Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Alcohol Related Illnesses Pt.2

April 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Addiction, Alcohol

Alcohol Related Illnesses Pt.2

 

Alcohol has become so ingrained in our social culture that we often forget it is a poison. Alcohol penetrates every cell in your body and directly affects your brain, heart, liver, pancreas, stomach, kidneys and lungs. At times people disregard the health problems associated with their drinking and blame it on aging or another disease they may have.

What is gout?

Gout is a type of acute arthritis. Gout is characterized by its symptoms of severe pain and inflammation in the joints, in particular the big toe. Gout has episodes that can happen suddenly without any kind of warning. Severe cases of gout can lead to severe disabilities and even kidney failure. Men experience gout than women.

Alcohol related illnesses: Gout

Men, who drink alcohol, in particular beer, double their chances of developing gout. In studies, researchers found that men who drank the most alcohol daily had twice the risk of developing gout than men who did not drink. Men who drank beer increased their risk for gout by 50% for every daily drink. The men who drank hard liquor increased their risk for gout up 15% for each drink. Men who drank wine did not increase their risk for gout according to research. It is believed that the consumption of beer leads to gout due it is high purine content. When purine is digested it breaks down into uric acid and uric acid can crystalize into deposits within the joints.

What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis affects the lungs but it can also affect the organs in the central nervous system, lymphatic system, and circulatory system. Tuberculosis is also known as the disease “consumption”.  When someone gets infected with Tuberculosis or TB the bacteria multiplies in the lungs causing pneumonia and chest pain. The person may cough up blood and/or have a prolonged cough. TB is either latent or active. TB is a major cause of illness and death worldwide.

Alcohol related illnesses: Tuberculosis

There is a definite association between alcohol and tuberculosis. The risk of active TB is higher in people who drink more than 40 grams of alcohol per day and have alcoholism or a history of alcohol abuse. This could possibly have something to do with alcohol’s effects on the immune system and alcohol related conditions.

What are gallstones?   

Gallstones got their name because they are like small stones. Gallstones are hard and look like little pebbles. Gallstones can be made of different materials including cholesterol. Gallstones form in the liquid bile that is stored in the gallbladder. Gallstones can be in the gallbladder and not cause any problems but if they move into a duct they can cause blockage.

Alcohol related illness: Gallstones

Heavy drinking can increase the risk of developing liver cirrhosis which encourages stone formation. Not only that, but heavy alcohol consumption can make the symptoms of gallstones much worse.

What is pancreatitis?

The pancreas is located behind your stomach and below your ribcage. The pancreas produce to substances; they are digestive juices that your intestines need and use to break down food and hormones that are part of digestion for instance, insulin which regulates blood sugar levels. Pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes inflamed and the cells are damaged.

Alcohol related illness: Pancreatitis

Heavy drinking can definitely cause pancreatitis. This is because of alcohol’s effect on every cell in the body including the cells in the pancreas. Acute and chronic pancreatitis can be cause by heavy alcohol consumption. Drinking regularly runs the risk of developing pancreatitis. There is a clear link between alcohol and acute pancreatitis and the more alcohol that is consumed the higher the risk of developing it. Over time repeated bouts of acute pancreatitis due to drinking alcohol can lead to chronic pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis can lead to jaundice, weight loss, diarrhea, back pain, severe pain behind the ribs and through the back etc. The pain from pancreatitis due to drinking alcohol can be irreversible and may take permanent medication to manage.

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease that affects liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). A hepatitis C infection usually goes unnoticed but once in the body for a while a chronic infection can progress to severe scarring of the liver known as fibrosis and even more advanced scarring (Cirrhosis) which is apparent after many years.

Alcohol related illness: Drinking alcohol does not cause Hepatitis C but it can make it worse due to alcohol and HCV’s effect on the liver. Drinking alcohol while also having Hepatitis C can give a person a higher risk of developing cirrhosis. It is very likely that even a small amount of alcohol leads to more scarring of the liver. People who abuse alcohol while chronically infected with Hepatitis C also are more likely to die than those who have Hepatitis C and do not drink. Drinking alcohol also decreases the effectiveness of HCV treatments with interferon.

What is Encephalopathy?

Encephalopathy means disorder or disease of the brain. Encephalopathy is not referring to one single disease but rather of a global brain problem. In come contexts encephalopathy is referring to permanent brain injury and damage and in other contexts encephalopathy is referring to injury to the brain that is reversible.

Alcohol related illness: Encephalopathy

The long term use of alcohol can lead to many health and mental problems for the drinker. All of the organs in the body are damaged by overuse of alcohol, this means the brain too. Alcohol can cause encephalopathy by interfering with a person’s ability to think rationally and retain memories. If left untreated alcohol can cause permanent encephalopathy. For those people that are not merely normal drinkers but are alcoholics, they run the risk of developing what is known as Wernicke’s encephalopathy which is directly associated with alcoholism. If it progresses it turns into a condition known as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. These conditions are a type of dementia that includes symptoms like loss of old memories, false memories, hallucinations, coma, death and the inability to create new memories. Anyone who is diagnosed with Wernicke’s will need to give up alcohol immediately or run the risk of getting more serious dementia.

Sources:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0804a.shtml

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/8/289

http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/check-the-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-and-pancreatitis

http://hepatitis.about.com/od/complications/a/AlcoholHCV.htm

http://voices.yahoo.com/alcoholic-encephalopathy-very-real-extremely-125047.html

                 

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