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Alcohol: 5 Risks of Excessive Drinking

If the financial price of drinking alcohol in excess isn't enough to deter users from doing it, then perhaps the health risks will provide more incentive to exercise moderation. Drinking alcohol in excess presents a wide range of risks to physical and mental health. The following 5 leading risks have grave consequences for those who abuse alcohol.

A Weak Immune System

Excessive drinking for long periods of time has been shown to affect the body's ability to heal itself. Heavy drinkers have a difficult time recovering from illnesses and injuries.  It could be as simple as a sinus infection or a cut on your finger, but excessive drinking can make it harder for your body to heal. In addition, chronic drinking weakens the body's immune system as a whole, making you more susceptible to contracting an illness. Drinking excessively may leave you off your feet for days when the common cold strikes. 

Heightened Risk of Cancers

Research has proven again and again that drinking alcohol in excess and various different cancers are closely related. Certain cancers, especially breast and liver cancer, are more likely to strike individuals who consume alcohol on a moderate to heavy basis. Other cancers that have been closely related to alcohol use include, colon, stomach and esophagus cancers. If you come from a family with a history of any of these cancers and drink alcohol in excess, your risk of contracting these cancers increases significantly.

Disrupted Sleep Patterns

Heavy drinking has also been associated with several different sleep disorders. It has been known to trigger the onset of sleep disorders and to increase the dangers of existing disorders. For example, a person with sleep apnea is at greater risk of having longer episodes during the night and at more frequent intervals. Other problems that can be triggered by prolonged, heavy drinking include increased time needed to fall asleep.

Hypertension

Drinking alcohol in excess has a profound effect on blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most common risks associated with heavy alcohol use. Chronic high blood pressure causes the heart to work much harder than it would normally need to. Hypertension in itself presents a variety of different health risks, including stroke and heart failure.

Injury Risks

Using alcohol excessively and frequently can lead to a high risk of injury for a number of different reasons. When under the influence of alcohol, a person is more likely to have a slip and fall accident or a motor vehicle accident. Research also links alcohol to instances of sexual assault, drownings and suicides as well. As the level of drinking increases, the level of safety decreases for an individual. Thus, excessive drinking leaves a person at high risk for sustaining some sort of bodily injury.

All of these 5 risks can disrupt your quality of life and have a negative impact on friends and family members. Drinking alcohol in excess is clearly dangerous and you need to use caution - and moderation - when it comes to alcohol consumption.

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