ARCpoint Labs is excited to shared Healthcare Risk Management Week with you. Today we want to share some facts about the dangers of alcohol addiction and the ways it can increase health risks.
Alcohol addiction, also known as chronic heavy drinking, is a very serious health risk. While most people are aware of the severity of drinking and driving, there are many other health problems linked to alcohol addiction. The following list details the additional health risks affiliated with heavy drinking:
Health Risks of Alcohol Addiction
1. Anemia – Anemia occurs when the number of red blood cells carrying oxygen gets abnormally low. The symptoms of anemia include shortness of breath, lightheadedness and fatigue.
2. Cancer – Alcohol addiction can increase the risk of cancer. The body can convert alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is a very potent carcinogen. Some of the possible cancer locations associated with heavy drinking include the mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, liver, breast and colorectal areas. Moreover, the cancer risk increases even more if the alcohol consumption is used with tobacco.
3. Cardiovascular Disease – Binge drinking has been found to double the risk of death of people who at first survived a heart attack. Because heavy drinking causes the platelets in the blood to clump together into blood clots, this could turn into a heart attack or stroke. Moreover, alcohol addiction can lead to a condition known as cardiomyopathy. This happens when the heart muscle weakens and potentially fails altogether.
4. Cirrhosis – Cirrhosis occurs when the liver becomes severely scarred from too much alcohol. While it’s not easy to predict who will develop this condition, women in general seem to be more vulnerable to cirrhosis.
5. Dementia – Alcohol addiction can speed up the normal aging process of brain shrinkage. Moreover, there are certain areas of the brain that are affected more with heavy drinking. In turn, this could lead to memory loss and other signs of dementia.
6. Depression – Heavy drinking has been known to cause depression, even though many people think that depressed individuals turn to drinking as an escape from their cares. However, there are some convincing studies that report people with alcohol addiction who’ve turned sober show a reduction in their depression.