Many people know the short-term effects of consuming alcohol like how it affects the ability to concentrate, judgment and coordination, and a person’s overall mood. However, alcohol can also have some serious long-term health effects and they are all different from person to person. Of course, the health risks depend on how much a person drinks on a daily basis as well as genetic information and overall health before drinking but with continued alcohol use, the risks only grow.
Heavy drinking can cause scarring (cirrhosis) as well as inflammation (hepatitis) and also increase the risk for cancer. If you, or someone you know, have a drinking problem, please call Legacy Freedom. We offer affordable alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC.
Heavy Drinking and Cancer Risks
There are several different ways alcohol affects the risk of cancer but it isn’t completely understood just how it does. Alcohol damages the body tissue because it acts as an irritant, especially to the mouth and throat. The damaged cells then try to repair themselves, which leads to changes in DNA and could be a step toward cancer.
Alcohol can lower the level of folate in the body as well as other nutrients. Alcohol lowers the body’s ability to absorb and store folate from food. This problem is typically seen more in heavy drinkers. Low folate plays a role in the risk of breast cancer along with raised levels of estrogen. Alcohol can raise the body’s level of estrogen which is an important hormone in the growth and development of breasts. Too much alcohol adds extra calories to a person’s diet, which leads to weight gain. Being obese has been known to increase cancer risk. Since alcohol is a solvent it helps other harmful chemicals be absorbed in the digestive tract more easily. This could be why smoking and drinking combined is more linked to mouth and throat cancers than either smoking or drinking alone.
In the past, light and moderate drinking was thought to be minimally associated with the risk of cancer in both women and men. However, it has now been determined that women who lightly to moderately drink every day are at more of an increased risk of alcohol related cancer, mainly breast cancer. Light to moderate drinking means up to one drink a day being 15g for a woman and up to two drinks at 30g a day for men. A standard beer bottle is 355ml on average and a glass of wine is 118ml. A team of researchers based at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston used data from two large US studies to determine if light to moderate drinking is actually associated with an increased risk of cancer.
The studies the researchers used tracked the health of 88,084 woman and 47, 810 men for up to 30 years. They tracked assessed risks of cancer by factors such as age, ethnicity, family history, smoking, body mass index, and diet. The follow-up revealed that 19,269 woman and 7,571 men were diagnosed with cancer and, overall, light to moderate drinking was associated with a small but not significant increased risk of total cancer. For alcohol related cancers, the risk only increased in men who smoked and increased in women, mainly in breast cancer, whether they smoked or not.
The risk of breast cancer is especially high in women who do not get enough folate, a type of B vitamin. Some explanation of the risk could be because alcohol affects the estrogen levels in the body.
The risk of colon and rectal cancer is higher in men that drink although the link between alcohol and these types of cancer are there for women as well. The colon has been shown to convert alcohol into large amounts of acetaldehyde, which has caused cancer in lab animals.
If you are a drinker and you feel that it is time to get some help, call Legacy Freedom Treatment Center for alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC. Don’t let your health and mental well being suffer any longer. Legacy will offer you treatment we know will work because it will be perfectly customized for your needs. If you, or someone you love, need help call Legacy today. Our trained team of admission counselors is waiting to help you.
Heavy, regular, and long term use of alcohol has been linked with liver cancer. Alcohol can damage the liver leading to inflammation, which raises the risk of cancer. The liver tries to repair itself and rewrites some of its DNA and that could lead to cancer.
Although alcohol raises the risk of mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus cancer, when a person smokes along with drinking, the risk is raised even more. This could be because alcohol is a solvent, helping the harmful chemicals in tobacco get inside your cells. Alcohol then slows down the cell’s ability to repair damage done by the tobacco. If you're having trouble drinking everyday and want to quit, call Legacy Freedom. We offer affordable alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC.
Since ethanol is the type of alcohol found in all alcoholic drinks, it’s the amount that matters. Since distilled liquor is much stronger than a glass of wine, it takes much more wine to affect you the way one shot of liquor would. Most studies have shown it is the amount of ethanol that increases the risk for cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends that people who drink alcohol limit their daily intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for woman. Men have a higher daily allowance because it takes woman’s bodies longer to process alcohol. This guideline was released as a part of the American Cancer Society’s guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention. The fact that alcohol is linked to many types of cancer and other health risks is complicated by the fact that low to moderate alcohol intake has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. This is a fine line because over indulging in alcohol could raise the risk of heart disease, so they created the daily limit.
Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Wilmington NC
Can't stop drinking? You may have an addiction to alcohol. If you’re considering getting addiction treatment for your drug or alcohol problem, give us a call at Legacy Freedom Treatment Center in Wilmington, NC. There is no reason to be afraid to get help. Our caring admissions counselors can answer any questions you may have. We offer outpatient programs designed to let you continue to work and meet family obligations. Call us today to discuss the many treatment options we offer for drug and alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC. We want to be a part of your recovery from addiction.