What is the harm of alcohol: negative effects on the body and levels of consumption

The harmful effects of alcohol on humans

Alcoholic beverages are the most common product on the shelves of almost all grocery stores. Certain doses of alcohol lead to serious changes and disorders in the human body. Awareness of the harms of alcohol can help to give up completely or limit alcohol intake to acceptable levels.

What harm does alcohol do to people?

Bullies do not think about the consequences of drunkenness, and these are:

  • mental degradation;
  • deterioration of physical and mental health;
  • problems in society;
  • bad heredity;
  • financial problems;
  • immoral behavior.

According to statistics, men are more likely to drink. This happens for many reasons, such as bad company or the delusion that alcohol can relieve stress. But it also applies to women and, worst of all, teenagers.

Harmful substances contained in alcohol

By knowing the harmful substances contained in the most common types of alcohol, you can understand how it affects the quality of our lives.

Popular intoxicating liquids contain substances dangerous to health and life:

  1. ethanol. With regular and excessive use leads to addiction. In small amounts it does not harm the body, but an overdose can lead to sudden loss of consciousness or even death.
  2. Phytoestrogen. The female hormone (contained in beer) leads to disruption of the male and female reproductive systems.
  3. Fusel oils. In large quantities they are toxic. When taken regularly, they increase the risk of stomach ulcers, cause blindness, impotence and liver disease.
  4. cobalt. In small quantities it is a useful trace element, but if it accumulates in the body, it becomes dangerous for the normal functioning of the heart and gastrointestinal tract.
  5. N-nitrosodimethylamine. Highly toxic, especially destructive to the liver.
  6. Biogenic amines. Toxic chemical compound. In small quantities it can be useful, but if abused, it leads to convulsions, vomiting and diarrhea.
  7. sodium benzoate (E-211). Once in the stomach, it causes abrupt oxidation of epithelial cells. This leads to gastritis, gastric ulcer, pancreatitis. Contributes to the exacerbation of chronic allergic diseases: asthma, urticaria, psoriasis.
  8. Phosphoric acid (E-338). Destructively affects bone tissue and tooth enamel. Provokes gastrointestinal disorders, leads to weight loss. The high concentration of the substance causes burns of the respiratory tract.

Harmful effects on the body of adolescents

Alcohol has a detrimental effect on the growth and development of a teenager:

  1. Intellectual and emotional decline.
  2. Vitamins and beneficial micronutrients entering the body are poorly absorbed, and this negatively affects the condition of teeth, nails, hair and skin.
  3. Increases the risk of problems with the heart, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, the emergence of diseases that usually occur in older people (eg pancreatitis, diabetes).
  4. The growth of bone and muscle tissue stops.
  5. The liver, kidneys, reproductive system suffer.

Female alcoholism

The difference between the development of male and female addiction:

  1. In women, addiction occurs more quickly and treatment of this disease is ineffective. This is due to the characteristics of the female body: it has fewer enzymes that help break down products containing alcohol. Therefore, toxins are not excreted from the body for a long time and quickly lead to detrimental effects on organs.
  2. Women prefer soft drinks (wine, champagne, cocktails). Therefore, it is more difficult to control the level of intoxication and the transition to strong drinks occurs, as a rule, already in the last stages of alcoholism.
  3. Embarrassed by addiction, women are more likely to drink alone and seek help when it is difficult enough to hide the changes. The rehabilitation process is more difficult and longer than for men.

Due to the effect of alcohol on the egg, conceiving, carrying and giving birth to a child can be a difficult or even impossible task.

Conception during intoxication affects the genetic information of the egg. After the birth of such a fetus, there is a major threat of the birth of an heir with cerebral palsy (cerebral palsy) or other disorders of the external and internal organs. In addition, the placenta is likely to exfoliate during pregnancy and the fetus to die.

Social damage

Spouse, children, relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors and passers-by may fall victim to the inappropriate behavior of a drunk person:

  1. Work. Employers do not want to hire or fire a drinker immediately because he misses shifts for no good reason or performs poorly.
  2. driving. Half of the accidents were caused by a drunk driver.
  3. Violation of the law. Most crimes are committed by drunks or those who are quite drunk, as they are more prone to aggression and even murder.
  4. immoral behavior. The first sexual experience, unplanned pregnancy and cases of rape most often occur when one or both partners are drunk.
  5. Unhealthy home atmosphere. Children grow up in an unfavorable environment and can inherit the negative example of their parents.
  6. Divorce. All innocent family members suffer. Mothers or fathers raise their own children who are affected by upbringing in a single-parent family.

How does alcohol affect health?

The table shows the popular alcoholic beverages, their composition, as well as which organs are affected.

Drink Composition Organ damage and possible consequences
Beer Carbohydrates, ethyl alcohol, nitrogenous substances
  • kidney stones;
  • heart problems;
  • liver disease;
  • brain damage;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • diseases of the intestines and stomach;
  • fat deposition;
  • impotence
vodka Purified water, ethyl alcohol. The composition may include chemical additives and spices
  • poor orientation in space;
  • mental degradation;
  • cerebral hemorrhage;
  • heart attack;
  • heart failure;
  • disorder of the liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract
cognac Alcohols, organic acids, ethyl esters, tannins and tannins
  • cirrhosis of the liver;
  • cardiovascular diseases;
  • asthma attacks;
  • destruction of tooth enamel;
  • the walls of the stomach are corroded;
  • poor blood clotting
Low alcohol cocktails Ethanol, synthetic additives and chemical additives
  • blow;
  • varicose veins;
  • mental decline;
  • memory impairment;
  • gastritis, stomach ulcer;
  • hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver;
  • asthma attacks occur;
  • there is a deterioration in the structure of the skin;
  • hormonal disorders;
  • development of infertility

Liver and digestive system

The destruction of the liver is associated with a violation of protein metabolism and in the first stage is usually not accompanied by subjective sensations and changes in laboratory parameters.

There are five stages of liver destruction:

  • adaptive hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver);
  • alcoholic fatty steatosis;
  • alcoholic hepatitis;
  • alcoholic liver fibrosis;
  • cirrhosis.

Common signs of these diseases:

  • constant weakness;
  • yellowish skin and eyeballs;
  • the temperature is above normal;
  • pain in the right hypochondrium.

Alcohol entering the gut actually leaves a chemical burn on its lining. Regular intoxication leads to problems with defecation (loose stools or constipation, fecal stones), which are most often solved exclusively by surgery.

More possible:

  • angioedema;
  • diarrhea;
  • hives;
  • gastritis;
  • ulcerative dyspepsia;
  • Pancreatitis;
  • necrosis of pancreatic tissue;
  • bowel cancer.

Heart and blood vessels

After drinking alcohol, ethyl alcohol enters the bloodstream and remains in the vessels for about 7 hours, which causes them to dilate, disrupting the normal heart rhythm. Frequent alcohol intake, even in modest amounts, inevitably leads to blockage of cerebral vessels, which are destroyed by rising blood pressure. In the best case, a person survives, but remains disabled, and in the worst case - a fatal outcome.

Minimal but constant doses of alcohol are dangerous and provoke the following painful conditions:

  • oxygen starvation;
  • the vessels thicken, contract, burst;
  • atrial fibrillation;
  • extrasystole;
  • cardiomyopathy;
  • hypertension;
  • hypertension;
  • heart attack;
  • atherosclerosis.

The heart rate rises from 95 to 100 beats per minute. Fat accumulates in the heart muscle, respectively, increases and becomes relaxed.

Brain and nervous system

The entry of ethyl alcohol into the blood causes a destructive effect on red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting air to the brain. Oxygen stops entering the brain cells and as a result they die one by one.

This leads to poor performance:

  • vestibular apparatus;
  • "moral" center (the feeling of shame disappears, arrogance appears);
  • memory;
  • attention.

The processes of excitation and inhibition in the nervous system are disturbed, which leads to the following signs of antisocial and painful behavior:

  • manifestation of aggression;
  • inability to control oneself;
  • illogicality in the presentation of thought;
  • suicidal tendencies;
  • violation of the dynamics of movements;
  • the appearance of seizures;
  • the appearance of hallucinations.

The respiratory system

A rough, hoarse voice with a special timbre is aptly called "drunk" bass. People who like to abuse are most likely to get tuberculosis.

Addiction damages the following areas of the respiratory system:

  • pharynx;
  • the whole nasopharynx;
  • larynx.

People who drink regularly experience such chronic diseases of the upper respiratory tract as:

  • laryngitis;
  • tracheobronchitis;
  • atrophic pharyngitis.

Shortness of breath occurs both during moderate physical activity and during rest. There is also a characteristic unpleasant odor of fumes from the drinker, which is the reason for the breakdown of ethanol, which is released through the lungs.

sexual dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction and even impotence are consequences of alcoholism. Regular consumption of strong drinks adversely affects the ability to reproduce. Erection problems can lead to prolonged depression.

The myth is the claim that small doses of alcohol have a positive effect on male strength. Accumulated ethanol disrupts the normal functioning of nerve endings, so intimacy does not bring the expected pleasure.

Alcoholism has a negative effect on the quality of women's sex lives. This disease is one of the main causes of frigidity, even in its most severe manifestations. This leads to emotional problems for both partners, and often to the breakup of the family.


The benefits of high-quality (preferably red) wine from natural juice, in limited quantities, are really manifested: removes toxins, strengthens the immune system. But a large amount, even the most expensive alcoholic beverage, will adversely affect health.

The thing is that at this point the following defenders of the immune system are suppressed:

  • lymphocytes;
  • macrophages;
  • granulocytes.

Consequences of immunodeficiency:

  • wounds do not heal for a long time;
  • the bones are not shaped properly;
  • greater likelihood of HIV transmission;
  • poorly restored skin from burns and injuries.

Change in appearance

The reason for the purple color of the skin is ethyl alcohol, which works by speeding up the heart rate and raising blood pressure. Over time, the vessels do not withstand constant stress and blue and red bruises are formed.

Puffiness is explained by the fact that the body tries hard to restore water balance after getting into the toxins contained in vodka, beer and other intoxicants. And the female body makes it more active. An alcoholic is tormented by constant thirst, but water is absorbed very slowly. He drinks and fluid accumulates, leading to swelling of the hands, feet and also the face.

In addition to the unattractive appearance, there may be "obvious" post-battle complications (scratches, bruises, abrasions, fractures), which often involve chronic drinkers.

During the development of chronic alcoholism, narcologists observe external symptoms in patients, such as:

  • physical exhaustion;
  • swollen face;
  • purple tongue;
  • fever;
  • dry, flaky or oily skin;
  • heavy sweating;
  • tachycardia, arrhythmia.

Photo gallery

The effects of alcohol on various organs can be seen in the following photos.

Ulcer, gastritis, cancer and other pathologies of the stomach (right), the occurrence of which is caused by alcoholCirrhosis (right) is a severe fatal liver disease caused by alcohol abuse. The brain of a healthy person (top) and the brain of an alcoholic with irreversible consequences (bottom)Many chronic alcoholics die from lung damage (left)

Usage standards

It would be best to strongly refrain from regular use of a product containing alcohol. However, if a person has decided to only reduce its quantity, then it will be interesting to know that there are acceptable norms of consumption.

The weekly norm (with two days of complete abstinence) of alcohol at low risk of harm to the stronger sex is less than 5 liters of beer with a strength of 4, 5 degrees or 50 grams of vodka or cognac for lunch and dinner (daily), or three glassesdry wine. For women, this norm is 3 liters of beer a week or 80 grams of vodka for dinner or two glasses of wine.

It is worth bearing in mind that if you abstain from strong drinks on certain days, it does not mean that you can drink more on another day without adverse effects.

However, calculations for the consumer must be made individually, taking into account:

  • weight;
  • growth;
  • age;
  • metabolism;
  • heredity;
  • first attempt at drinking alcohol.

Attention!The information is provided for informational purposes only and is not a guide to action. Do not self-medicate, consult your doctor first.