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Effects of alcohol abuse on skeletal system

Table of contents

  1. Nutritional Deficiency, Osteoporosis and Hormones
  2.  Skeletal Injuries and Accidents
  3. How Does Alcohol Harm Your Bones?
  4. Drinking and Your Risk of Fracture
  5. Microscopic Changes in Bone

Alcohol abuse impart its impact on every body part. If you are loving alcohol abuse then you must know that how it can affect your body. Like all other body parts alcohol can affect the skeletal system of human. It is estimated that moderate drinking decreases the ability of body to perform regular functions and form new bones and in turn slows down the healing action of fractured bones. Mostly these changes are more prominent in men then in women. But always keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that women are not at a risk of having skeletal problems after having a heavy drink. Along with these problems you may also have to face some other skeletal problems such as delayed bone formation, absorption issues and cellular level disruptions.

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Nutritional Deficiency, Osteoporosis and Hormones

Usually alcohol interferes the functioning of many body parts and hence retard the bone formation. Your bones always nee good blood flow and blood circulation in order to remain healthy. In case when blood flow is limited then bones are unable to get the basic nutrients out of your nutrition and become fragile and hence develop osteoporosis. The weaker bones are normally easily subjected to fractures and are difficult to heal. Due to alcohol abuse variety of nutritional problems arises. Alcohol causes problems during nutritional absorption and alcoholics have normally a disrupted life style which don’t support good nutrition. Malnutrition occurs as a result of lees nutrients absorption which has negative impact on the production of healthy bones. Alcohol is also known to block the body’s ability to absorb calcium from your diet. Calcium is very much needed for healthy bones.

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The alcohol abuse is not related with heavy drinking because it affects different people differently and in some people even moderate drinking may become alcohol abuse. It is estimated that drinking only 2, 3 ounces of alcohol daily causes the stomach to not absorb the calcium efficiently from your diet. Alcohol intake also affects your pancreas and hence affects the absorption of both vitamin D and calcium. Alcohol also affects the absorption of vitamin D by affecting liver which is known to initiate the formation of vitamin D which in turn produce the calcium. Clinical analysis have shown that alcohol abuse increases the level of cortisol and parathyroid hormone. Both of these hormones increases the fracture and slow down the bone formation and in turn increase the rate of bone fractured. The increase in the production of parathyroid hormone results in the drawing out of calcium for other purposes and reduce its production in the bones.

The most interesting effects of alcohol consumption is its impact on the hormones like estrogen. According to one estimate it is k own that the moderate drinking of alcohol affects the production of estrogen. The reduced level of estrogen in young girls has life lasting impact on your reproductive system and hinder bone formation.

 Skeletal Injuries and Accidents

alcohol intake affects decision making ability and also affects the balance. Drinking is the leading cause of car accidents and most of the traumatic skeletal injuries. The excessive drinking can cause peripheral neuropathy results from the malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Along with neuropathy damage in the nerves of hands and feet also caused due to excessive drinking. In case of skeleton already weakened due to alcohol intake the risk of fracture increases. The chronic drinking impart both short and long term effects on your skeleton. The increased level of injuries results from the excessive use of alcohol intake. This all happens due to the chronic alcohol abuse.

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How Does Alcohol Harm Your Bones?

If you imbibe almost 2 to 3 ounces of alcohol daily then your stomach is unable to absorb sufficient calcium. Alcohol intake disrupt the overall functioning of pancreas and thus hinder its ability to absorb calcium and vitamin D. alcohol consumption also affects the liver which is necessary for calcium absorption. Without calcium your bone ma become fluffy and unable to hold you while standing or sitting on a particular place. The hormones which are necessary in order to have perfect and healthy bones may lost due to alcohol consumption. Studies proved that the alcohol consumption decreases the estrogen level and impart the irregular periods in young women. With the decrease in the estrogen level the remodeling of the bones go away and bone loss occur. If you are entering in your menopausal stage then bone loss is very common.

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The excess alcohol is known to kill the osteoblasts which are the bone making cells. Due to alcoholism the peripheral neuropathy results and killing of osteoblasts occur.

Drinking and Your Risk of Fracture

Excessive drinking can lead you to suffer the most common fractures because of the brittleness of the bone and nerve damage. The most common fractures are the spine and hip bone fracture. These fractures heal very slowly due to malnutrition.

If you want to heal your bones early then quit drinking because quitting drinking results in early healing. It is also known that the broken bones starts repairing soon after you left the alcohol.


If you have habit of smoking then quit that habit because it impart even worsen effects so always try to remain away from drinking or smoking if you want to have early healing of your bone. Studies proved that quitting smoking also help you to leave alcoholism.

Microscopic Changes in Bone

The microscopic analysis of bone after alcohol intake can be helpful in easy understanding of the etiology of your skeletal disorders which are induce by the alcohol. The bone mass can be easily controlled by a bone remodeling cycle which starts when the bone breakdown because of the cells called osteoclasts. This in turn is replaced by the new cells called osteoclasts which are the cells of healed bone. Bone mass remodeling is a life lasting process which continue throughout your life. This cycle is disrupted by alcohol intake because it reduces the osteoclasts and increases the osteoblasts because of the delayed healing process. The alcoholics are known to have reduction in the formation of new bones and impart changes in the bone resorption. The bone repairing process can be easily computed by suppression of your bone formation.

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