also occur which is known as cirrhosis and can result in a poor functioning liver. These liver conditions can lead to kidney failure and also cancer of the liver, among other problems.
Infertility problems can also occur in alcoholics and these can occur in both females and males. Males can develop a shrinking of the testicles called testicular atrophy and another condition known as gynecomastia where the mammary glands become abnormally large. Females need to be concerned about passing their alcoholism onto their unborn child which can result in the baby having fetal alcohol syndrome.
Another condition that can be caused by alcoholism is Osteopenia which is a low bone density and can lead to osteoporosis.
These are just some of the many health issues that can be caused by alcohol abuse. The cost of the enjoyment of alcohol can be quite high if you develop some of these serious conditions. Although alcohol in small amounts is fine, overdoing it can have disastrous results, so think twice about whether to have that second or third drink each time.