Definition of alcohol: types of alcohol and what are their harms

Definition of alcohol


Chemically, alcohol is defined as organic compounds containing hydroxyl groups bearing the chemical symbol (-OH), and the term alcohol with its common definition is a toxic substance found in spirits that include beer, wine and distilled liquor, and the two chemicals that contain alcohol are known as ethanol.

Of carbon and one hydroxyl group, and alcohol is considered toxic because of its ability to dissolve fats, as it works to dissolve fats in cell membranes, which destroys the structure of cells and works to kill them, and in this way alcohols work to kill microbes, and they are effective in sterilization, and ethanol is less toxic.

From other alcohol, and when it is diluted enough, it causes effects on the brain so that some people want to get it, but it must be known that drinking alcohol, regardless of its quantity and concentration, cannot be completely safe and without risks.

Many people in many regions of the world drink alcohol on social occasions, but drinking alcohol entails many health and social risks and consequences, and despite the fact that the majority of chronic diseases resulting from drinking result from drinking it frequently and for long periods.

Drinking it In small quantities or in spaced periods, it also carries many risks, and science has concluded that there is no safe minimum for drinking, and in this article we will talk about the impact of alcoholic beverages on human health.

Alcohol in the human body

The alcohol in spirits does not need to be digested before being absorbed, so it is quickly absorbed into the blood, where about 20% of it can be absorbed directly from the empty stomach walls, and reach the brain within one minute.

While the presence of food slows down the absorption and arrival of alcohol to the brain, and works to keep it in the stomach for a longer period, as the stomach works to digest part of the alcohol through the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase.

Thus reducing the amount of alcohol that reaches the brain, but the alcohol-digesting enzyme is more in men than women, Therefore, a greater amount of alcohol reaches the small intestine in a woman’s body, which makes her absorb more alcohol than a man equal in size to her by about a third.

And therefore the toxicity of alcohol is greater in women, and after absorption the body gives priority to alcohol in metabolic processes in order to ensure its disposal as soon as possible Possible, as the body cannot store alcohol, which also indicates that the body treats it as a toxic substance.

Alcohol-laden blood is transferred from the digestive system to the liver, so that this blood reaches all liver cells, which are the only cells that also contain good amounts of the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme, which enables the body to get rid of part of the alcohol before it reaches the rest of the cells of the body, Therefore, the greatest damage caused by alcohol occurs in the liver, although it affects all parts of the body.

Consequences of drinking alcohol

Short term consequences

alcohol causes a loss of focus and the ability to judge and act in situations, as it affects the ability to see and affects memory, and may cause fainting.

alcohol also causes many consequences, and here are some of its short-term consequences that affect people who drink it It also affects others who do not drink it:

Alcohol is responsible for a third of all cases admitted to the emergency department.

  • Responsible for half of all murder cases.
  • Responsible for half of all domestic violence cases.
  • Responsible for half of all deaths in traffic accidents.
  • Responsible for half of all fire deaths.

Alcohol consumption affects university students in the world more than others; Because of this age group’s acceptance of excessive drinking, drinking alcohol is considered responsible for:

  • An average of 4 university students are killed every day.
  • Daily sexual assault of 192 university students.
  • 1,370 university students are harmed every day.
  • Attacking 1644 university students every day.

Long-term consequences

Scientific research has found that drinking alcohol is associated with more than 60 diseases, and it has many effects on the body, which have not yet been fully discovered, and when the quantities of alcohol consumed are large or the period between consumption is short.

The body cannot fully recover from the effect The drink, and the repetition of this affects all parts of the body, so that the risk of death from all causes is greater in people who drink alcohol a lot, especially people under the age of 35 years, and from the long-term health problems caused by drinking alcohol are the following:

High risk of arthritis.

Drinking alcohol can cause anemia.

increased risk of cancer; Because its converted in the body into the carcinogenic compound acetaldehyde, it increases the risk of liver, pancreatic, rectal and breast cancer, and increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, pharynx, and esophagus, and it interacts with smoking to raise the risk in these types. more cancer.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy causes the so-called fetal alcohol syndrome, in which the fetus suffers from congenital malformations and abnormal changes in behavior, and this effect is considered the most dangerous of drinking alcohol.

Drinking alcohol significantly increases blood pressure and lipids (fats) in the blood, and it also increases the risk of stroke and heart disease, which includes heart failure.

Drinking alcohol can cause high blood sugar, and it may cause it to drop, especially in people with diabetes.

High risk of miscarriage in women and infertility in women and men.

Increasing the size of the kidneys, affecting hormonal functions, and raising the risk of kidney failure.

Drinking alcohol causes fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and alcoholic hepatitis.

Raising the risk of malnutrition resulting from protein-energy malnutrition, lack of protein intake, vitamin A, calcium, iron, vitamin C, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6, and defects in absorption Calcium, Phosphorous, Vitamin D and Zinc.

Drinking alcohol causes nerve damage, dementia, imbalance and memory,[1] and it also causes what is known as Alcoholic neuropathy, which results in a feeling of tingling and numbness in the limbs, muscle weakness, incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and others.

Drinking alcohol increases calorie intake, and thus increases the risk of obesity and weight gain.

Drinking alcohol causes depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

High risk of stomach ulcers and cancer.

The high risk of epilepsy, and it causes seizures even in people who do not have epilepsy, and it also interferes with medications used to treat convulsions.

The high risk of developing gout, and the worsening of the disease in sufferers.

Reducing the efficiency of the immune system and increasing the risk of infection, especially tuberculosis, pneumonia, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, which include diseases that lead to sterility.

Inflammation of the stomach (Gastritis), the pancreas that affects the digestive process, causes abdominal pain and persistent diarrhea, and alcohol is responsible for about 60% of cases of pancreatitis.

Alcohol addiction

Alcoholism is defined as having unhealthy and dangerous drinking habits, and a person is considered to have alcoholism if he or she has three or more of the following problems within one year:

  • Inability to stop drinking or control the amount of drink consumed.
  • The need to drink larger quantities to get the same effect.
  • Having withdrawal symptoms, which include stomach upset, sweating, tremors, and anxiety when you stop drinking.
  • Spending a long time drinking, recovering from the effect of the drink, or giving up other activities in exchange for drinking.
  • Previous failure to stop drinking or reduce intake.
  • Continuing to drink even though it harms social relationships, or causes physical problems.

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