The cells of our body have membranes formed by proteins and fats. Alcohol dissolves in fat, so it can easily traverse cell membranes and penetrate into any type of cell. If you have an empty stomach, it will penetrate even faster because it will easily cross stomach into the bloodstream and from there to the brain and other organs of the body.
At first, alcohol produces slight stimulation and certain sensation of euphoria, relieves tension and produces some disinhibition. This effect occurs only with low levels of alcohol. If you continue to drink, its depressant effects begin to appear, affecting brain’s balance center, so you have coordination problems.
It also affects frontal lobe, which is in charge of social judgment. For this reason, you may do things that later embarrass you or say inappropriate things. You may feel irritable and easily provoked. You have motor coordination problems and your ability to perform complex tasks like driving is lost. You also lose the ability to judge whether or not you are capable of driving while speech is also affected
If alcohol levels continue to rise, you can go into a state of stupor and lose consciousness. During this loss of consciousness, sleep patterns are altered. There is a risk of alcohol-induced coma, with depression of vital functions such as breathing, which can lead to death.
As the brain adapts to the continued effects of alcohol, it adjusts its internal regulation systems to compensate, so that when you stop drinking, you feel an unpleasant effect, with symptoms such as anxiety, depression, inability to sleep and irritability. If you drink again, there is a momentary balance and you feel better. This sets in motion the cycle of addiction.
The brain adapts to the presence of alcohol, so that the person can have more alcohol in body without experiencing depressant effect until there comes a time when whole central nervous system remains hyperactive even if you drink regularly. This is the cause of seizures that alcoholics may have due to over sensitivity of central nervous system.
Another symptom of chronic adaptation to alcohol is hypertension, slight tremors and nasal congestion and they also suffer from psychological symptoms like anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, mood swings, depression and paranoia. All these symptoms are due to long-term adaptation of brain to the presence of alcohol and when they stop drinking, they disappear.
Alcohol’s Effects on Body Organs
Alcohol has a toxic effect on many organs of the body.
When it is metabolized in liver, it becomes inflamed and fatty deposits appear in its cells, altering the functioning of liver. Hepatic cirrhosis may occur over time.
It is also affected, forming less mature red blood cells. Alcohol also damages immune system, so alcoholics have a greater predisposition to infections.
In brain, alcohol affects the center of memory and cerebellum, which controls balance and body movements, which can eventually be destroyed. Some alcoholics have auditory hallucinations as they hear voices generally nasty and mocking. Alcohol causes damage to all nerve cells, which can lead to dementia or loss of intellectual functioning.
It also damages muscle tissue, including heart muscle, producing an alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
It affects stomach and digestive system, which can cause acute gastritis, with bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea and anemia.
When it is inflamed by alcohol, it releases its digestive enzymes and begins to destroy itself, causing intense pain. Pancreas is also responsible for producing insulin, which affects the production of this hormone and diabetes may occur.
In short, alcohol is one of the most toxic substances that exist and it requires admission in the inpatient rehab center in NYC for recovery of this addiction.