Alcohol and Its Complications
Alcohol and Its Complications
Alcohol use is widespread in the western world. Alcohol is easily available, and it is cheap as well. No doubt that there are so many side effects of alcohol.
Alcohol has two types of complications:
- Social and financial.
- Health problems.
- Alcohol effects may be general or specific.
Social and financial complications:
- Alcohol causes many social and family problems.
- Alcohol can leads to fights between husband and wife.
- Alcohol can change your behavior, and you may be rude to the neighbors and working fellows.
- Alcohol is the major cause of accidents.
- Alcohol can drain your finances.
- The economic impact is estimated to be >$ 100 billion per year regarding lost wages and productivity.
- Alcohol frequent use will make you unsocial.
- It is estimated that 80,000 American die because of alcohol every year, affected directly or indirectly due to alcohol abuses.
Health problems are:
There are so many health issues. I will discuss them one by one.
- Alcohol is absorbed from the small intestine and a small amount from the stomach. Food will delay the absorption of alcohol.
- Without food, alcohol is absorbed in just 15 minutes, and this absorption maybe even delayed to 2 hours.
- 50% show peak in 30 minutes and 75% in 60 minutes. The maximum late absorption maybe 2 hours in a few cases.
- The liver metabolizes 75% of the absorbed alcohol.
- 15% is excreted unchanged through the kidneys and lungs.
- Alcohol intoxication will lead to:
- Euphoria will progress into unconsciousness, and paralysis and a rising alcohol level lead to death.
- Alcohol causes a depressant effect on the central nervous system.
- Ethanol depresses the CNS and ultimately may lead to coma and death.
|Alcohol concentration||Affect the body|
|<50 mg/dL||Euphoria and decreased inhibitions|
|100 to 300 mg/dL||Incoordination and decreased orientation|
|>400 mg/dL||Coma and death|
- CNS dysfunction is more pronounced when:
- Absorptive phase: Ethanol concentration in the blood is increasing.
- Elimination phase: When the level of alcohol is declining.
- Alcohol causes diuresis by inhibiting the secretion of the ADH (antidiuretic hormone) by the posterior pituitary.
- It also inhibits oxytocin secretion because this property is used to stop uterine contractions in premature labor.
- Alcohol blood concentration level of 100 mg/dL has been established to limit car/truck driving in most states in the United States.
The Normal Level Of Alcohol And Interpretations:
|Clinical interpretation||Level of the alcohol in the blood|
|Negative||Not detected in the blood|
|Considered negative||<10 mg/dL|
|Considered negative by the USA transportation||<20 mg/dL|
|Considered positive||>40 mg/dL|
|Considered drunk driver||>80 mg/dL|
|The toxic level of ethanol||>100 mg/dL|
|Fatal level of ethanol||>300 to 400 mg/dL|
|The toxic level of methanol||>20 mg/dL|
|The toxic level of isopropanol||>40 mg/dL|
Alcohol and pregnancy:
- Alcohol use during pregnancy leads to fetal alcohol syndrome.
- The ancient Greeks made a law that a lady pregnant should not drink alcohol. It is found that alcohol, even wine, and beer, can lead to certain congenital disabilities.
- A glass of wine may lead to fewer chances of making a baby.
- Everyone has a different tolerance for alcohol; the best way is to avoid alcohol during pregnancy until their babies are born.
- The lady taking even beer, 60% of the ladies become infertile compared to ladies not drinking wine or beers.
- Studies show that a lady taking even one glass or less has a 30% lower chance of becoming pregnant.
- Alcohol also affects men by lowering their testosterone levels, and sperms are unhealthy.
lake of sleep (Insomnia):
- Alcohol is the most common cause of sleep disturbance.
- At night instead of the alcohol, take the milk for better sleep.
Alcohol affects the brain:
- Some people believe that alcohol is poison for the brain.
- Alcohol causes damage to the brain cells.
- Drinking a significant amount of alcohol can leads to significant loss of memory.
Summary of the complications are:
- Cirrhosis of the liver.
- The degenerative changes in the brain.
- Seizures like epilepsy.
- Alcoholic neuropathy.
- The degenerative changes in the skeletal muscles.
- Chronic alcoholics may have nutritional and vitamin deficiencies.
- Cardiovascular diseases.
- Increased risk for infections like tuberculosis, HIV, and pneumonia.
- Gastritis and pancreatitis.
Lab workup of alcoholics:
You can advise the following tests to evaluate the damage caused by alcohol.
- Gamma GT (GGT) = It increases before the onset of pathologic changes.
- AST (SGOT) = It will increase in case of liver cell injury.
- ALT (SGPT) = It is more specific for the liver cell injury.
- HDL = It may be increased in small amounts of use.