Pathophysiology of the Effects of Alcohol Abuse on the Endocrine System

Nadia Rachdaoui, Dipak K. Sarkar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alcohol can permeate virtually every organ and tissue in the body, resulting in tissue injury and organ dysfunction. Considerable evidence indicates that alcohol abuse results in clinical abnormalities of one of the body's most important systems, the endocrine system. This system ensures proper communication between various organs, also interfacing with the immune and nervous systems, and is essential for maintaining a constant internal environment. The endocrine system includes the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, the hypothalamic-pituitary-growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis, and the hypothalamic-posterior pituitary axis, as well as other sources of hormones, such as the endocrine pancreas and endocrine adipose tissue. Alcohol abuse disrupts all of these systems and causes hormonal disturbances that may result in various disorders, such as stress intolerance, reproductive dysfunction, thyroid problems, immune abnormalities, and psychological and behavioral disorders. Studies in both humans and animal models have helped shed light on alcohol's effects on various components of the endocrine system and their consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-276
Number of pages22
JournalAlcohol research : current reviews
Volume38
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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