Search this Site and the Web.

Effects of alcohol usage

Written by Dr. Sylvester Ikhisemojie - Nigeria

Dr. Sylvester Ikhisemojie
This is a matter of increasing concern to many governments, non-governmental organisations and physicians around the world, not to mention people in the law enforcement community. In many of such nations, the sale and use of alcohol is strictly enforced. In many pubs in the United Kingdom, there are usually clear warnings that the sale of even the mildest kinds of alcohol must not be to those who are less than 18 years of age. It is somewhat more liberal in Scandinavia but such regulations are more or less the same in the United States and Canada.

That is not to say that breaches do not occur, but these occur more in default than being the norm. In major Muslim nations, there are sometimes specific elements of law enforcement that are charged with the regulation of this requirement. In our country, unfortunately, regulations often exist on paper. Beer and other alcoholic beverages are sold freely to all those who have the ability to pay for such drinks. No questions are asked and no answers are given. It is a largely silent market between the buyer and the shop owner; the buyer offers money after stating what he wants and the request is fulfilled with no fuss.

We do ourselves enormous harm though. Alcohol is, without question, not altogether bad. It is even beneficial when it is taken moderately on a regular basis. Just one wine-glass full of the fluid is regarded as a safe amount. It is harmful in a wide variety of ways when taken in large amounts over time. Our business today is to explore what these injuries entail and how they come about. It is important to note that the use of and the abuse of alcohol has been with mankind for ages. Alcohol has also undergone progressive refinement over the ages and there are now many distinct types of this beverage.

Where legal limits have been imposed on the strength and availability of various forms of alcohol, ingenious people have formulated their own local brew. As a result, many have often died from alcohol poisoning. Incidents such as this have happened around the world, including India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. In Nigeria, there are strong local brews known as Burukutu, Pinto, Sapele Water, Akpeteshi and Ogogoro. None of these enjoys any form of regulated production so that in addition to their toxic nature, the unhygienic mode of production confers on them some inherent dangers. These strong drinks, rich in ethanol concentration, often lead to tragedy. They cause breathing problems, when taken in large amounts, unconsciousness and death. Very often, death results especially when young men decide to compete with the aim of determining who would be the last person standing. Some end up in the hospital but those are the lucky ones. Many others die from ethanol poisoning.

There are some adverse short-term effects of consuming this liquid. These include slurred speech and concentration problems. Slurring of the speech is an important initial assessment used by law enforcement officials to determine if a driver or someone causing some public disturbance is acting under the influence of alcohol. That suspicion is often confirmed using a breath analyser to determine the level of alcohol in the system. Such people are also not able to walk in a straight line, another common test used to determine sobriety. It is also popular in dormitories with strict laws and effective supervision from the teaching staff. Other easily detectable problems include motor problems which relates to the inability of an influenced person to properly coordinate their movements. Such individuals are often not able to perform routine tasks such as lacing their shoes properly or accurately placing common house utensils in their normal positions.

Individuals under the influence of alcohol also lose their ability to retain normal social inhibitions. Ordinary conversation soon degenerates into a shouting match in an effort to be heard. Past, forgotten or inconvenient events are brought into vivid reality in an appalling lack of etiquette, and sexual misconduct is all too likely to occur. Such a person could pass urine in the open in full view of whosoever cares to have a look. He could sleep also in the open or do worse things. The irony is that the male acting under the influence of alcohol often assumes he is macho and immensely powerful because of the euphoric effect that alcohol brings about. The reality is often disappointing with such men suffering from a poor erection and a quick ejaculation. It does not deter them nevertheless from being unduly aggressive and in making their sexual preferences clear. He is also prone to seeking undue attention from the opposite sex and in pursuit of this may take dangerous risks which he believes he is well able to handle because of a new sense of invincibility.

People under the influence of alcohol are also prone to suffer from memory problems. Events which happened a long time ago are recalled without effort and with clarity. More recent events including those that occurred within the preceding hour are blissfully forgotten, often with absolutely no recollection. Efforts to refer to such episodes are often rebuffed or dismissed as non-events by the person under the influence of such alcoholic beverages. It is often spectacular to watch. In the meantime, even long repressed secrets in his personal life may be shared with no sense of embarrassment or shame. There occurs a loss of social inhibitions. Some of these drinks that have found their way into the markets apart from beer are wines and spirits such as Vodka; Gin; Whisky; Tequila; Rum; Irish Cream; various Red wines and White wines. Whatever the type of drink consumed, the long term effects are the same once the use exceeds what is determined by propriety and by social etiquette. Some of these effects are found in the medium term, while others are in the long term.

Medium term problems with heavy alcohol use include alcohol dependence, which is an especially dangerous phase in the downward spiral. People in this category are unable to function properly as long as they are not able to get their usual dose of alcohol. They cannot face a difficult assignment without drinking a large volume of alcohol. They cannot face a crowd without this aid, and in the worst cases, they are not even able to write an examination or attend an interview unless they have taken a fair amount of alcohol. Following this pathetic state is an almost permanent alcohol odour which accompanies them. Added to this is the dissolution of the calm individual. There is a gradual disorganisation of his personality with consequences for his personal life, his family and his work. He becomes forgetful and slothful and may take to violence to retain relevance at home. Sometimes, someone gets killed.

A permanent state of confusion seems to complete this picture, which is really pathetic. It is always something disconcerting to see an individual who is usually well appointed begin to disintegrate slowly in a bizarre fashion that negatively affects his personality. Another long-term health effect of this affliction is a progressive liver injury that can lead to an entity called alcoholic liver cirrhosis in which that organ becomes shrunken and hard with an irregular surface. Unless such persons have the wherewithal to undertake a liver transplant, progressive jaundice, liver failure and death will be the inexorable consequences. That kind of liver damage also makes them prone to developing certain kinds of liver cancer. Cancer of the pancreas is also a risk particularly if the person has had repeated bouts of acute pancreatitis. Sometimes, this repeated inflammation of the pancreas can become quite persistent and therefore chronic. Either of those cancers is virtually impossible to treat, and thus certain to lead to premature death.

Ask the doctor

Dear doctor, 
I am a 28-year-old woman. Please help me. I am dying. My problem started in July, 2014 when I was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. I was treated with antibiotics and I also took native concoctions. After the treatment, I ran the MCS (Microscopy, Culture and Sensitivity) test twice and they showed there was no growth. Now, the back pain has returned with cramps in the lower abdomen, which affects me while sleeping or resting my back on something. Also, I urinate often, although I also drink a lot of water, but there is no blood or pain when urinating. Lastly, I am unable to conceive. I have taken some fertility drugs prescribed by a doctor but still no result. I am facing pressures from both families. Please help me. 

The problems you itemized above cannot kill you with speed or slowly. It is treatable and can be resolved. Unfortunately, you and your doctor have been looking too much in the urine alone as the root cause of your problems. The lower abdominal cramps you described indicate that you may also have a pelvic inflammatory disease. Whatever the case is, you ought to see a gynaecologist in order to be examined fully. You ought to have swabs taken for cultures and an ultrasound scan as well and these will help further to sort out your problems. Until every vestige of infection is gone from those organs, a pregnancy may not occur. If an organism is found culpable, both you and your husband should be treated.

Dear doctor, 
kindly answer these questions, please. What is the cause of ovulation pain? Does it cause infertility? What can be used for treatment? Thank you.

The precise cause of ovulation pain is not clear and not every woman experiences it, but the most likely reason why it occurs is that when a mature follicle bursts and is released from the ovary, some bleeding occurs. The blood then irritates the peritoneum, the sensitive lining of the inner wall of the abdomen, thus causing the pain you referred to. On its own, it does not cause infertility but if it lasts for more than three days on the average, and is associated with heavy menstrual bleeding and severe pain, then it may become associated with infertility. This distinction is important because you could then have problems ranging from endometriosis to pelvic inflammatory disease. When it is mild, lasting a few minutes to about three days, it is harmless and of no consequence. The latter scenario is easily treatable with simple pain killers. In the former, a more serious case, treatment depends on the cause.

Dear doctor, 
recently, a physician recommended Trevo for my wife. When she bought the mixture/drink, I read a leaflet on it stating that it can cure a range of about 12 ailments. If you know this drink, can this assertion be true? Or is there anything like a multipurpose drug? Thanks. 

I know Trevo and I could probably drink it as a supplement. It is not harmful. However, it does not have the capacity to do all those feats claimed for it. Those claims tend to make it a fraud in that respect. There are only a handful of multipurpose drugs in use and they are multipurpose because they have a wide range of effects over a wide range of organs in the body. That is established by diligent research, not the sort claimed for Trevo.

I am a 30 year old male and I have premature ejaculation. 

Premature ejaculation is often the result of some degree of anxiety. It may also result from the use of certain drugs or of alcohol as you would appreciate from the main article above. You need to see a urologist for adequate examination and possible treatment.

I am 65 years old and my sperm is watery and low in quantity. I take two glasses of water first thing in the morning and a medium jug containing two tablespoons of beverage and powdered milk with breakfast daily, often pap with moin-moin or akara. I also take one medium sized stout and one or two sticks of cigarettes only every night. My libido is low. Also, I am addicted to some medications; I take one Vitamin C, one Vitamin B, one Calcium and one Dr. Meyer Ibupain 400 every morning. Please, I need your advice. 

There is nothing wrong with your diet and it is a smart kind of diet that does not weigh you down in the course of the day. At 65, I am not surprised that your libido is low, but you will occasionally be able to have a strong erection at least once in a week. However, at your age, your smoking habit is likely to compromise your libido because it negatively affects the vessels in the penis. The best way to assess your semen quality is to do a full analysis of it, which most laboratories will be able to handle. Among the drugs you presently use, the most dangerous is the Ibupain 400. This medication is taken for no clear reason, because it is a pain killer. Worse though is the fact that it can induce serious stomach bleeding without prior warning and induce peptic ulcers. You should stop both the use of Ibupain and cigarettes. Finally, if two glasses of water in the morning is all you take in the course of the day, that intake is grossly inadequate.

what can give as permanent cure to a person that has something like a boil coming out of the ear? What should such a person take? 

I assume that you are referring to pus discharging from the ear. There is no permanent cure without proper investigation. That treatment is obtained when you have done a swab of the ear in question and a culture is obtained to reveal which bacteria are responsible for causing the discharge. The test will also tell your doctor which antibiotics to use. You may get this service from your doctor or an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon.

Dear doctor. 
I am 20 years of age and I am 5ft 5in tall. I want to be taller than this. How can you help me? Thanks.

At 20, all growth has all but stopped, so any help that was possible before now is no longer possible. That is because every person has a growth plate in their long bones. When these bones have not fused, growth is possible. When they begin to fuse from about 18 years, growth ceases.

Dear doctor, 
I am a 25-year-old male and my genotype is SC. I have this girlfriend that I love so much and we are about to get married, but someone told me not to marry her because her genotype is AS. Please, I need your advice because this issue is disturbing us. We are both not happy about it. 

I sympathise with you, but the person who gave you that advice loves you dearly. With your SC genotype, you are a sickler already, though a relatively mild one. Now, if you get married to your AS fiancée, you will, in each pregnancy, have a 25 per cent chance of having a child with either AS or AC or SS or SC genotypes. That is equivalent to a 50 per cent chance of having a sickler. Let us hypothetically suppose that you end up having three or four children. The probability favours either SS or SC with 50 per cent. So, what would you do? When the problems begin, the love you profess now will disappear under the strain of caring for them. It is an immense burden and I would encourage you to think very carefully about it before you take the leap.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...