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What are some health risks associated with drinking beer?

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Quick Answer

When used in excess, health risks associated with drinking beer include increased risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer, obesity and alcoholism, according to WebMD. People who drink heavily have an increased risk of stroke, weight gain, chronic hypertension, and colon or breast cancer.

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Full Answer

Drinking more than two 12-ounce glasses of beer in one setting may cause side effects such as confusion, flushing, blackouts and difficulty controlling emotions, notes WebMD. Other potential side effects include difficulty breathing, seizures, loss of coordination and drowsiness. Too much beer may also cause hypothermia, diarrhea, vomiting and low blood sugar. Some people may experience bleeding or an irregular heartbeat after drinking more than two beers.

Long-term beer abuse can lead to memory loss, malnutrition, liver failure and heart problems, states WebMD. It can also cause mental problems, inflammation of the pancreas and cancer of the digestive tract. Conditions that may be worsened by beer include gout, asthma, high blood pressure and insomnia. Beer may also exacerbate mental problems, liver disease, stomach ulcers and pancreatitis, among others.

Pregnant women should not drink alcoholic beverages because it can lead to birth defects and other serious complications, according to WebMD. Women who are breastfeeding should not drink beer because alcohol may pass into the milk.

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