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Alcoholism Issues Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Nov 20, 2017 - 11:19:13 AM

5 Sicknesses Related To Heavy Drinking

By Staff Editor
Nov 20, 2017 - 11:11:58 AM

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( - My dad losing his best friend to cirrhosis of the liver as a result of too much drinking, it was one event that changed my perception about drinking. It wasn’t an easy moment for not only his family but for my dad because a lot was spent trying to salvage the situation till he finally kicked the bucket.  After the whole event my dad threw in the towel on drinking without much persuasion from us. Prior to the incident, whenever we talked to him about quitting heavy drinking he’d say, “One thing must kill a man”, but his friend’s predicament changed his perception towards drinking. My dad realized that it’s not about a man dying but how he died. Obviously his friend didn’t just die but his death affected a whole lot of things; his children stopped going to school because they’ve spent all they had trying to keep him alive. The wife had to quit the little job she had just to take care of her sick husband. That’s what heavy drinking can do to a home.

Some drinkers think it’s only cirrhosis of the liver and auto crash that should make them stop drinking, forgetting that there are a whole lot of life threatening diseases for heavy drinkers.

We’d be looking at five other sicknesses related to heavy drinking

Cardiovascular disease

I never believed that cardiovascular disease could be related to drinking until a neighbor of mine was diagnosed of cardiomyopathy. The doctor linked the disease with his heavy drinking and that led to my research on heart diseases and heavy drinking.

In my little research I discovered that binges lead to heart attack and stroke by making the platelets clump together into blood clots. A study published by Harvard researchers in 2005 revealed the binges doubled the chances of death in people who initially survived heart attack.

Heavy drinking causes Atrial fibrillation, which is a condition where the atria (heart’s upper chamber) twitches chaotically instead of rhythmically causing a stroke.


Excessive alcohol in the blood leads to abnormal reduction in the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells known as anemia.  The symptoms are accompanied by insomnia, pale skin, leg cramps, dizziness, difficulty in concentration, loss of energy, easy fatigue and unusual rapid heartbeat.


Heavy drinking speeds up brain shrinkage. Normally the brain decline at about 1.9% in old people but excessive consumption of alcohol increases the shrinkage.  Memory loss and symptoms of dementia can be traced to elderly people who consumed heavy alcohol earlier in their lives. Drinking too much also reduces a person’s ability to make judgments, plan, solve problem and carryout other execution functions.

High blood pressure

Alcohol may seem to be a solace in time of despair to many people but can increase one’s blood pressure. Heavy drinking disrupts the systematic nervous system which functions as a control of nerve related activities. When stress, temperature, anxiety etc. are not properly controlled, they can lead to increase in blood pressure. And we know that blood pressure is no lone ranger; it comes with other sicknesses such as stroke, heart disease and even kidney disease.

Nerve damage

Nerve damage was the first sign my dad’s late friend experienced as a result of heavy drinking. Alcoholic neuropathy is a form of nerve damage that is caused by heavy drinking. It is associated with numbness in the limbs, constipation, weakness, incontinence, erectile dysfunction and other problems.  Alcohol is harmful to the nerve cells or it can be as a result of nutritional deficiencies associated with heavy drinking which disrupts the nerve functions.

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