Have you ever stopped to think about what alcohol actually does to your body? Even if you are able to overcome your addiction, there are physical symptoms of alcoholism that stay with you for the rest of your life, and this can have negative effects on you in your old age.

People often see the signs of alcoholism in your face and body, and they won’t need that telltale smell to know that you have been drinking when you shouldn’t have been. Some of the outward physical signs of the disease include broken veins on and around the nose, bloodshot eyes and ruddy cheeks as well as the usual sign in men, a large stomach but skinny legs. This is a classic sign of alcohol overuse.

As for the physical signs that won’t show on the outside, alcohol is very damaging to your liver. Your liver’s job in the body is to filter out the toxins and since alcohol is very toxic, it has to work especially hard to process it. This means that a few years down the line, your liver will not be able to keep up with you and will shut down.

Another physical effect of alcohol is felt in the kidneys. Those with alcoholism will find that they are more susceptible to kidney pain and infection, since the kidneys also have to work harder to filter out toxins in the urinary tract. An alcoholic’s colon and stomach also have to work harder since they have to deal with the excess of sugar that is found in alcohol, and one of the worst problems that alcoholics experience is with their pancreas. The pancreas has a very tough job in terms of controlling the sugar in the body and when you drink excessively, those sugar levels are way too high. Thus, the pancreas does not know how much insulin to produce and over the long term gets confused, resulting in diabetes.

Alcoholism is a disease of the mind, but its effects on the body can be devastating and may eventually lead to coma, stroke or even death.