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Alcoholism and alcohol abuse can increase your risk of many health problems, including:

  • Bleeding in the digestive tract
  • Brain cell damage
  • Brain disorder called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
  • Cancer of the esophagus, liver, colon, and other areas
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle (period)
  • Delirium tremens (DT's)
  • Dementia and memory loss
  • Depression and suicide
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart damage
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Liver disease, including cirrhosis
  • Nerve damage
  • Poor nutrition
  • Sleeping problems (insomnia)

Alcohol use also increases your risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and violence.

Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can lead to severe birth defects in the baby. 

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