Men may suffer temporary impotence – brewers’ droop – after a bout of drinking. Long-term heavy drinking can cause the sexual organs to shrink in men and women.
Drinking can also increase sexual risk taking that can lead to sexually transmitted infections.
Most alcohol that goes into your body is processed by your liver, and if it has to break down too much alcohol the health of your liver will suffer.
Long-term, drinking too much alcohol can lead to fatty liver, hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) and cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).
Drinking too much can cause gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) and stomach ulcers. It can also lead to uncomfortable reflux – digestive being forced up into your oesophagus (food pipe).
Moderate drinking may reduce the risk of heart disease for some people over 45, but drinking too much can raise your blood pressure, putting a strain on your heart.
Mouth and throat
If you drink regularly above the recommended amount you are increasing the risk of developing cancer of the mouth, larynx (voice box), pharynx (upper throat) and oesophagus (food pipe). This risk increases further if you smoke.
The immediate effects of drinking on your brain can include slurred speech, slow reactions, impaired memory and blackouts. Over the longer term, heavy drinking can cause a number of different types of brain damage.