Alcohol Abuse And Esophagus Damage
Although the esophagus is part of the digestive system or the gastrointestinal tract, it is still important that you learn about the specific negative effects of alcohol abuse on this organ. Habitual exposure of the esophagus to alcohol can lead to the following problems:
Esophageal Tear – mainly due to the increase in gastric acid reflux as well as from regular vomiting.
Heartburn - Alcohol abuse can actually weaken the lower esophageal sphincter which is responsible for preventing the stomach contents to backflow into the esophagus.
Cancer of the Esophagus – research has found that an aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency can increase the risk for esophageal cancer. The said enzyme is responsible for metabolizing carcinogens and other toxic substances like acetaldehyde. Unfortunately, this particular substance occurs naturally in some foods, is present in cigarette fumes and is actually the end product of alcohol metabolism. If you have this particular enzyme deficiency, you would suffer from palpitations, nausea and red face from consuming too much alcohol. If the enzyme deficiency is not addressed, the risk for cancer is quite high. Alcohol abuse and esophagus damage can be prevented with proper help.
Damage to the Salivary Glands – natural acid-base balance is disrupted. aldehyde
Mouth and Tongue Inflammation – effect of alcohol abuse on the mucus membranes which exposes these organs to irritation
Barrett’s Esophagus – the lining of the esophagus is damaged due to a highly acidic environment. Such a condition also predisposes to cancer since abnormal cells are created.
Esophageal Stricture – again, the esophageal lining is damaged which results in the narrowing of the passageway making swallowing difficult.
Mallory Weiss Syndrome – a condition characterized by tears located between the stomach and esophagus. The tear bleeds uncontrollably.
Esophageal Varices – considered as a bleeding condition that arises from dilated veins of the esophagus and stomach.
Damage to the esophagus due to excessive alcohol consumption is a serious matter. If you are exhibiting any signs like pain or bleeding, you need to consult a medical professional. As for your drinking, it is time to put the glass down and seek professional help if necessary before your health is compromised.