With nearly 18 million Americans addicted to alcohol, it is clear that this is the most common addictive substance. Alcohol is widely available, making it a socially accepted pastime that easily masks addiction. Unfortunately, alcohol is also responsible for countless health problems, many of which can not be remedied even after quitting the “sauce.” Included here are a few ways alcohol addiction damages your health, and reasons to seek treatment.

Immediate Effects

If you have ever been around someone who drank too much, you can see immediate evidence of the impairment caused by alcohol. The immediate effects include slurred speech, impaired physical movement, memory blackout (or poor recollection), and even hallucinations. All of these effects are just the initial damage alcohol can do, and this is all before you develop an addiction.

Reproductive Problems

Even the most footloose and fancyfree people like to imagine they will someday desire children. For those who have become alcoholics, their chances of successfully producing offspring have greatly decreased. Alcoholics see decreased sexual libido as well as less functional genitalia. In some individuals, heavy drinking can actually make you sexually dysfunctional.

In women, the risk of infertility is high when you abuse alcohol. You face lowered chances of conceiving a child or carrying it to term. If you drink alcohol while you are pregnant, you are putting your infant at risk for lifelong health problems and mental issues. In any case, your future happy family could be nonexistent due to your current overindulgence in cocktails!

Alcohol Addiction

Tummy Troubles

With an increase in acid reflux among younger generations, many are pinning the blame on alcohol. While alcohol and high-fat diets may go hand in hand, there are certainly many gastrointestinal troubles caused only by the fermented beverage.

Alcohol can damage the lining of your digestive tract, leading to acid reflux and diarrhea. You also could suffer from chronic bloating, gas and painful ulcers following consistent overindulgence. Your body may also become unable to properly process vitamins and nutrients from the food you eat, nullifying the “healthy lifestyle” you may pursue during the day.

Upset Organs

Another area of your interior that could be damaged is your pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for creating digestive enzymes and regulating insulin and glucose. Chronic pancreatitis, in which the pancreas is inflamed and “self-destructs,” is often caused by excessive alcohol abuse.

Everyone knows the liver is an incredibly important organ, responsible for breaking down harmful and toxic substances in your body. The liver has to work overtime to pull alcohol from your system and lead to cirrhosis, or scarring, of the liver. Liver disease is a life-threatening condition and most often caused by excessive drinking.

When you cause both your liver and pancreas to function improperly, you put your body at risk for hypoglycemia. Unbalanced levels of sugar in the blood stream are especially dangerous for those who are diabetic, and put you at risk for liver cancer. Avoiding alcohol can help you avoid countless health problems while saving your wallet!