Home Health Physical Complications Associated With Alcohol Use Disorder

Physical Complications Associated With Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a chronic condition involving the compulsive consumption of alcohol despite its negative consequences on health, relationships, and social functioning.  Excessive alcohol use can result in various physical issues with long-term repercussions on health. These effects include liver damage, cardiovascular disease, and neurological diseases. 

If you want help curbing Alcohol Use Disorder, visit https://www.americasrehabcampuses.com and get the help you need. Below are some of the most common physical complications associated with Alcohol Use Disorder.

Liver Disease

Excessive alcohol use can cause liver damage, leading to liver diseases like fatty liver disease. This condition involves the accumulation of fat in the liver cells. In most instances, fatty liver disease is reversible with abstinence from alcohol. 

However, continued alcohol use can lead to more severe liver diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, which can cause liver inflammation and eventually lead to liver failure. Chronic liver disease can develop into cirrhosis, a severe liver condition characterized by the irreversible scarring of liver tissue. Moreover, cirrhosis can cause liver failure and increase the chances of liver cancer.

Cardiovascular Disease

Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol might increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Stroke, and 
  • Heart failure.

Chronic alcohol consumption can develop hypertension, raising the risk of stroke or heart attack.

Neurological Disorders

Excessive alcohol use can cause neurological disorders, including brain damage, dementia, and neuropathy. Chronic alcohol consumption can cause brain damage, leading to:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Memory loss, and 
  • Difficulty with decision-making. 

Prolonged alcohol use can also cause peripheral neuropathy, which affects the nerves in the limbs and can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness.


Excessive alcohol use can increase the chances of getting certain types of cancer, such as:

  • Liver 
  • Breast
  • Throat, and 
  • Esophageal cancer. 

The chances of developing cancer are higher in individuals who consume three or more alcoholic drinks daily. 

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause gastrointestinal disorders, including gastritis, pancreatitis, and ulcers. Alcohol can cause inflammation of the stomach lining, leading to gastritis, which can present with the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting, and 
  • Abdominal pain.

Chronic alcohol use can also cause pancreatitis, a severe condition that can cause pancreas inflammation and digestive problems. Alcohol can also cause ulcers in the stomach and the intestine. (1)

Immune System Dysfunction 

Heavy alcohol consumption can weaken the immune system, increasing the chances of getting infections and diseases.

Sexual and Reproductive Problems

Alcohol use disorder can cause sexual dysfunction, such as impotence, and reproductive problems, such as infertility, in women.

Eye Problems

Over time, drinking too much can lead to vitamin B-1 (thiamin) deficiency, making your eye muscles weak and unable to move. This condition is called nystagmus. (2)

Birth Defects

Heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy may lead to birth defects known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). These defects include physical abnormalities, such as:

  • Small head size
  • Facial deformities, and 
  • Intellectual and behavioral problems.

Prevention of AUD

Preventing alcohol use disorder (AUD) can be challenging, but there are several steps individuals can take to reduce their risk.

  1. Limit alcohol consumption
  2. Practice responsible drinking
  3. Seek professional help.