What Are Some of the Effects of Alcohol Abuse?

What Are Some of the Effects of Alcohol Abuse?

Some of the effects of alcohol abuse include liver conditions such as steatosis or cirrhosis, pancreatitis, cancer of the mouth, throat, liver, esophagus or breast and immune weakness, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Heavy drinkers may also suffer from anemia, cardiovascular illnesses, depression, gout, high blood pressure or ulcers.

Habitual heavy drinking can increase cancer risk due to the body's process of converting alcohol into acetaldehyde, as reported by WebMD. Acetaldehyde is a carcinogenic substance that can increase risk in areas of the body that come into contact with alcohol and in other parts of the body.

The liver is the part of the body's natural detoxification system, so heavy drinking can place a lot of stress on the vital organ. The person may develop steatosis, which is a fatty liver. Cirrhosis is also common, and results from the liver developing scar tissue. Other liver-related conditions include alcoholic hepatitis and fibrosis.

Alcohol can inflame the stomach and pancreas, which causes conditions such as stomach ulcers and pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can result in diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Alcohol abuse causes immune weakness because it suppresses the immune system. This can make it hard for the body to fight off minor infections and also makes it easier to contract serious conditions such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.