Nurse's Station

5 Organs That Are Put At Risk By Excessive Drinking

  1. The Liver

For all of the fun, euphoric sensations provided by alcohol use, there is one fact that should not be forgotten – it’s poison. Alcohol is poisonous to our bodies, despite the fact that we can ingest large amounts of if without issue.

This is because of our livers – our livers constantly work to rid our body of toxins, including alcohol. As soon as alcohol enters our bloodstream, our livers work tirelessly to rid us of the toxins.

However, there is a limit to how much abuse our livers can handle – and in prolonged alcohol abusers, liver failure is extremely common. The liver simply cannot take on the massive amounts of ethanol present in the bloodstream, and it begins to fail over time, eventually leading to total renal failure.

There are only to ways to mitigate renal failure – implantation of a new liver, or dialysis. The former is extremely difficult to come by, given long organ waiting lists, and the latter is cost-prohibitive – and is not a cure, simply a way to prolong life until a liver can be procured.

Because of these facts, alcohol-induced liver disease is one of the biggest killers of those who drink excessively, and should not be ignored.

  1. The Pancreas

Large amounts of alcohol use can cause inflammation in the pancreas. The pancreas is confused by the presence of excessive alcohol, and it may begin secreting enzymes within itself, rather than sending them to the small intestines.

This buildup of enzymes can cause painful inflammation known as pancreatitis, with symptoms including abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and increased heart rate.

Acute pancreatitis can be extremely deadly and requires an immediate treatment that can include fasting and aggressive rehydration, or even surgery.

  1. The Kidneys

The high blood flow and diuretic effect caused by alcohol abuse – along with liver issues caused by excessive alcohol intake – can affect your kidney health. Your kidneys work with your liver to filter toxins and regulate the composition of your blood, as well as regulating the amount of water in your body.

The combination of high blood pressure caused by drinking, dehydration, and liver damage that is common among alcohol abusers make your kidneys extremely vulnerable to damage and can impair their function.

Almost all patients in the US who suffer from alcohol-related liver damage also have some level of kidney dysfunction or damage, making it a very common result of alcohol abuse.

Share Your Knowledge – And Help Those In Need

Understanding how devastating alcoholism is to your body is just part of helping those who may be struggling with abuse. The social, mental, and physical toll that alcohol takes on people is enormous – and knowing the basics about its effects on the body is a great way to spread knowledge about the harm of alcohol dependence.

So whether it’s at home, at the hospital or clinic, or anywhere else, you should know about the effects that alcohol has on the body, and share this information with those around you – whether they have a problem with alcohol or not.

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