How does ethanol poisoning affect the body?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Alcohol has almost immediate effects because it is absorbed in the bloodstream more quickly than it can be metabolized and eliminated. Alcohol acts as a sedative, impairing normal brain and bodily functions. A person may experience hypothermia or abnormally low blood sugar levels. The gag reflex may be impaired, which can be dangerous if the person vomits. At toxic levels, a person may lose consciousness or possibly even die. Excessive drinking can lead to a dependency upon alcohol and more long-term effects.

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