Alcoholism is slower to kill people than an addiction to illegal narcotics like cocaine or crystal methamphetamine, but the progressive nature of alcoholism causes the user’s tolerance to rise and the alcoholic drinks have a damaging effects on internal organs (including the brain).
Identifying Symptoms and Managing the Complications of Alcoholism
Twenty five years of helping men and women get sober leads to quite a knowledge base of how to approach individuals about their disease, as well as how to identify symptoms of complications and manage them. Sober Living by the Sea has a medical staff of experts and years of experience facilitating detox and recovery from alcoholics who’ve built an extremely high tolerance and done lots of damage to their bodies.
Chronic heavy alcohol consumption can lead to “fatty liver” (steatosis), alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
Steatosis – the first stage of alcoholic liver disease can be caused by short term heavy drinking but can also be reversed with abstinence from alcohol. Prolonged use can lead to alcoholic hepatitis. Symptoms of these alcoholic complications include:
- Lack of appetite
- Abdominal pain and tenerness
- Spiderlike blood vessels
- Increased bleeding times
Abstinence might not reverse liver damage from alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis can still develop. Up to 70% of patients with alcoholic hepatitis will develop cirrhosis. Common symptoms of cirrhosis include:
- generalized weakness
- anorexia (with signs of malnutrition)
- increased bleeding
Acute pancreatitis is the most common cause of hospitalization from alcohol related gastrointestinal complications is seen more than liver disease. Early detection and enrollment of the patient in a structured and effective treatment center for alcoholism can save the individual’s life.
Light to moderate drinking might actually have a good effect on the cardiovascular system but heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of hypertension and heart disease.
Incidences of hypertension are twice as likely in individuals who have greater than 2 drinks a day and extremely likely for those who drink more than 5 drinks a day.
- Prolonged alcoholic drinking is the leading cause of nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. Symptoms of alcoholic cardimyopathy include:
- dyspnea (including paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea and orthopnea
- loss of appetite
- irregular pulse
- productive cough with pink/frothy material
- lower extremity edema and nocturia
Cardiac function can recover with early diagnosis and alcohol abstinence.
The effects of light drinking on cognitive function are controversial but there is little doubt that heavy drinking leads to long term and serious impairment. Alcohol dependent individuals have been known to show impaired verbal fluency, working memory, and frontal function as is seen in Alzheimer’s disease.
Treatment For Alcoholism is Available and it Works
Alcoholism kills. People who drink excessively get arrested and die in jail, freeze to death, choke on their own vomit, suffer kidney failure, and any number of other horrible deaths. Men and women who abuse alcohol are prone to use harder drugs like meth, heroin, or OxyContin which can destroy their minds and bodies even faster. Some people who are in the grasp of alcoholism cause automobile accidents that kill other innocent people and are doomed to live a horrible life in prison for the rest of their lives where they get to dwell on the guilt of what they’ve done to the victims and the victims’ families (and their own families).
When someone gets to a good treatment center for alcoholism like Sober Living by the Sea, here is what happens:
– They are in a highly monitored environment and can’t drink alcohol (and they are tested frequently)
-They become educated about the phenomenon of alcoholism and how it has affected their outlook on life (and will realize that they will soon enjoy life more without drinking (after receiving treatment)
– As the alcohol physically leave their system they participate in near constant therapeutic processes and esteem building physical activities to re-build their strength and work on inner issues
– They becomes well versed in the tools that will help them prevent a relapse when they later experience triggers that caused them to crave alcohol in the past
– They will become part of a fellowship of recovering people in the AA 12-Step Program
Please call us for more information that may save your life or the life of your loved one.