All Muslims know for a fact that drinking alcohol has been forbidden in Islam. While those of other religions might discredit this, science has backed up the ban on drinking in Islam. This is due to the face that consumption of alcohol can cause severe health problems such as cirrhosis of the liver or injuries which may be sustained during traffic accidents. If you think that this is the worst that could happen to you, there are several other diseases which accumulate up to 60 various diseases. The consumption of alcohol does all sorts of damage to the body, most of which we are not even aware of. Below are some of the major health risks associated with drinking;
12 Dangerous side effects of drinking alcohol
- Anemia – Drinking alcohol in large numbers can cause the red blood cells in your body to become unusually low. The condition, which is known as anemia can also trigger several symptoms such as lightheadedness, shortness of breath and fatigue.
- Cancer – a habitual alcohol drinker also has a risk to develop cancer. Scientists from all around the world believe that the body is at an increased risk of getting cancer when the body is converting alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is a highly potent carcinogen. Several cancer sites on the internet have even linked the use of Alcohol in contributing to cancer of the throat, larynx, mouth, liver, esophagus, breast or the colorectal region. The risk of cancer even rises higher in those alcohol consumers who also use tobacco with alcohol.
- Cardiovascular disease – those people who are heavy drinkers or even binge drinkers are more likely to develop close clumped together blood clots. This can even lead to a stroke or even a heart attack. In a study by researchers at Harvard which was published back in 2005, it was found that those who binge drank alcohol would double the risk of death amongst those people who survive heart attacks. In the case of heavy drinkers, they might even get cardiomypathy, which is a deadly condition where the muscles of the heart weaken and fail over time, as well as result in abnormalities in the heart rhythm such as ventricular and atrial fibrillation. In the case of atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart start twitching. This causes blood clots or can even trigger a full scale stroke. Ventricular fibrillation will cause chaotic twitching in the main pumping chambers of the heart. This can cause loss of consciousness and even death if not treated properly.
- Cirrhosis – Alcohol is extremely toxic to the cells in the liver and this is why several of the heavy drinkers experience cirrhosis which sometimes becomes a lethal condition with the liver getting so heavily scarred that it become non functional. It is hard to predict whether a drinker will or will not develop cirrhosis. Some of the people who drink large amounts do not get cirrhosis while some irregular drinkers tend to develop cirrhosis. There is a higher tendency in women to be prone to Cirhossis.
- Dementia – with age, the brain of a person starts to shrink at a rate of about 1.9 percent per decade. Even though this is considered normal, in the case of heavy drinkers the shrinkage is speeded up in some of the vital regions of the brain which can result in loss of memory or other symptoms of dementia. Drinking heavily can also lead to loss of ability to make decisions, judgments, solve problems. In addition to dementia heavy drinking can cause deficiencies in nutrition which will trigger some other forms of dementia.
- Depression – it has been known for a long time that those people involved in heavy drinking will face depression some time in their life. There is however a debate whether the drinking came first or the depression. One of the theories is that depressed people tend to turn to alcohol to ease their emotional pain with alcohol. However some studies have also found that heavy drinkers start facing depression.
- Seizures – Those involved in heavy drinking may experience epilepsy or even trigger a seizure even in those people who do not have epilepsy. Alcohol may also interfere with medications which are used to treat convulsions.
- Gout - is a painful condition which is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in the joint. Even though some cases are due to hereditary reasons, consumption of alcohol or any other factors of the diet may also play a significant role. Those with existing cases of gout will also have their gout aggravated
- High blood pressure - consumption of alcohol can disrupt the nervous system which controls the dilation and constriction of blood vessels in response to exertion, stress or temperature. Those involved in binge drinking or heavy drinking can be prone to rising or high blood pressure. With time these effects can become long lasting or chronic. High blood pressure will lead to other problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease
- Infectious diseases – those involved in consuming high amounts of alcohol will suppress the immune system which will invite all sorts of infections such as HIV, Tuberculosis, and pneumonia and may also cause infertility. People who are heavy drinkers are also three times more likely to be infected by any type of sexually transmitted disease
- Nerve damage – Heavy drinking can cause a condition known as alcoholic neuropathy. This makes the person feel shard needle like or pin like feeling as well as numbness in their extremities in addition to experiencing weakness of muscle, constipation, erectile dysfunction and incontinence amongst other things. Alcoholic neuropathy occurs because alcohol is toxic to the nerve cells and may also occur due to nutritional deficiencies caused by heavy drinking.
- Pancreatitis – in addition to gastritis which is irritation of stomach, drinking can cause inflammation of the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis also interferes with the digestive process which in turn can cause severe abdominal pain as well as diarrhea and it is not fixable.
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