Risks associated with alcohol addiction–3: Ramifications on the gastrointestinal tract

Excessive drinking is harmful, a fact that many are aware of but fail to realize the impact. Large quantities of alcohol consumed can cause adverse effects to any organ of the body as the excess quantity that the body cannot metabolize enters into the bloodstream. This is a matter of concern as alcohol has become one of the leading causes of death in America owing to the prevalent drinking culture among the youth and adults alike.

Drinking too much alcohol can hamper daily activities with grave effects on the digestive system. This is because during consumption, alcohol or beverages containing alcohol first go through various segments of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This may also result in alcohol interfering with the structure apart from the functioning of the tract segments. For instance, alcohol may impair the muscle movement in the small and large intestines and cause diarrhea. The gastrointestinal tract comprising bacteria and microbes forms an ecosystem known as the gut microbiota. The collective action of the bacteria is necessary for proper digestion, strengthening the immune system, adequate mental health and much more.

Previous studies have indicated how the growth and preservation of the gut bacteria can be affected by myriad conditions. While doctors recommend intake of healthy and organic diet much needed by the gut bacteria to flush out the toxins, consumption of alcoholic beverages or those containing refined sugar and artificial ingredients can result in an imbalance between the good and bad gut bacteria.

The kind of damage alcohol has on the digestive system does not entirely depend on the quantity one is drinking. Even low quantities of alcohol can result in the stomach producing more acid than the usual which, in turn, may cause gastritis or inflammation of the stomach lining.

Drinking causes cancer of the gastrointestinal tract

Unbridled alcohol drinking is one of the main risk factors that can cause cancer of the digestive tract. Scientists pinpoint that the risk of being afflicted with gastrointestinal cancer rises with increase in quantity of alcohol consumed each day. Besides this, the American Cancer Society estimates that roughly 28,000 episodes of stomach cancer would be detected in 2017 alone and more than 10,000 people are likely to die. This is a matter of grave concern as stomach cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.

No amount of alcohol consumption can be considered healthy though some studies conducted before indicated that drinking in moderation might not cause much harm. Most people do not understand the implications of responsible drinking while others who love to indulge frequently continue to be at high risk.

It is difficult to control drinking habits due to its addictive nature. Both binge drinking and drinking at regular intervals can cause irreparable harm to the physical and mental health of the drinkers. While there may be many reasons for people to be dependent on alcohol, the need of the hour is to treat the disorders associated with alcohol. Untreated alcohol use disorders can have severe repercussions and leave the person impaired for life.

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcoholism, help them by contacting the Florida Alcohol Addiction Helpline representatives and getting details about the state-of-the-art facilities in alcohol addiction treatment in Florida. Chat online or call our 24/7 helpline number 866-220-5381 to locate the best alcohol treatment centers in Florida.

Read the other articles of the series, “Risks associated with alcohol addiction:”

  1. Adverse effects on heart
  2. Liver malfunctioning
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