How Alcohol Works

Alcohol and Other Bodily Functions

In addition to the brain, alcohol can affect other bodily functions, including the following:

  • Irritates the linings of the stomach and intestine: This can lead to vomiting.
  • Increases blood flow to the stomach and intestines: This increases secretions by these organs, most notably stomach acid secretion.
  • Increases blood flow to the skin: This causes a person to sweat and look flushed. The sweating causes body heat to be lost, and the person's body temperature may actually fall below normal.
  • Reduces blood flow to muscles: This can lead to muscle aches, most notably when a person recovers from the alcohol (the "hangover").

All of alcohol's effects continue until the ingested alcohol is eliminated by the body.