How Alcohol Affects Your Body How Alcohol Affects The Body How Alcohol Affects You Affects Alcohol
Affects Of AlcoholHow alcohol affects your body depends on how much and for how long you've been drinking
The effects of alcohol on the body are wide and varied. Ranging from the beneficial to the harmful and, when alcoholism develops, all the way through to the potentially fatal.
Drinking one drink has relatively mild effects (unless somebody suffers from an alcohol allergy); drinking alcohol in large quantities will have wildly differing effects.
The affects of alcohol can also be cumulative so that someone who drinks regularly for a long time will experience different effects.
How Alcohol Affects The Body The Science Simplified
Alcohol is classified as a depressant to the central nervous system.
It is very quickly absorbed into the blood stream as it doesn't need to digest like foods do. About 1/5 of the alcohol is absorbed right through the stomach walls into the blood stream.
Almost all of the remaining alcohol is absorbed through the walls of the large intestine.
Since the alcohol doesn't need digestion to break it down, it gets into the bloodstream and throughout the entire body very quickly.
In fact, it takes only one minute for the alcohol absorbed through the stomach to get to your brain.
How Alcohol Affects You The Mild Effects
The mild affects of alcohol are the ones that can be so attractive to people. It produces a feeling of well-being or even euphoria when it first impacts the brain. One or two drinks will tend to make a person relax.
At the same time, it has a dis-inhibiting effect – in other words, a person will be more likely to do something that they wouldn't ordinarily do.
This effect will grow as more alcohol is consumed. That is why so many people get into trouble by doing stupid things when drunk.
How Alcohol Affects Your Body The Not-So Mild Effects
As the person consumes more alcohol in one sitting, the affects of alcohol on the body can quickly become less pleasant (at least for most people).
These include blurred vision, slurring of speech and lack of coordination.
Another effect on the body that many are not aware of is that of dehydration. That is the main reason that people who drink to excess end up sick the next morning, sick with a crushing hangover. This dehydration is why people need to drink lots of water and feel nauseous, vomit and have headaches the next day.
Affects of Drinking Alcohol The Long Term Effects On the Liver
Alcohol Effects The Long Term Affects On the Brain
Another concern is the affects of alcohol on the brain when consumed excessively over a long period of time. It's been shown to kill brain cells in even relatively small amounts, the one type of cell that the body does not replenish.
Eventually enough cells can die that memory and cognition can be seriously affected. With some people, this can turn into alcoholic dementia, a type of senility. Wet brain syndrome is another form of dementia caused by alcohol dependency.
Even those brain cells that are not killed by alcohol abuse are still affected by it as the alcohol interferes in their functioning.
If you or someone close to you is worried about the effects of alcohol, and wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:
Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)