Alcoholism symptoms on body
Alcohol addiction is not a weakness of character, but a widespread mental illness which can affect everyone. It affects people from all levels of life, young and old, women and men.
Most people in World consume more or less alcohol. But when does one speak of an alcohol dependency and how can one treat it? Read here everything important about alcohol consumption.
The alcohol dependency is the dependence on the substance ethanol, which is contained in alcoholic beverages.
In many countries, alcohol is a firmly anchored part of the culture. Just as the wine belongs to the everyday life of the French, beer is an integral part of German culture. The drinking of alcohol is socially recognized. As a legal drug, it is readily available and available at any time and comparatively cheap. It relaxes, lifts the mood and uninhibited. Therefore, the danger of drinking too much is great.
Alcohol is not always obvious. Some of the affected people hide their alcohol consumption for years so cleverly that no one knows anything about it.
Many people associate the word alcoholic with the image of a homeless. But alcoholism is a problem that occurs in every social class, as well as young, old, women and men.
Alcohol abuse and other mental illness
In many cases the alcohol consumption does not occur alone, but accompanied by another mental disorder (comorbidity). The most common are anxiety disorders such as panic disorders or phobias. Many alcoholics also suffer from depression. Schizophrenic patients are often also alcoholics.
It is difficult to determine whether a mental disorder has led to alcohol addiction or alcohol has caused or augmented mental problems. In combination with a mental disorder, the risk of suicide is increased by alcohol addicts. Therefore, it is necessary to treat both diseases as quickly as possible.
Who is affected by alcohol addiction?
The line between pleasure and danger is narrow: even if you drink a liter of beer every day, you risk becoming addicted to alcohol or suffering from alcohol-related organ damage. 30 to 40 grams of pure alcohol for men and 20 grams a day for women are considered as a limit for physical sequelae.
Alcohol addiction is a disease that occurs more frequently in men than in women. In comparison to women, they are more than twice as often alcohol-dependent.
Alcoholism in old age is a common problem, but it is rarely discovered. Many elderly people live alone and their excessive consumption is not noticeable.
Alcohol addiction is not infrequently fatal: the risk of accidents and suicide involves increased risks for life-threatening diseases. These include liver failure, myocardial infarction and various forms of cancer.
Current analyzes show an annual total of just under 74,000 deaths resulting from alcohol consumption or a combination of tobacco and alcohol.
Alcoholism symptoms in long term
Alcoholism symptoms manifest themselves both physically and mentally. The effects of alcohol consumption are comprehensive and serious. They severely endanger the health of alcoholics and affect their relationship with other people. Read here what signs may indicate alcoholism.
Characteristic symptoms of alcohol abuse
Central alcohol addiction symptom is a strong craving for alcohol. The constant thinking of alcohol and neglecting other areas are just as typical signs. Alcohol addiction means that those affected neglect tasks and interests and put their interests, friends and family more and more in the background.
Due to the excessive consumption of alcohol, the body develops a tolerance towards the drug over time. Therefore, Those affected must drink more and more to feel an effect. Another characteristic sign of alcoholism is also excessive intake and drinking everyday, which leads to memory gaps (amnesia).
If less or no alcohol is absorbed during physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms appear. These include trembling, sweating, sleep disorders, anxiety and depressive mood. Only a new dose of alcohol can first relieve the withdrawal symptoms.
Force to drink
Drunk is no longer for enjoyment, but out of an inner compulsion or even a physical need. This is why the attempts of alcoholics to stop drinking regularly fail. However, most alcoholics are initially convinced that you could stop at any time.
They often succeed over days or weeks in fact, which they strengthen in their faith, not to be dependent. But as soon as they get back to the glass, the next relapse with control loss is usually pre-programmed. Their failure increases their frustration and makes them even more drunk.
Despite their obvious problems, most alcoholics are far from having an alcohol problem. This lack of disease is also a typical alcoholism symptom. Reasons for this can be the extreme stigmatization that opposes people with alcohol problems.
Physical symptoms of alcoholism
Consumption of alcohol has both acute and long-term consequences. Excessive consumption of alcohol makes addictive and harms the organs as well as the psyche. Almost every area of life is affected by the consequences. The negative effects are manifested in the profession, in the family and in the leisure time.
Depending on the amount and type of alcohol as well as the body weight and the drinking habits, sooner or later there are perceptions and coordination difficulties with alcohol consumption.
Alcohol spreads rapidly throughout the body to the brain. Even those who tolerate a lot without getting drunk harm their organs. Because the liver can only decompose about 15 grams of alcohol per hour, everything that goes beyond remains in the blood.
In the case of the degradation of alcohol, toxins are also produced that permanently impair their health. The liver, the brain, the gastrointestinal tract and the heart are particularly affected.
Liver damage of alcoholism
The liver, which must constantly carry out heavy work. ncreasingly stores fat, increases and converts to the so-called fatty liver. This often remains unpredictable, for the liver itself can not feel pain. But sometimes liver makes a sensation in the upper abdomen. Pain does not develop until the liver is inflamed.
After some time the liver cells die: a liver cirrhosis develops (shrinking liver). This is a life-threatening disease which is often fatal.
Brain damage of alcoholism
Alcoholism symptoms can also manifest themselves in a limited memory capacity. Alcohol destroys the brain cells as nerve tensions. In severe alcoholics, brain damage can cause Korskow’s syndrome. Those affected then suffer from disorientation and loss of memory.
The Korsakow syndrome is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1. Alcoholics often do not feed adequately. Alcoholic beverages contain plenty of calories, but not the necessary nutrients.
Gastrointestinal problems due to alcoholism
Alcohol also attacks the stomach and intestines. Gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and appetite problems are other alcoholism symptoms. Also the pancreas suffers from alcohol – it is often inflamed, which is life-threatening.
Heart and blood vessel damage due to alcoholism
Long-term alcohol consumption episodes are also cardiovascular diseases. The alcohol damages the heart muscle and the vessels, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, and cardiac disease are the result. Changes in the vascular condition are manifested in the typical red coloration of the skin of alcoholics.
Psychosocial alcoholism symptoms
Alcoholism symptoms also manifest themselves in the psyche of those affected. Increased consumption of alcohol can manifest itself in irritability, aggressiveness, mood swings and also depression. In severe cases, hallucinations and delusions occur.
Often, alcoholics suffer from sleep disorders and severe anxiety. Guilty and inferiority feelings accompany alcohol consumption. Extreme damage can also cause alcohol dependency in the private and professional area. Job loss, debts, separations and isolation are frequent alcoholism consequences.