While the popular refrain is that certain drugs have been demonized (read: considered illegal) to a large extent as opposed to cigarettes and alcohol, the truth is that there are health risks associated with everyone of them. Yes, even the “happy highs” of alcohol have long standing effects that if left unchecked (and continually consumed in large amounts), can leave one unhealthy and unhappy.

So, here are some of the top health-based reasons why one should limit their intake of alcohol:

Reason #1: Liver Disease

According to studies, intoxication due to the excess consumption of alcohol causes the liver to swell and sometimes results in severe pains. And if you drink heavily almost everyday, this swelling will lead to liver enlargements, thanks to the process of fatty lipids retention by cells. And if one does not check his or her drinking habits, this can lead to liver cirrhosis which means that your liver (the only one that you have!) will not work anymore.

Reason #2: Pancreatic Impairment

While drinking heavily will boost pancreatic secretion, it does inhibit the production of pancreatic hormones which leads to issues with digestion as well as the inability to absorb nutrients. If one ignores this, it could lead to pancreatitis, which is inability of the pancreas to function normally.

Reason #3: Effects memory, learning ability impacting academic performance

Tissue damage and brain shrinkage are also results of chronic alcoholism while it has been documented in studies that the attention span and spatial abilities of an individual are also affected negatively. This, in turn, can not only affect one’s ability to perform well in academics but impede one’s chances to succeed in life.

Reason #4: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

If pregnant mothers drink heavily, this has been shown to impact a child in the form of fetal alcohol syndrome. Abnormally developed joints and limbs, learning disabilities, smaller heads and abnormal facial features are some of the attributes of this disease.