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Effects of Alcohol on the Human Body - Essay Example

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Alcohol exposure apart from the side effects of intoxication and death produces devastating and long-lasting effects on the exposed individual like throat cancer, liver damage, heart attacks, it also causes dehydration while consuming and requiring more and more water due to the heat generated by heavy alcohol intake…
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Effects of Alcohol on the Human Body
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Download file to see previous pages Alcohol is the only type of beverage that once adopted as a heavy drinker, cannot simply withdraw as it causes various chronic diseases in situations where a heavy drinker is forced to quit alcohol intake.
"Alcohol travels through the bloodstream by simply entering the main tissues of the mouth and throat. After reaching the stomach it searches the outlet and after founding it open, it passes into small intestine thereby absorbing every single drop of it. In case the outlet of stomach is closed, stomach walls don't take longer to absorb the alcohol. The bloodstream then distributes the alcohol uniformly throughout the body. In this manner, the alcohol reaches the brain and other parts of the body". (ACS)
"Blood is the main distributor of alcohol, which virtually transfers it to every cell in the body. In nursing mothers it rapidly enters the breast milk. In pregnant women it crosses the placenta and thus reaches the unborn child as well". (Zamula, 1986) Although alcohol affects the entire human body but there are particular parts of the body that are resistant to the harmful effects of alcoholism. In general, according to alcohol consumption alters health by one of the following mechanisms:
Liver and Pancreas are the most affected organs that are subjected to alcohol exposure as liver is the major organ for metabolism of ethanol and it is this metabolism, with subsequent altered cellular homeostasis, that is thought to be central to the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease (Lieber, 1995). Metabolism of ethanol results in the production of a toxic metabolite substance called acetaldehyde that can bind irreversibly to cellular proteins and enzymes. In addition, complexes of acetaldehyde with various cellular proteins may form the basis of a cellular immune response directed toward the hepatocyte (Hoerner et al., 1988). Metabolism of ethanol also results in the production of hydrogen, which when interacts with carbohydrate metabolism and mitochondrial function is subjected to accumulate fat within the liver called alcoholic fatty liver (Lieber, 1995) which is main cause of liver failure.
The abuse of alcohol is a frequent cause of anemia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia. These complications of alcoholism arise as a result of:
1) Direct effects of alcohol on the bone marrow,
2) Associated nutritional deficiencies especially of folic acid and pyridoxine, and
3) Alcohol-induced liver injury.
(Ammerman et al, 1999, p. 79)
Alcohol During Pregnancy - Fatal Alcohol Syndrome
Alcoholism during pregnancy leads to a disease called "Fatal Alcohol Syndrome" (FAS), which is marked by reducing birth weight and size, small head circumference of the foetus, microophthamalia, micrognathia, an elongated upper lip, ear abnormalities, and mental retardation. So, alcohol effects the foetus following lower or mild doses of alcohol, may lead to mild abnormalities, learning problems, and behavioral disturbances in the child. The placenta is readily permeable to alcohol in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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