The line between regular alcohol consumption and alcoholism is often blurred and difficult to judge because alcohol is socially accepted almost everywhere. After all, society makes it seem like being hungover is part of life and overindulging is no big deal. It can, however, become a very big deal fast. Alcoholism has a number of nasty consequences, from damaging your liver and heart to severe withdrawal symptoms and wet brain. It is important to know what this means way before you find out first hand.
The Repercussions of Heavy Alcohol Use
Alcohol is closely associated with celebratory events and social gatherings. However, you may find that you are unable to control your drinking in these situations, and it may even be creeping into other areas of your life., Alcoholics will often begin drinking at home, alone, to hide their habit. Also, they will find that they need alcohol to get through their day, so they might drink before work or school, often getting into trouble.
Drinking heavily has serious effects on your body. There is simply no sugar coating it. Alcohol technically poisons your body, so your liver has to work overtime to detoxify. This puts your liver into overdrive, and it has to process so many toxins that it gets damaged in the process. In the early stages, people who drink a lot of alcohol will have a fatty liver, which is reversible. However, once this progresses into scarring of the liver and liver disease, it can often be fatal.Alcohol damages your entire cardiovascular system. Your heart, lungs, and pretty much everything inside you is at a higher risk of disease. Cancer risk goes up as well, even cancers that aren’t directly related to alcohol use like breast and ovarian cancer. Last but certainly not least, alcohol has a tremendous impact on your brain and your cognitive abilities. In extreme cases, it can lead to wet brain, an irreversible condition.
Alcohol, Your Mind, and Wet Brain
Alcohol is known to make you forgetful. If you drink heavily, you may have even experienced a blackout, where you have no recollection of your own actions during the period of time you were drinking. When this happens, your body goes on autopilot and your brain goes to sleep. People in this state can act in ways that are extremely out of the norm, and do things they will regret.
When this state is reached regularly, or even close to it, you are putting yourself in danger of eventually getting alcoholic wet brain. An irreversible condition, wet brain is a form of brain damage that is a direct result of continued heavy alcohol exposure. It is also known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and is caused by a vitamin B1 deficiency.
People who have the beginning stages of wet brain will experience symptoms such as confusion, memory problems, trouble focusing and keeping up at work or school or even in a conversation, problems with muscle coordination, and a slowing-down of mental activity that can result in a coma. In its further stages, wet brain will cause severe memory loss that can be similar to Alzheimer’s disease, hallucinations, and psychosis. People who have severe wet brain may never recover, and they may not be able to live an independent life ever again.
Wet brain is normally diagnosed by observing a patient and an awareness of an alcohol problem. There are no standardized tests, but other tests such as eye exams, testing reflexes, and checking muscle mass can help to diagnose wet brain.
Once you are diagnosed with alcoholic wet brain, it is usually too late and you will suffer the consequences to some degree for the rest of your life. To prevent it, make sure to get help if you have an alcohol problem. By going to treatment, you can say goodbye to alcohol for good, and get rid of all of the negative effects it brings along with it.