The strong, long-term abuse of alcoholism takes its toll on every inch of the human body – this is no secret. The ravaging of organs, tissue, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular functions is undeniable. The array of symptoms that arise from imbibing-in large quantities of alcohol is wide and can vary from patient to patient. Recovery treatment centers are well aware of the varying effects that alcohol may have on the different points of the body, and through the recovery process they can begin to assist in the recovery from such ailments.
  1. Liver – Located in the mid-to upper section of the right side of the abdomen, is the liver. Oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood flows into the liver and is filtered. An extremely vital organ, the liver is damaged by high blood-alcohol contents. Alcohol destroys the tissue of the organ, causing the liver to swell and grow in the chest cavity, inhibiting the function of the surrounding organs. Abstention from alcohol – over a period of time – can allow the liver to decrease in size and return to normal function, provided that advanced cirrhosis is not already present.
  2. Heart – Vascular disease is one of the most dangerous symptoms of alcoholism, and can lead to sudden death in both the young and old. Constriction of the blood vessels leads easily to hypertension, putting a strain on the heart. Over time, this strain can become too much for the heart to take, and it simply shuts down. In recovery, reduction of hypertension can be attained in a very short time following abstention from alcohol, and can lead the heart back into its normal routine.
  3. Eyes – Consuming large amounts of alcohol frequently has a large effect on the eyes. Because of their proximity to the nasal cavity and mouth, the eyes absorb a great amount of alcohol. Bloodshot eyes are a common occurrence for alcoholics – as is redness of the face and surrounding areas. Alcohol causes blood vessels in the face to swell to a much larger size, making their inherent red-coloring more prominent and visible. While damage done to one’s vision may not be reparable, the reddening effect that alcohol has on the face and eyes can disappear completely after stopping the use of alcohol.
  4. Brain – Unfortunately, the effect on the brain is quite simple: alcohol causes brain cells to die. Brain cells, the only cell in the body that cannot repair or replace itself, are lost forever. The cerebellum sees the most damage, with loss of motor control. In-short, this damage cannot be repaired.
All treatment centers address the issues of “how much damage has been done” and “how can we repair the damage.” Longer term addiction treatment plans assist in the extended “asking” of those questions through a longer period of time. The centers also offer an infinite amount of hope that the damage-done can be reversible, and the patient can return to a healthy life and a healthy body.
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