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The Health Risks Associated with Chronic Alcoholism

Chronic alcoholism has a number of health risks which can affect people. People who are consuming alcohol excessively can be involved in vehicle accidents and also suffer from cirrhosis of the liver. Chronic alcoholism has also been associated with heart attacks and cancer.

If you believe consuming alcohol excessively is just a pass time you are advised to read this article because we have provided information about the health risks associated with chronic alcoholism. It can perhaps make you understand better why you should be limiting your alcohol intake or maybe give it up altogether. Let us now look at the risks you are exposing themselves to because of chronic alcoholism.

“Alcoholism is a devastating, potentially fatal disease. The primary symptom of having it is telling everyone–including yourself–that you are not an alcoholic.”Herbert L. Gravitz

Chronic Alcoholism Can Lead To Anemia

Chronic alcoholism can affect the hematologic system which comprises of the blood, spleen, bone marrow and liver. Chronic alcoholism can reduce your red blood count to abnormally low levels and cause the condition which is known as anemia. The symptoms of anemia will include breathlessness and lightheadedness.


If you are not aware of about it, you should understand that chronic alcoholism can also be the cause for developing cancer. The alcohol consumed by you is converted by your body into acetaldehyde which is a recognized carcinogen. People who are chronic alcoholics often suffer from cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast and the colorectal vision. The risk of cancer is compounded when a number of chronic alcoholics also smoke at the same time.

Cardiovascular Disease

One of the major reasons of heart disease and strokes is chronic alcoholism. It can raise the triglyceride levels in the blood leading to high blood pressure and strokes. It can also cause a weakening of the heart muscle and abnormalities in the heart rhythm along with ventricular fibrillation.


Chronic alcoholism can also cause inflammation of the liver and the habit can scar the liver tissue that is the cause of cirrhosis which is a fatal condition. The liver is scarred and is no longer able to function optimally. People with problems of chronic alcoholism often enhance the risk of cirrhosis though not everyone will develop this condition. Women seem to get affected by cirrhosis more than men and the condition seems to have genetic reasons.


Symptoms of dementia can also develop because of chronic alcoholism because the consumption of excessive alcohol can affect areas of the brain which can cause loss of memory. Chronic alcoholism can cause alcoholic dementia which affects the judgment of the individual along with his or her decision-making capabilities. If continued over an extended period of time it can also result in Korsakoff’s syndrome read the individual can suffer from short-term memory loss. Nutritional deficiencies which can also result in the symptoms of dementia have also been attributed to chronic alcoholism.


The Association between chronic alcoholism and depression is close. Some cases have been observed where depressed people have turned to alcohol as a method of self-medicating while a study conducted in 2013 group that things were the other way around and many people who were affected by this condition were developing depression.


Binge drinking or the withdrawal from alcohol can lead to a condition which is called status epilepticus and is a form of epilepsy. It is an acute and a prolonged epileptic seizure and easy life-threatening condition. Chronic alcoholism can also trigger epilepsy in some people who may not have had the condition earlier. The medications offered for epilepsy can make the individual more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and they may also have to deal with some interactions.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a common problem which is that by people who are consuming alcohol excessively. The quantity of alcohol consumed by an individual will determine the risk of developing high blood pressure. Hypertension is also a chronic condition and can create other problems like heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

As it can be seen the health risks associated with chronic alcoholism are numerous and therefore people who are affected by this condition are advised to obtain the treatment necessary to overcome the problem without delays.

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