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Readers Respond: Has your health been affected by your alcohol consumption?

Responses: 115


Updated October 09, 2014

Excessive alcohol consumption over a period of time can begin to affect almost every system in the body, especially the liver, brain and digestive track. Has your health been affected by drinking alcohol? Note: This Reader Response topic has been closed, please use this form to share your experience, or join the discussion in the Alcoholism Forum.

Kidney infection

I started drinking sometimes after I was 16. I started drinking more when I was 20. But when I turned 21 I drank all day everyday for a whole year. It was the worst year of my life. I was doing bad in school and lost my boyfriend of 3 years because he had enough of my drinking. Reading these stories made me realize I have to stop today. I just came back from the doctor and she said I have a kidney infection and that drinking wont help because it's bad for my kidneys and a whole bunch of other stuff. I just poured the bottles of vodka down the drain. I am so done. I turn 22 next week and I want to make a change. With God's help and from my family and AA meetings . I hope it's not too late and I hope I havn't done too much damage. If you have a problem and are reading this well you don't need that crap its not worth it. Life is too precious to throw it away just like that.
—Guest guest rachel


Im losing the love of my life for the price of a beer I need help. I'm not quite sure how it got this far.
—Guest wow

2 1/2 Years of Sobriety thanks to AA

By time I made it into AA my body was starting to be physically effected by my alcohol abuse. I drank straight vodka 24/7 just to feel normal. I was a social drinker for many years however, when I no longer was able to handle the constant verbal, mental and psychological abuse from my ex-husband, I started drinking to cope as I never learned skills to deal with an abusive person, who would? It's not like you expect to meet and marry a narcissist. I was drinking daily by time I got divorced and by that time I couldn't quit on my own, I needed help. I made it into AA, got a sponsor and worked the 12 steps thoroughly. Today I have 2 1/2 years sobriety and I enjoy my life without the need for alcohol! What a freeing experience! I know AA is not for everyone but for me it is the only thing that worked! I am grateful for AA, the 12 steps, my sponsor and a Power Greater than myself that keeps me sane and sober. My body healed physically as a result!
—Guest Sober Sister

My friend has heart failure from drinkin

A friend of mine someone I really care about has been drinking since he was young, he would drink straight vodka at 7 am in the morning when I stayed over.. when he moved I believe it got worse because he is now in the hospital due to heart failure from drinking too much and smoking he is only 32 years old.. he now in an treatment program yet when I talk to him he still plans on drinking when he gets out. So as someone who care about his health I hope he doesnt, or he is in there for a long time until the addiction goes away if it ever does. but I also love him and I want him to get out I just dont know what to say other than go along with what he wants to do. anyone else in this situation.. will his addiction ever go away?
—Guest Jolene

There is Hope

I am currently 44yrs of age with just about 8months sober. my problem with alcohol started at the age of 13 daily at 16 the progression got so bad at age 27 that nothing went into my body except booze, no food, water pop, etc for weeks at a time with the occasional two bites of a cracker. I would throw up constantly. on walks, drinking, I couldn't stop! to the point I was vomiting blood & bile, too weak to even make it to the bathroom to pee. I would defecate on my self. would not speak due to the fact I would throw up. stay awake just long enough to stop the shakes. this was my HELL for months at a time only to go to er and get out to do same. hallucinations, shakes, were the norm. I have a eroding esophogis, servere liver damage, but finally by the grace of GOD have now started to recover. it can be done I pray for all fellow alcoholics.
—Guest anthony

Not over

It has been 45 days since stopping for the 8th time this has been a LOOOONG NIGHTMARE... No appetite, anxious, lost 30 pounds, heart skipping and racing, heat sensation on my face right arm and back of lower legs, trouble sleeping, off balance(bad), hypertension, changes in vision, i stopped sweating(i used to sweat a lot,now is much less), very tired, but my liver is ok ... i pray like crazy for me and for all of you fighting the good fight. may God bless you all..... Thank you- about.com for your page it is a blessing.
—Guest guest

It's not over...

I'm just writing to say, there is hope. It doesn't matter how much you drink. I hit rock-bottom after a two-year binge with only sporadic 8-day periods of being sober. I was able to go through a box of wine in one night. I was lucky if a 1.5 liter bottle of vodka would last me more than a day. I almost lost my job. I was slowly incorporating pills into my routine. Finally, I hit I found myself in a place where I had no where else to go but up...which is what I did. I quit drinking cold turkey. I found a better job, relocated, dropped a significant chunk of weight. My two-year anniversary of sobriety is less than two months away. If I can do it, so can you. Your circumstances might be vastly different but YOU CAN TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND. It sounds cliche, but IT"S TRUE. I've created a life that is structured and balanced. And I'm grateful everyday that I can remember what I did the night before. I wouldn't relive my experience with "bottoming out" ever, but it made me "wake up". So can U.

Drinking is costing me my life

I never thought it would go this far, at age 20 I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. My first drink was at a buddy's house at 15 years old, never really drank after that till i was 17. I was hanging out with a rough crowd and I ended up drinking every single night, the past 3 years are a blur. I almost died 3 times due to alcoholism. now I'm holding on to my life by a very thin thread. Here's some advice. Don't start drinking. It will take your life!
—Guest john

I am 27 and have been drinking since 19

I have been drinking since i was 19 years old i am 27 now and trying to quit..i would drink a 12 pack every day i lost friends got into fights...sent people crazy messages on face book... i started drinking when my mother got married and kicked me out at the same time...i was depressed and tried to kill myself with alcohol...now i am going on 27 and my throat looks weird may be cancer i was also a smoker...i am now full of regret and it hurts so bad to even breath i ruined so much in my drinking..gave my family a bad rep....i am wondering how badly i have damaged myself..i wasnt eating right and i find myself with gas everytime i eat anything i think i may have messed up my insides...i find that alcohol is evil..i wish i could have known this before i started drinking...regret hurts
—Guest Ron

i don't know what to do

i don't know if it will hurt me physically. im 15 but i drink every night. sometimes until i puke sometimes not. its not negatively affecting me... not yet but i'm scared. i can't stop. everyone around me and in my family is an alcoholic. some of my friends aren't but nothing they do stops me from drinking. i just hide it. and i have to drink. i'm so depressed my mental health is going down the drain. my brother's mom died from cirrhosis of the liver, and i was there when she died, and i'm so scared it will happen to me but i can't stop getting drunk.
—Guest rhapsody

The Alkie, Spouse and Children suffer

Baffles me. How addictions "become". It's all neurochemical I believe. Triggers in dope, alcohol, drugs, etc. Serotonin wins. My husband is so deep in denial, he's even convinced his own children, my step-children. However, my children and I (yes, blended family) see it. In fact, his oldest son (19) is probably following his footsteps, same as my husband followed his father's. Our home is like solitary confinement, each person hides in their rooms to avoid the arguments, the heat, the high's and low's of one individual's happiness which dictates the mood and activity of the day. I can't tap my toothbrush in the morning (it's too loud); we keep the lights off in the house and pull the shades; we dare not make noise or create commotion.Other people's happiness is sarcastically envied by my husband. I envy their peace. His Lies rule my relationships w/ my in-laws who enable, they need to protect their brother. Instead, they're killing him too.Time to move on? A MUST READ "Boundaries"
—Guest For better or worse???

Im trying....

Today is day 4, not one drop of alcohol, and tomorrow will be day 5. Ive been slowing down a pretty good bit over the last 6 months. But especially since I turned 40 last month. Trying to quit cold turkey was very hard. I would wake up with a bad headache feeling hungover and I hadnt drank anything. Then I would give in and go get 2-4 tall boys of beer, thats my thing, no liquor. Before I started slowing down, it would take 5-7 of those before I had enough. I started when I was 13. Many times as a teen, I got drunk, but not daily. The daily started about age 21. A 6 pack after work almost every night, then a case or more on the weekends. So I would say 19-23 was pretty heavy drinking for me. Then I was injured pretty bad in a single car wreck. Slowed a lot after that until about 27, then picked back up to almost daily. So easing out of daily use has helped. Now going on day 5 w/o any and I feel great, no headaches or fogginess in my eyes. Sleeping great too. It can be done, just do it.
—Guest Max

help my mother

I am 44 years old and i have been cheated from having a mother all my life due to heavy drinking. I have tried many times to help her, but she is in deniel. Now she has grandchildren, and it is history repeating itself. I cope with it through anger. I know that is wrong. My father says he has done all to get her help, but i disagree. She comes from a family that is full of addiction. The funny thing is when they need help. She got it for them. I dont know where to turn anymore. My father protects her rather than helping her. My mother is also on all kinds of meds for stroke level high blood pressure. To sit back and watch her drink her self to death is killing me. My mother used to be a very loving and happy person. Now she is nasty and unemotionial. To not only watch her fall apart, but a whole family as well. I am not a person to give up, I want to see my mother simle and be loving as she once was. If anyone can help me PLEASE.
—Guest gloria


I started drinking at the age of 13 and haven't stopped since. I am now 37 and have to drink 2-3 bottles of wine a day to achieve a "normal" state. The irony is, my cousin died a horrible death from cirrhosis and kidney failure (ascites, bacterial peritonitis, you name it) and I WAS THERE when she died - after that, I have had no control over my drinking, I just drink and drink and drink. My life is a complete wasteland, I am ashamed and embarrassed, I cannot work due to depression (which is due to the drinking but I haven't admitted that to anyone). My health is terrible - can't eat solid food anymore, so I just drink and smoke all day. I pass out every night and wake up with the shakes, last about 2 hours before I have to drink again. So to say that my health has been affected is an understatement - my life has gone down the drain and my body is giving up. Today, however, is the day I refuse to give in and give up. I'm starting over. No more booze! Please send me strength. Bless you!
—Guest anna


I love life - I have decided to stop drinking and since that decision have went to college, started a new job, found love, felt good about myself and can sleep sober.
—Guest Winedog123
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