Is alcohol good for your health 3
One might argue about the benefits of having a drink in the evening. But in higher amounts, alcohol is clearly unhealthy. No one can say with certainty at what dose there is a risk of long-term organ damage. There is apparently a residual risk of liver cirrhosis, cancer and loss of brain cells in every glass. An overview of the most common organ damage caused by alcohol.
Every day almost 2000 liters of blood flow through the liver. It gets from the pollutants that circulate in the body. The liver bears the brunt of breaking down alcohol. Your enzymes break down the cell toxin ethanol into its components until only harmless acetic acid and carbon dioxide are left. This creates an intermediate product that is even more toxic than the drinking alcohol itself: acetaldehyde.
If you drink 40 grams or more of alcohol per day, the equivalent of two pints of beer or two quarters of wine, your liver is likely to suffer in the long term. Half is enough for women. The body's central detoxification organ is extremely adaptable. If a lot of alcohol circulates in the blood, the liver swells and increases its capacity to break down. At some point, however, poison and misdirected cell signals bring the organ out of sync. The liver continues to break down alcohol, but neglects other tasks.
For example, fatty acids accumulate in the organ that can no longer be transported into the tissue - the liver becomes fatty. If you consistently omit the alcohol, the fatty liver can regress. If you refill, you risk permanent liver damage.
Liver tissue perishes with chronic alcohol consumption. Instead, connective tissue proliferates in the organ. The function of the liver gradually disappears. In the early stages, the conversion is theoretically reversible, but not later.
The end stage of liver damage is called cirrhosis of the liver. The scarred, shrunken liver is only working inadequately. Metabolism and hormonal balance get mixed up and the body lacks important proteins for blood clotting. The lumpy scar liver also increases the risk of liver cancer.
Risk of bleeding
Cirrhosis of the liver also affects the bloodstream. Normally, deoxygenated blood flows from the digestive tract through the liver on its way to the heart. If the organ is damaged by cirrhosis, the blood accumulates in the portal vein in front of the liver. The blood stream looks for an alternative route and flows via veins in the esophagus towards the heart.
Under the unforeseen pressure, these blood vessels bulge like varicose veins into the lining of the esophagus. If the so-called esophageal varices tear - for example when vomiting - it can bleed life-threateningly.
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