Free «The Effects of Alcohol on the Human Body» UK Essay Sample

The Effects of Alcohol on the Human Body

Alcohol was discovered many thousands of years ago and nowadays it is a common notion. People realize how harmful and destructive it is but accept it normal to drink small regular amounts of relief liquid for health and mood improvement. According to the U.S. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “about 70 per cent of Americans always drink at low-risk levels or do not drink at all, when about 28 per cent of American adults drink at levels that put them at risk for alcohol dependence and alcohol-related problems” (''Alcohol Alert'').

To study this issue deeper, the paper will exactly describe the process that occurs at once after the small amount of alcohol comes to the human mouth. The second part of the work shortly illustrates the results of long alcohol consumption. To ensure that all details are correct, the third part of the research tells about alcohol influence on the unborn children, whose mothers used to drink while being pregnant. The conclusion summaries the investigated information of the three parts of the research.

General effects of alcohol

In a few hours after drinking alcohol, a person feels the decrease in motor coordination and balance, slurs, sweats, loses in judgments, and blurred visions. These all are primary symptoms of being drunk. Higher dose of an alcohol leads even to an absolute loss of coordination and balance, and disability to judge distance and heights. These are visible and demonstrative influences of alcohol on the human body but not all of them.

Physical harm, which poison liquid causes on diverse systems of the human body, is far more impressive and sometimes unpredictable. Alcohol spirits avoid digestive process and travel right into bloodstream. American Association for the Advancement of Science indicates that ''20 per cent of the consumed alcohol is absorbed in the stomach, and about 80% is absorbed in the small intestine'' (''Alcohol and the Human Body''). Alcohol converts to toxic chemicals in the liver.

Through the blood stream, alcohol reaches every organ in the human body and percolates into each cell. Most substantially, alcohol damages organs that contain a lot of water and are in need of an ample blood supply (brain), but it affects the liver, the kidneys, the heart, the pancreas, and even the muscles hardly too.

Obvious evidence of alcohol impact on the brain is blackouts, which are frequent, when people consume seductive liquid quickly or on an empty stomach. The consequences of long alcohol abusing on brain work are more serious and lead to partial loss of memory and constant confusion. Thus, the slight effects are felt even after the occasional consummation. There are sleepiness, evidence of reduce of the brain activity, or insomnia, which is the outcome of the nervous system irritation. Drunk people show excessive gaiety or aggressiveness, which additionally proves direct alcohol impact on brain and nervous system.

The next organ, which terribly suffers, is liver. It metabolizes 90 per cent of an alcohol. The toxic substance for testosterone, which is essential for the right recovery and development of muscles and tissue, is produced there, while alcohol drinking. As the result, the ability of the body to heal itself decreases. It is caused also by means of dehydration. Thirst, paleness, headache, sleepiness, and tremors are its main signs. Dehydration is caused by the diuretic characteristic of alcohol, which makes kidneys direct fluids straight to the bladder and loss it from the organism. Besides the lack of water, the organism is weak because of oxygen deficiency; it is hard for the heart to pump blood throughout the body properly.

To overcome the feeling of lethargy, human body craves a carbohydrate boost, owning to which people often feel hungry when they have been drinking alcohol. In its turn, overeating often finishes with vomiting and retching. At the same time, the toxicity of alcohol irritates the stomach, which often causes gastritis. Because of the metabolism dysfunction, the number of hormones reduces, which considerably influences on puberty and tissue function.

In the book that is dedicated to alcohol effects on the human system, Thomas Watkins accents that people, who use alcohol even in intervals have “more pale blood discs that in usual perfect health'' (Watkins). Moreover, alcohol inhibits absorption of thiamin, vitamin B12, folic acid, and zinc.

Being absorbed by every cell, alcohol does not just arouse the feeling of freedom and unconcern; it subdues each minor part of the human body, ruthlessly damaging it. These effects will be felt somewhat later.

Consequences of alcohol abuse

It shocks how powerful alcohol is when it comes into human systems. Its power grows with its abusing. Alcohol dependence is the medical term for alcoholism and is characterized by the inability to limit drinking and constant increase of alcohol dose, nausea, sweating, irritability, tremors, hallucinations, and seizures symptoms when the drinking is ceased.

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Alcoholics live short lives and suffer from inflammation of the liver and brain deficits. Liver and brain functions are tightly connected in the human body, but many people do not suspect that the damage of the organ that is responsible for alcohol breaking down and clearing the organism can influence brain so much and lead to its serious disorder. ''Hepatic encephalopathy can cause severe cognitive effects such as shortened attention span; and problems with coordination such as a flapping or shaking of the hands (called asterixis). In the most serious cases, patients may slip into a coma (i.e., hepatic coma), which can be fatal.'' (''Alcohol Alert'')

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is common among alcoholics, 80% percent of whom have a deficiency in thiamine. Mental confusion, paralysis of the eyes' nerves, and difficulty with muscle coordination are the symptoms of Wernicke's encephalopathy. Thus, Korsakoff’s psychosis is characterized by persistent problems with learning and memory. Patients are frustrated and forgetful. They hardly remember old information, and it is more difficult for them to keep in mind some new information. Such patients can discuss in detail particular event in their lives, but an hour later they might not remember ever having the conversation.

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Searching for oblivion with the help of alcohol, a person risks being addicted and lose memory and health forever.

Alcohol’s effects on future generation

When primary effects of alcohol are often considered being insignificant, since alcohol abuse results in years, its harmful impact on the future generation is visible in 9 month. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) was identified and described in the United States in 1973. It demonstratively shows how children suffer if their mothers were drinking during pregnancy. Damage ranges from subtle to severe and causes behavioral problems, clumsiness, disfigurement, failure to gain weight, skull or brain malformation, small jaws, damage of brain cells, mental retardation, etc.

Luckily, not all fetuses are affected. Scientists explain that genetics factors play their role here, but stress that any alcohol puts baby at risk. Although it can not certainly lead to FAS, women who consume alcohol have a significantly higher risk of spontaneous abortion hat is known as miscarriage.

These facts once again underline and prove the destructive impact of alcohol on all human systems without any exception.


Alcohol, regardless of being hard cognac or ''safe'' beer or wine, comes throughout each cell of the body, mostly damaging liver and brain. Unlike other food and drinks, the digestive system of a human being does not digest it. It is directly absorbed into the blood. When a person drinks an alcohol, it simply mixes his/hers blood with it. Poison liquid is rather seductive. Its odor and taste are great; moreover it leads to great psychological relief. Drunk person is relaxed and powerful. Euphoria disappears in years; lapses of memory and cirrhosis of the liver come instead it. Those who do not care about themselves continue periling their unborn children too. In 9 months, mothers wonder why their sons and daughters have FAS syndrome, which is the last and the most obvious evidence of ruinous effects of alcohol on the human body.


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