8 Scary Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health

There’s no question that alcohol has an impact on your health. In some ways, alcohol can be good: wine, for instance, consumed in moderation can benefit the heart. In the other extreme, though, alcohol can be very, very bad. But you don’t have to be a decades-long alcoholic to experience the negative health effects of alcohol. Read on for some of the surprising — and not so surprising — ways that alcohol affects your body.



1. Infertility.

We all know that expectant mothers should lay off the bottle, but women that are looking to get pregnant should avoid the stuff, too. Studies have shown that women who have more than two alcoholic drinks per day decrease their fertility by almost 60 percent. Men aren’t off the hook, either: alcohol can impact male fertility as well.

2. Immune System.

Moderate consumption may boost your immune system, but anything beyond that, and especially when the alcohol use crosses over to abuse, will suppress your body’s ability to fight off disease. Even just one night of heavy drinking can hurt your immune system; hangovers are at least partially the result of an imbalanced immune system.



3. Cancer.

It’s not just liver cancer that heavy drinkers need to worry about. Throat, esophagus, colon and breast cancer have all been linked to alcoholism. It’s possible, but not definitive, that pancreatic cancer is also linked to alcohol consumption.  It probably comes as no surprise that alcohol abuse can lead to cancer, but even moderate use can increase your risk for some cancers, especially breast cancer in women. If you’re drinking moderately, make sure to get enough folate in your diet to help lower your risk of developing breast cancer.

4. Sleep.

Excessive drinking seems like an easy recipe to quickly fall asleep. It’s the quality that matters, though, and several dozen studies have linked alcohol to poor sleep. Alcohol use makes it difficult for your body to enter REM sleep, a cycle of sleep that happens about six times during the night. If you don’t get enough REM sleep, you’re likely going to wake up exhausted.




5. Children’s Habits.

Excessive alcohol use doesn’t only impact you — it can also impact your children. Study after study has found that alcoholism, at least in part, is generational, and perhaps even genetic. A little less than half of children of alcoholics grow up to become alcoholics themselves, four times more than the general population. Children of alcoholics are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and have behavioral trouble.

6. Heart Troubles.

Alcoholism can have a profound impact on your cardiovascular system. Alcoholics have more heart attacks and higher blood pressure. Occasional heavy drinkers also are at a greater risk of  developing high cholesterol. Wine in moderation — say, a glass a day — does seem to have a slightly good impact on overall heart health. But drinking too much, especially over a long period of time — will lead to an increased risk of  a number of heart-related problems.




7. Hair Loss.

Though hair loss is usually the result of genetics or stress, alcohol abuse can also play a role. That’s because the booze reduces the amount of zinc, folic acid and vitamins B and C, and raises the amount of estrogen, in your body. Those factors combine into making your hair shed, more brittle and duller.

8. Bad Skin.

Your skin needs water to stay healthy, and alcohol dehydrates the body. Water reaches your skin after it reaches the rest of your body’s organs, and excessive alcohol use can lead to dry skin. Vitamin A is also depleted by alcohol — a nutrient that helps your cells renew themselves and turn over — which can make your skin appear even worse.


Janet B
Janet B2 years ago


Moosa K.
Past Member 3 years ago

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Moosa K.
Past Member 3 years ago

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Jenny H.
Past Member 3 years ago

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Helly F.
Past Member 3 years ago

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J H.
Jan H3 years ago

Shocking. Not. As has been said, fine in moderation. In excess, not fine.

holly masih
.3 years ago

Peter Tosh called alchohol "devil soup".

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Well, if you drink in excess yes, but I love to have a drink of a good wine or scotch....

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!