100 Health Risks of Alcohol Use


(0.27) Introduction
(0.45) 1. Heart Attack
(1.15) 2. Cirrhosis of the Liver
(1.42) 3. Coma
(1.55) 4. Anemia
(2.32) 5. Diabetes
(3.11) 6. Gout
(3.31) 7. High Blood Pressure
(4.22) 8. Kidney Disease
(4.59) 9. Korsakoff’s Psychosis
(5.27) 10. Erectile Dysfunction

Health-risks-of-alcohol

There’s a huge question mark hanging over whether alcohol is good for you or bad for you. There’s a possibility that alcohol may have some health benefits when taken in moderation.

The problem is that many people hear the first part

“alcohol may have some health benefits…”

…but ignore the second part

“…if taken in moderation”.

Moderation means less that 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.

Different people react differently to alcohol. Just because Uncle Billy was able to drink lots of alcohol for lots of years without any problems doesn’t mean you’re gonna be able to do the same…

We know more about the health risks of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco now than we ever did… people still take the chance. Why!

According to the World Health Organization (Download the report here), it is estimated that alcohol kills 2.5 million people every year, and robs each of them of an average of 30 years from their lives.

The statistics for illness and injury caused every year through alcohol abuse are staggering, running into the millions.

A massive 6.2% of worldwide male deaths are related to alcohol.

320,000 young people die each year from alcohol related deaths, 9% of the total number of deaths in that category.

Two-thirds of the female humans don’t drink.

50% of human males don’t drink.

Let’s look at some of the risks.

 

General-Risks

General Risks from Drinking Alcohol

1. Anaemia

Alcoholics can develop anaemia through bad nutrition. Anaemia is where the body doesn’t have a sufficient supply of healthy red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells deliver oxygen around your body. Anaemic symptoms include shortness of breath, pale looking skin (red blood cells give the healthy pink colour), tiredness, headaches, and dizziness. The consequences of anaemia can be severe, even life threatening, if left untreated.

2. Arthritis

Drinking can interfere with medications taken by arthritis sufferers. It is well known that alcohol consumption can contribute towards gout, a form of arthritis. Alcohol users also risk bone loss AKA osteoporosis, and drinking can significantly add to overall body weight. Although there is no significant link (yet!) between arthritis and alcoholism… gout, osteoporosis, and weight loss are risk factors.

3. Cardiovascular Disease

Without your heart you don’t survive… heavy drinking can lead to heart disease and stroke. Although moderate drinking, no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 for women, is linked to a healthy heart, heavy drinking can cause your heart to droop, becoming enlarged and weakened. In this state, it can’t pump enough blood for your organs to get fully nourished, which over time causes dangerous injury … this condition in known as alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

4. Cirrhosis

Alcoholic cirrhosis is the last phase of chronic liver disease, the severe scarring of the liver. Once the organ damage has reached this level, it becomes increasingly impossible for it to function properly. The liver is the largest organ in the body and the only human organ that is capable of regeneration. All other alcohol related liver conditions can be reversed because of the self-healing nature of the organ, cirrhosis is permanent.

5. Coma

An alcohol induced coma can be caused by drinking too much, causing acute alcohol poisoning, and possibly death.

6. Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. Heavy drinking can cause diabetes in one of three ways… reduced sensitivity to insulin, pancreatitis, and by causing you to become overweight because of the high calories in some alcoholic drinks.

7. Fatty Liver Syndrome

This is a reversible condition that has been linked with alcohol consumption.

8. Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. One of the main causes is over-drinking. It usually occurs because the stomach lining is not getting a break from alcohol.

9. Gout

Alcohol contributes to a build-up of uric acid in the body which in turn triggers gout, a form of arthritis more prevalent in men.

10. Hepatitis

Alcoholic hepatitis is when the liver swells after many years of abuse.

11. High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure (HBP), or hypertension, measures the pressure of the blood against the walls of your blood vessels. A BP monitor calculates the force of the blood from both the beating heart and the resting heart. Alcohol can cause hypertension while you’re drinking, and long term heavy drinking can cause chronic high blood pressure. HBP can lead to a heart attack or heart failure, stoke, and kidney failure.

12. Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia is when you have chronic high levels of blood glucose. If you’re a heavy drinker, alcohol impedes the natural processes that regulate your glucose levels, the body’s number one sugar. The condition can lead to kidney, heart, and nervous system damage.

13. Hypoglycemia

This is the opposite of Hyperglycemia, it is when you have chronic low levels of blood glucose.

14. Indigestion

Excess consumption can irritate the lining of the stomach, causing chronic indigestion in long term abusers.

15. Infectious Disease

Alcohol use is connected with some types of infectious diseases like tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV.

16. Insomnia

Your sleep can be affected when you’ve been drinking and while you’re trying to quit. It’s one of the biggest causes of relapse for those trying to quit, they can’t sleep and go back to the booze.

17. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is one of the largest costs for the UK’s NHS, costing more than colon, lung, skin, and breast cancer put together. Many people are suffering from kidney disease without even knowing it because there are very few initial signs.

18. Malnutrition

One of the causes of malnutrition in alcoholics is that they don’t eat an adequate diet. Another is that the alcohol is blocking some of the nutrients that are consumed from being absorbed into the body.

19. Meningitis

Meningitis is an infection that attacks the membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain. Bacterial meningitis is the most common form, can cause the brain to swell, and is life threatening. You are at higher risk of contracting bacterial meningitis if you’re an alcoholic.

20. Menstruation

Alcohol can affect menstruation by making your blood thicker when you’re dehydrated and it can cause metabolism and hormonal imbalances.

21. Nerve Damage

Nerve damage caused by drinking, also known as alcoholic polyneuropathy, can cause numbness in the hands and feet, legs and arms, as well as memory loss, impotence, confusion. In advanced cases, nerve damage can affect the breathing and heartbeat.

22. Obesity

Alcohol contains empty calories. The more you drink, the more weight you will gain from those empty calories. Binge drinking may make you more susceptible to obesity than long term heavy frequent drinking.

23. Osteoporosis

If you suffer from osteoporosis, your bones have become less dense and are more likely to suffer fractures. Healthy bones need calcium, and alcohol affects how calcium is absorbed.
Primal Kaur, an osteoporosis expert from the Temple University in Philadelphia has said: “The bones deteriorate because not enough calcium is getting into bones, and the body is leaching it away from bones.”

24. Pancreatitis

There are two types of pancreatitis, acute and chronic. The pancreas is located behind the stomach and is essential because it produces digestive enzymes which help break food. It also produces the essential hormones glucagon and insulin. Both types of pancreatitis can be triggered by alcohol abuse, and can result in weight loss, back pain, and jaundice. The damage can be permanent.

25. Premature Menopause

Although menopause is a natural thing to happen to all women, its occurrence can happen earlier than normal in women who abuse alcohol.

26. Seizures

Alcohol misuse can cause epileptic seizures, which can manifest in symptoms as mild as losing awareness for brief periods to the scary full blown fits that we’ve all witnessed. You can experience a seizure as part of the withdrawal symptoms or by drinking too much alcohol at one sitting… binge drinking.

27. Stroke

A stroke is a brain attack where not enough blood is getting to your brain because of a blockage in either a blood vessel or an artery. Drinking alcohol affects blood circulation in many ways and can increase the risk of stroke.

28. Ulcers

Heavy drinking can cause ulcers. Alcohol may also prevent ulcers from healing.

29. Weight Loss

Again, alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and is metabolized differently to other things that you eat or drink. You can lose a lot of weight through malnutrition. Your body must deal with the alcohol first, which it sees as a poison, before it can turn its attention to the nutritional stuff.

 

Mental-Risks

Mental Risks from Drinking Alcohol

30. Alcoholic Anxiety

Although some will say that drinking helps them to cope with their anxiety, in the long term… it’s a different story. Self-medication is at best a quick ‘fix’. If you are suffering from anxiety related issues and you start self-medicating with alcohol (or other drugs) you’re running huge risks of becoming addicted. Of course, having an alcohol or drug problem can lead to anxiety in the first place.

31. Amnesia (Long-Term)

Heavy drinking can damage your brain, causing a deterioration of your long-term memory.

32. Blackouts

Blackouts can be split into two groups. The first is being unable to remember an entire evening when you were pissed drunk, also known as an en bloc blackout. Then there are brownouts or fragmentary blackouts, where the person can’t remember specific events, but can remember the evening in general. Both are very dangerous because your judgement will also be impaired which means you are much more likely to do risky and stupid things. Blackouts can lead to long term brain damage.

33. Cerebellar Atrophy

The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls your movement. It may also play a part in languages and attention, and in the responses of pleasure and fear. This part of the brain, located at the back, can become pickled over years of alcohol abuse. How many years? It depends on how much you drink and how often.

34. Concentration Problems

Many alcoholics and ex-alcoholics tend to suffer problems with concentration. In the ex-drinkers, it could have something to do with Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). This happens because your body is dealing with not having alcohol in the system any more.

35. Dementia

Dementia is made up of several symptoms and signs which can affect cognition, memory, attention, problem solving, and language. Alcoholic dementia is usually caused by long term heavy drinking that has affected the brain.

36. Depression

This is another condition that can be caused by alcoholism or by the person self-medicating to relieve the symptoms of depression. Either way, alcohol will make the problem worse. Every drinker knows the feeling of the morning after the night before, when the ‘highs’ of the drinking session are gone, to be replaced by a crashing back to earth hangover, jitters, guilt, and anxiousness.

37. Dysthymia

Dysthymia is a form of depression, it is often called mild depression, but this is misrepresenting because of its chronic nature. It can be characterized by low self-esteem, low energy levels, low moods, lack of concentration, and sleep problems. It’s often difficult to know if the condition was present before alcoholism or not.

38. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is a mental condition which is associated with irrational worry and over-concern with mundane daily life. Alcoholism is often associated with the disorder with the symptoms ceasing once the person quits drinking.

39. Hepatic Encephalopathy

Hepatic encephalopathy is a brain disorder that is triggered by long term liver damage. This serious disorder can cause disruption to motor functions, depression and anxiety, asterixis, and coma – which often proves fatal.

40. Hypomania

Hypomania is characterised by heightened moods – manic episodes that are part of bipolar disorder. Persistent binge drinking or other long term alcohol use could point to the person experiencing hypomania.

41. Korsakoff’s Psychosis

Resulting from alcoholism and severe malnutrition, Korsakoff’s psychosis is cause by the lack of vitamin b1 in the brain. There are six major symptoms… loss of interest, huge loss of memory, memory invention, no insight, no meaningful contribution to conversations, and the inability to create new memories.

42. Major Depression

Major depression (MDD) affects you and everyone around you. Again, one of the major causes of MDD is alcoholism, drinking may take away the blues in the short term, but in the long term the evidence points at a worsening of the condition. The same can be said of self-medicating; it might help to alleviate some of the immediate feelings, but the problems will remain…and get worse in the long run.

43. Mania

Mania is the opposite of depression. The word comes from the Greek meaning ‘insanity’. I don’t need to explain to anyone the insanity that can be caused by drinking or the insanity that is drinking.

44. Memory Problems

General memory problems can be in the form of blackouts, other short term memory loss, or amnesia. But they can also refer to memory invention or the inability to create new memories as manifested in Korsakoff’s psychosis.

45. Nervous Disorders

Nervous disorders from alcoholism include ataxia, aggression, confusion, loss of social inhibition, irritability, agitation, seizures, tremors, hallucinations, and insomnia, to name but a few.

46. Panic Disorder

Alcohol abuse can trigger panic attacks in those who already suffer from them. Some of the symptoms include trembling and rapid heartbeat, chest pain, fainting, and nausea. There is a general fear which revolves around uncontrollable events like dying, losing control, or going crazy.

47. Personality Disorders

There’s a strong link between alcohol abuse and personality disorders. The different personality disorders are divided into clusters, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Cluster A – Odd or Eccentric Disorders
Paranoid Personality Disorder
Schizoid Personality Disorder
Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Cluster B – Dramatic, Emotional, or Erratic Disorders
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Histrionic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Cluster C – Anxious or Fearful Disorders
Avoidant Personality Disorder
Dependent Personality Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

48. Phobias

Phobias are commonplace, we all have a phobia of something, no matter how small or insignificant. But there is strong evidence suggesting that long term alcohol abuse can worsen phobias.

49. Schizophrenia

The evidence and medical expertise say that substance abuse cannot cause schizophrenia. However, schizophrenics are much more likely to abuse alcohol which makes the treatment of the condition more difficult.

50. Wernicke’s Encephalopathy

Often associated with Korsakoff’s psychosis, Wernicke’s encephalopathy is also linked to alcoholism and the inadequate supply of vitamin B1. Some of the symptoms include abnormal walking, eye movement disorders, confusion, memory disturbances, loss of co-ordination, and short term memory loss.

 

Cancer-Risks

Cancer Risks from Drinking Alcohol

Cancer is a broad group of diseases, all which involve abnormal cells growing uncontrollably. Long term alcohol misuse can intensify the risks of cancer. Below are some of the more common forms of cancer that are associated with heavy drinking.

51. Breast

52. Colon

53. Larynx

54. Liver

55. Mouth

56. Oesophagus

57. Pancreas

58. Rectal

59. Stomach

60. Throat

61. Ovarian

62. Prostate

63. Lung

64. Small Intestine

 

Sexual-Risks

Sexual Risks from Drinking Alcohol

65. Decreased Sexual Desire

Decreased sexual desire, or loss of libido, can be the result of the natural process of just getting older. As you mature, you get age related health issues and a decrease some of your hormones. But your sex drive can also be screwed up by drinking too much alcohol.

66. Difficulty Achieving Orgasm

The difficulty in achieving orgasm, in both sexes, can be happen even if you are normal, healthy, and sober. It can be caused by lack of sleep, fatigue, anxiety, and distractions. But failing to achieve the big bang can also be caused by alcohol intake; excessive use can result in chronic problems.

67. Enlargement of the Breasts

Male breast enlargement, gynecomastia or man boobs, can occur because of teen hormones, weight gain, thyroid problems, and as a result of liver cirrhosis. It can also be caused by low levels of testosterone. When you binge drink, you initially get a spike of testosterone, but this will drop over the next day so resulting in decreased levels. Long term drinking can cause a huge loss in testosterone in the body.

68. Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is not just about the inability to get an erection; it also includes getting an erection but not being able to maintain it. Brewers droop is a common expression for the effect that alcohol has on the male member. Any drinker will attest to that…or maybe not!

69. Intimate Relationship Trouble

Alcohol can have devastating effects on relationships. Heavy drinking by one person in an intimate relationship can cause so many physical and mental problems for that person and their partner. Alcoholism can bring up all sorts of damaging trust issues that can cause conflicts which very often drive the couple into separation.

70. Loss of Pubic and Body Hair

Because of the effect that alcohol has on the blood sugar levels and the liver, drinking too much can cause you to lose pubic and body hair.

71. Premature Ejaculation

Not only can you have difficulty in achieving an orgasm, you can also suffer from premature ejaculation, or not lasting as long as she would like.

72. Reduced Fertility

Women who’re trying to conceive should avoid alcohol altogether because it can make them less fertile. Even moderate drinking, one to five drinks a week has proven to have effects. In men, testosterone levels can be reduced, along with impotence, lower sex drive, reduction in sperm quality and sperm quantity. If you’re trying for kids, you shouldn’t be drinking heavily… you’re better off cutting it out altogether.

73. Reduced Sperm Production

As I said above, the quality and quantity of sperm production will be reduced the more you drink. Zinc is essential when your body is making sperm, and alcohol reduces zinc absorption. Alcohol has also been linked to malformed sperms, if the sperm hasn’t got a strong head and tail it’s not going to be able to swim the distance.

74. Rigid Penis Fracture

Although there is no bone in the penis, you’re penis can still be broken. You can rupture the blood tubes, causing blood to flow into the surrounding tissues which will trigger severe pain. Many of these ‘fractures’ occur after heavy drinking.

75. Sexual Aversion Disorder

Sexual aversion disorder is basically the avoidance of any sexual contact. It is often associated with feelings of fear, disgust, or anxiety when sex is proposed. Alcohol can cause ASD because the sufferer has decreased libido or no sex drive due to hormonal imbalances.

76. Shrinking of the Testicles

Your testicles can shrink because of alcoholism. Testicular atrophy may happen because of long term alcohol abuse which results in diminished testosterone levels.

 

Baby-Risks

Risks to Baby from Drinking Alcohol

It’s one thing to accept the risks of drinking for yourself, it’s quite another to accept the risks on behalf of an unborn baby. When a pregnant woman drinks the levels of alcohol passing through the veins of her unborn child are the same as the levels of alcohol passing through her own veins. But, the baby’s liver is not yet developed, so he/she can’t break down the alcohol as well as mummy, so the relative strength of the toxins flowing through baby’s blood is much more potent.

Here are some of the risks to baby.

77. Behavioural Problems

There is no known safe amount of alcohol for any person to drink, none has been proven. There is no safe type of alcohol, no safe time to drink, and no safe amount to drink while pregnant. Heavy drinking during pregnancy has been linked to child behaviour problems.

78. Birth Defects

A leading cause of birth defects is fetal exposure to alcohol. Recent estimates of US babies born with birth defects associated with fetal exposure to alcohol range from 1 in 2000 down to 1 in 100 live births.

79. Born Prematurely

A report published by BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, shows the conclusions of a study undertaken to assess the correlation between drinking alcohol during pregnancy and premature childbirth. Over 60,000 women were screened. For those women who drank over 20 units of alcohol per week (the heavy drinkers), they were 3 times more likely to give birth prematurely, and 50% more likely to give birth to very underweight babies. You can take a look at the study to find out how many of those babies died.

80. Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of conditions associated with the human nervous system and brain that can cause partial muscle paralysis, uncontrollable tremors and body movements, and loss of sensation. Drinking alcohol can lead to brain damage in the baby, which in turn can lead to baby developing cerebral palsy.

81. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), according to the Department of Pediatrics NYU Langone Medical Center, is “caused when a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy”.
Some of the symptoms include:

  • Low birth weight
  • Small size and delayed growth
  • Small head
  • Small eyes
  • Short, flat nose
  • Flat cheeks
  • Small jaws
  • Unusually shaped ears
  • Thin upper lip
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Sight and hearing problems
  • Heart defects
  • Small, abnormally formed brain
  • Minor joint defects that may restrict movement
  • Teeth prone to cavities
  • Vision problems
  • Ear infections

Other symptoms that may develop as the child ages include:

  • Difficulty eating and sleeping
  • Delayed speech
  • Learning disabilities
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Lower IQ
  • Intellectual disability
  • Poor coordination
  • Behavioural problems
  • Poor ability to control impulses
  • Problems getting along with other children

82. Learning Disabilities

In 2005, the US Surgeon General released an advisory on alcohol use during pregnancy. It stated the birth defects caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy included (among others) “mild and subtle changes, such as a slight learning disability…” through full blown FAS, “which can include severe learning disabilities…”

83. Low Birth Weight

6% of babies born in the UK have low birth weights; that is they are born weighing less than 5.5 pounds. Alcohol abuse has been identified as one of the contributing factors.

84. Miscarriage

Drinking more than 2 units of alcohol a week is a risk factor for having a miscarriage, according to the NHS . Alcohol has a poisonous effect on growing cells so as soon as you think you’re going to have a baby, cut out the drinking.

85. Vision and Hearing Problems

Loss of hearing and vision is another risk factor linked to heavy drinking during pregnancy.

 

Teen-Risks

Teen Risks from Drinking Alcohol

According to the US Surgeon General:
“Each year, approximately 5,000 people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning.”

Below is a list of some of the risks of teenage drinking.

86. Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning can result in death. The human body only processes one unit of alcohol per hour, drinking more than that means you’re system can’t cope, it goes into crisis mode. Drinking too much alcohol in a short space of time can make the body stop working properly to the extent that parts of your body, like your lungs and heart, may stop working.
If you suspect someone might have alcohol poisoning, don’t let them fall asleep. Don’t give them coffee, they’re already going to be dehydrated enough. Don’t try to make them vomit because their gag reflex might have shut down. Nor should you give them a cold shower, walk them around, or let them drink any more alcohol.
Get Help Immediately!

87. Brain Development

Teenage drinking can cause brain damage that is irreversible. But teen binge drinking can lead to slower brain development. Aaron White , of Duke University says
“We definitely didn’t know 5 or 10 years ago that alcohol affected the teen brain differently. Now there’s a sense of urgency. It’s the same place we were in when everyone realized what a bad thing it was for pregnant women to drink alcohol.”

88. Car Accidents

Google the phrase “car accident teen” and you’ll find a scary number of recent reports on teenage car accidents that were caused by drinking. “Drunk Teen Dies in Car Accident” – that’s the number one cause of teenage deaths in the United States. Sometimes they take innocent victims to the grave with them.

89. Early Alcoholism

It’s one way to really screw up a teenager’s life…early alcoholism caused by too-early-drinking…
Not only are teenage drinkers at more risk of developing alcohol dependence in later life, they’ll also develop it faster!
Every action taken today has consequences tomorrow.
If you’re a teenager and you think you might be heading towards being a drunk, take the 20 questions test…

90. Move to Other Substances

There is a risk that a teenager who starts drinking at an early age will move on to other drugs. It’s often very difficult to tell which kids are susceptible to experimentation. Some kids will experiment and move on without any significant problems, others will become dependent.

91. Risky Sexual Behaviour

Alcohol increases the probability of risky sexual behaviour among teens. Risky sexual behaviour includes unprotected sex and multiple sexual partners. The teenager will also be at risk of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual violence.

92. Suicide

There is a great risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour in teens that have alcohol and drug problems. Suicide is the third leading cause of US teenage deaths, and teenagers who drink are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers who don’t drink.

93. Unintentional Injuries

Unintentional injuries kill more teens than all diseases put together. In the US, 6 out of every 10 teenage deaths are caused by unintentional injuries. Putting alcohol into the mix just increases the likelihood of injury happening. This includes drink driving. A sober teenager in a car which is being driven by a drunk driver is not immune to serious injury or death.

94. Unwanted Pregnancy

As we pointed out earlier, teenage alcohol consumption can lead to risky sexual behaviours like unprotected intercourse which can of course result in unwanted pregnancy. Alcohol contributes to more teenage pregnancies than anything else.
There are around 80 Million unwanted pregnancies in the world every year (that’s the population of Canada and Spain combined), 30 Million of those are aborted (equal to the populations of Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Costa Rica, and Uruguay combined).

95. Violence

Youth violence linked with alcohol abuse reaches out and stains every part of our society. The risks of violence are increased significantly when alcohol has been consumed.
Alcohol can make people much more likely to respond with violence, it is used to prepare for violence, and kids who drink are much more likely to suffer violence.
One story I came across was of an Australian youth , whose mates – as a prank!!!! – poured petrol over his head while he was passed out from drinking too much, then they set him on fire. Luckily, if that’s the right word, the kid woke up and ran for help. He escaped with burns to his face and hands.

 

Elderly-Risks

Risks to the Elderly from Drinking Alcohol

The elderly are a vulnerable part of our society at the best of times. There are said to be some benefits to the older person from very moderate alcohol consumption. But what are the risks?

96. Bad Interactions with Medication

A large proportion of over-the-counter and prescription medication is used by the elderly. It has been suggested that healthy alcohol consumption levels for people over 65 should be reduced because this age group can be more sensitive to its effects. Many medications, when mixed with alcohol can cause illness, injury, or even death.

97. Broken Bones

The older members of our population are more susceptible to falls due to loss of traction, slow reflexes, loss of muscle mass, diminished vision and hearing, and from the side effects of taking medications. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of broken bones because of a fall.

98. Confusion

Alcohol has a greater effect on the brain function of the elderly which can lead to confusion. When confused, it’s very easy for the older person to succumb to injuries, overdose on medication, and self-neglect.

99. Hearing Voices

Another risk to elderly heavy drinkers is hearing voices due to alcohol related psychosis.

100. Hypothermia

Alcohol consumption causes increased heat loss because the blood vessels remain dilated. Another cause of hypothermia in elderly people is confusion and flawed perception which can result in exposure to cold. An elderly person may not realise that they are suffering from hypothermia.

Final Thoughts

Although the majority of people who consume alcohol, drink within the recommended guidelines, about a fifth of the world’s population habitually drink heavily – Europe leads, then The Americas and Africa.

The risks of heavy drinking are huge, ranging from erectile dysfunction to long term chronic illness and death. Death can be caused instantly, in a matter of minutes, if too much alcohol is consumed at once.

Our young population, just starting out in life, is particularly susceptible to injury and death because of alcohol.

The world economic cost can only be estimated. It stands at many hundreds of billions of dollars per year and is rising!

You must decide for yourself if it’s worth it!

Download the Video Transcript

10 Health Risks of Alcohol Use transcript
 

About The Author

Kevin O'Hara

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1 Comment

  • Mark

    Reply Reply January 29, 2017

    I am a 65 year old attorney who did not drink that all until about age 50 when I went through divorce.
    I started drinking wine and graduated do whiskey. I didn’t had shingles on my four head which caused severe headaches for three years. I combated it with five or six shots of whiskey a day.

    I’m now down to two or three shots of vodka or wine a day. I want to quit totally or cut back to no more than two drinks and one day no more than two days in one week.

    I have numbness in the feet, High blood pressure, and other effects that You talk about.

    I liked your 100 health effects of alcohol. The more information I have the better I am able to make healthy choices. What advice would you give me for books you would suggest I read or websites to review question mark

    Thank you for your good work. I like both your video and your 100 tips.

    God bless, Mark

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