Alcoholism is a chronic condition marked by a dependence on ethanol (ethyl alcohol). This dependence can be physiological, psychological or a combination of the two. Alcoholism affects more men than women but the incidence of alcoholism among women is on the as is the rise as the use of alcohol by children, adolescent and students. Alcohol affects everyone differently. Some become intoxicated with the first drink; others may be able to consume four or five drink before showing any effects.
An alcoholic is someone who devoted to the consumption of alcohol so much so that he or she cannot do without it. In other word, the urge to consume the stuff as often as possible is irresistible. It may not matter whether or not money to purchase the drink is available. In alcoholics, each drink triggers a craving for another. Alcoholism is a progressive disease the usually starts with acceptable social drinking. This leads to a drink for every mood: one to calm down, one to perk up, and one to celebrate, one to “drown” one’s sorrow and so on. The alcoholic soon needs to excuse drinking. In time, the alcoholic is completely controlled by his or dependence on alcohol.As far as the body is concerned, alcohol is a poison. Some of the effect of chronic alcohol consumption includes damage to the brain, liver, pancreas, duodenum, and the central nervous system. Alcoholism causes metabolism damage to every cell in the body and depresses in the immune system. It may take years before the consequences of excessive drinking become evidence, but if an alcoholic continues to drinks; his or her life span may be shortened by ten to fifteen years or more.
Alcohol is broken down in the liver. The repeated consumption inhibits the liver’s production of digestive enzymes, impairing the body ability to absorb proteins, fats, fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) as well as B complex vitamins( especially thiamine and folic acid) and other water-soluble vitamins. Many essential nutrients are not retained for use by the body; they are rapidly eliminated through the urine.
The toxic effect of alcoholism on the liver is very serious. Firstly, excessive amount of fat accumulative in the liver as a result of alcohol effect on the body’s ability to digest fat properly. Next, the alcohol may develop hepatitis, a condition in the liver cells become inflame and may die. The final usually fatal stage of alcoholic liver damage is cirrhosis of the liver a disease characterized by inflammation, hardening of the liver. This prevents the normal passage of blood through the liver, inhibiting the organ’s ability to filter out toxin and foreign substances.
The liver is one of the most robust organs of the body. It is the organ that has the ability to regenerate itself after certain types of damage. Up to 25% of the liver can be removed, and within a short period of time. It will grow back to its normal shape and size. It continually takes abuse, but if cared for properly it will function more than adequately for decades. Alcohol is one of the toxins that the liver doesn’t handle as well as others. The liver cannot regenerate after being severely damage by alcohol.
There many other health consequences of alcoholism as well. Alcoholism often experience damage to their peripheral nervous systems. This damage may show up initially as a loss of sensation in the hand and feet, with accompanying difficult in working. Chronic drinking also causes inflammatory of the pancreas. This further hampers the body’s ability to digest fat and other nutrients. Alcoholics face an increased risk of mouth and throat cancer due to the direct effect of alcohol. They may also experience high blood pressure, reduced testosterone production, visible dilation of blood vessels just beneath the skin surface, and pathological enlargement of the heart that can progress to congestive heart failure.