EFFECT OF ALCOHOL ON BLOOD.
dr Richardson says in his lectures on alcohol, which he gave in both England and America, and spoke of the effect of this substance on the blood after passage through the stomach:
“So let’s say a certain measure of alcohol is taken into the stomach, it gets absorbed there, but before absorption it has to undergo an appropriate degree of dilution with water, because there’s this peculiarity about alcohol when it’s taking it It is separated from an aqueous liquid such as blood by an animal membrane, so it cannot cross the membrane until it has been enriched with water to a certain dilution point.
it will absorb and withdraw it from aqueous textures until its saturation exhausts its absorbing capacity, after which it will diffuse into the stream of circulating fluids.
It is this power to absorb water from every texture that alcoholic spirits come into contact with that creates the burning thirst of those who willingly indulge in its use. Its effect when it enters the circulatory system is described by Dr. Richardson described it this way:
“As it passes through the circulation of the lungs, it is exposed to the air, and a small portion of it, vaporized by natural heat, is expelled on exhalation. When the amount of it is large, this loss can be considerable, and the odor of the spirit can be detected in the exhaled air.
If the quantity is small, the loss will be proportionately small, since the spirit is held in solution by the water in the blood after passing through the lungs, and being driven from the left heart through the arterial circulation, it enters what is called the minute circulation or the structural circulation of the organism.The arteries here extend into very small vessels called arterioles, and from these to infinity.
From small vessels arise the equally tiny roots or roots of the veins, which are eventually to become the great rivers that flow the Returning blood to the heart. On its way through this tiny circuit, the alcohol finds its way to all organs. To this brain, t From these muscles, to these secreting or excreting organs, even into this bone structure itself, it moves with the blood.
In some of those parts that have no exudates it remains dispersed for a time, and in those parts where there is a large percentage of water it remains longer than in other parts. Some organs that have an open tube for removing fluids, such as the liver and kidneys, expel or excrete it, eventually removing some of it from the body. The remainder, going back and forth with the circulation, is likely to be decomposed and carried away in new forms of matter.
we can better assess what bodily changes it produces in the various organs and structures to which it is associated It enters the blood first, but, as a rule, the quantity which enters is not sufficient to produce any substantial effect on this fluid.
Blood, rich in water, containing seven hundred and ninety parts per thousand, is affected The alcohol is affected by this water where it diffuses and comes into contact with the other constituents, with the fibrin, that plastic substance, when blood is drawn, coagulates and coagulates, and is present in a proportion of two to three parts per thousand;
with the albumen present in a proportion of seventy parts; with the salts, which make about ten parts; with the greasy affairs; and finally those tiny round bodies which swim in myriads in the blood (discovered by the Dutch philosopher Leuwenhock as one of the first results of microscopic observations about the middle of the seventeenth century) and which are called the globules or blood-corpuscles. These latter bodies are indeed cells; their discs, when natural, have a smooth outline, are indented in the middle, and are red in color; the color of the blood derived from them.
We have discovered that in the blood there are other blood cells or cells in much smaller numbers called white blood cells, and these other cells swim in the bloodstream within the vessels. The reds occupy the middle of the stream; the white ones lie externally near the sides of the vessels and move less rapidly.
Our business is primarily with the red blood cells. They fulfill the most important functions in the economy; they absorb much of the oxygen we breathe in and transport it to the outermost tissues of the body; they absorb much of the carbonic acid gas produced by the burning of the body in the outermost tissues, and bring this gas back to the lungs to be exchanged for oxygen; in short, they are the vital instruments of the circuit.
I have observed this disturbance very closely in the blood cells, because we can see it swimming along in some animals during life, and we can also observe it in men who are under the influence of alcohol by removing a drop of blood and examining the effect of the alcohol ,
when observable, is manifold, it may cause the bodies to coalesce and adhere in coils, it may alter their outlines, making the well-defined, smooth, outer margin irregular or crenate, or even stellate; it can change the round corpuscle to the oval shape, or in very extreme cases produce what I shall call a truncated form of corpuscle, in which the change is so great that if we have not followed it through all its stages, we s It would be puzzling to know whether the object being observed was actually a blood cell.
All these changes are due to the action of the spirit on the water contained in the corpuscles; on the spirit’s ability to draw water from them. During each stage of modification of the corpuscles so described, their function of absorbing and fixing gases is impaired, and when the aggregation of cells in mass is large, other difficulties arise, since the cells, which are connected to each other, pass less easily than they do should pass through the tiny vessels of the lungs and general circulation and impede the flow by which local injuries are produced.
“Another effect on the blood produced by excessive alcohol affects the fibrin, or plastic colloidal substance. This can be acted on by the spirit in two different ways, depending on how much it acts on the water containing the fibrin solution. It can fix the water with fibrin, thereby destroying the power to clot, or it can draw out the water so much that clotting occurs.”