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Overview

Alcoholism - Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism which is also known as Alcohol Use Disorder is defined as an addiction to excessive consumption of alcohol. This addiction arises when a person is not able to control his/her drinking habits which may lead to consequences as severe as death. The very urge to drink takes such a high priority in a person’s mind that it represses all other commitments thereby resulting in a loss of esteem. It will not be inappropriate to say that alcoholism makes a person highly dependent on alcohol leading to severe damage to physical as well as mental health. This grievous issue is so extreme that even when people might be aware of the ill effects of alcohol consumption and the negative impacts it can have on their life, they cannot (or fail to) abstain themselves from its overuse. Alcoholism can have repercussions that can lead to complete destruction of personal well as professional life. People in the society tend to look down to alcohol addicts. These alcohol addicts also face continuous problems in their workplace and homes because of their incapability to cope up with daily tasks. This results in deterioration of mental well-being of people.

Causes of Alcoholism.

There can be various causes associated with continuous use of alcohol and may also be different for different individuals, although these reasons for many people might still be unknown, alcoholism has been to found to cause chemical changes in the brain. There is a sense of tranquility that gives pleasure to the mind upon consumption of alcohol. Some people might get addicted to this very state and consume more alcohol to gain the same. Other causes might include seeking relief from stress, or escaping from the reality of life (due to loss of dear ones, or a loss in business), or overcoming anxiety. But, the very basic of all reasons is the exposure to alcohol. When people, at a very early stage of life, are subjected to lifestyles where alcohol consumption is very common, they might end up getting used to it and start consuming it in large amounts. It may also happen that due to peer pressure teenagers develop the habit of drinking and face difficulties in overcoming it.

What is the symptoms of Alcoholism?

Following are the various symptoms of alcoholism:

  • Habitual sleeplessness
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucination
  • Loss of appetite
  • More craving for alcohol
  • Loss of memory
  • Liver issues

Alcoholics are continually faced with the desire to drink more even when they don’t feel good about it. This may lead them to find secluded places and drink when alone so as to overcome the alternate effects of withdrawal like shaking, nausea, anxiety etc. They are forced with this uncontrollable urge to drink and reduce social connections where they often feel uncomfortable and hence resort to escape from the reality.

Treatment of Alcoholism.

There can be a mix of multiple treatments that can be sought by people suffering from alcohol use disorder. They can seek counselling so as to overcome it, as well as, go for medication as directed by a doctor. While medicines will help in gaining control over symptoms like shaking, or hallucinations etc. counselling will lead to changes in drinking patterns. Health professional and support groups run rehabilitation programs where people come for assistance so as to do away with alcohol consumption. They might even get motivated by listening to the stories of others who have been successful in doing so. Further, a doctor is required to monitor the alcohol consumption levels in the patient’s body over the treatment period and follow up to evaluate the overall health and other withdrawal symptoms.

Prevention to avoid Alcoholism.

Alcoholism is a serious issue and following steps can be taken for its prevention:

  • Education: People, especially children should be educated about the issue and its after-effects. Parents can work as role models for their children by strictly discouraging alcoholism.
  • Ban on advertisements: There should be a complete ban on advertisements that show/encourage consumption of alcohol because such acts might lay a bad impression on the minds of the innocents and lead them to indulge in consumption.
  • Government Policies: Many policies have been adopted by the government to ensure a society free from alcohol abuse. Such policies should be appreciated and accepted widely.

Withdrawal symptoms of Alcoholism.

It is necessary to be kept in mind that abrupt withdrawal from alcohol can lead to increase in stress levels, anxiety, insomnia etc. It disturbs the nervous system and should be handled cautiously. While these withdrawal symptoms tend to reduce gradually with the number of days, these symptoms can be severe and may even prove to be fatal because of increased side effects. Depending on every individual, alcohol withdrawal is supposed to have a timeline which may vary from one week to one month to a complete year. Thus, it is important to consult a doctor and detoxify as directed by him.

Popular Health Tips

How Alcohol Affects Your Sex Life?

Akhil Bharatiye Ayurveda, AKHIL BHARTIYE AYURVEDA
Sexologist, Delhi
How Alcohol Affects Your Sex Life?

Alchol can it affect your intimacy level with your partner, yes! But with this you might be wondering how can that be possible when you actually sustain yourself for long, maybe longer than you should be. It is probably the “whiskey penis”. Alcohol may give you a sense of elation at one point of time, but it is essentially a nervous depressant. The over consumption of alcohol mainly has a reduced effect on sensitivity for both men and women.

How alcohol affects sex life in men: The effect of alcohol on the sex life of men is immense. In most cases, chronic and acute cases of alcohol consumption have shown to reduce the production of testosterone in men. Since testosterone is the hormone that results in the increase in libido in men, the effects of alcohol really reduce the performance in men. It has shown to reduce pleasurability and it can also reduce the intensity of orgasms. Sometimes, it can cause difficulty in ejaculation or delayed ejaculation.


How alcohol affects sex life in women: Alcohol can have a very mixed effect on women in general. While it can increase sexual arousal and desire, it can also result in low sensitivity. Women have a higher percentage of fat as compared to water in their bodies, this means that alcohol has a more profound effect on their bodies as compared to that in men. Their bodies also take longer to process and eliminate the alcohol. While some women report a heightened sense of sexual arousal and an increase in the duration of the orgasm, a large number of women also complain of lesser lubrication.

Alcohol also has a psychological effect; that is the loss of inhibition that may help in developing carnal instincts when intoxicated. This psychological effect may have a more profound effect than the physiological effects as a result of which women might claim that alcohol does indeed help in better sex.  In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

 

3 people found this helpful

Drinking In A Controlled Manner - Is It Good?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Mumbai
Drinking In A Controlled Manner - Is It Good?

For long, there have been campaigns and discussions about the harmful effects and diseases associated with alcohol consumption. In most cases, it is not the alcohol, but the quantity consumed that affects a person. Limited consumption of alcohol can, in fact, work to your advantage. Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, helps to avert, check or improve many medical conditions and health ailments.

  1. Deal with common cold effectively: According to research, the antioxidants present in wine helps to fight common cold better. Limited intake of alcohol, red wine to be precise (~1-2 glasses per day), can, thus, help to reduce the instances of common cold significantly.
  2. Weight loss made easy: Studies conducted by the Oregon State University suggest that certain varieties red wine (the Red Muscadine Wine) can play a pivotal role in weight reduction. The Red Muscadine, a variety of wine grapes used to make red wine contains ellagic acid. It is this ellagic acid that helps to cease or slow down the growth and development of the fat cells. Red wine also helps to manage fatty liver effectively.
  3. Keep cardiovascular diseases at bay: The high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the Good Cholesterol is indeed good for the body. It acts as a shield, keeping the heart hale and hearty. Moderate alcohol consumption helps to elevate the level of HDL. One of the main reasons attributing to heart attacks are the small blood clots that block the arteries of the brain, heart, and neck. Alcohol (limited intake) has been able to put a check in the formation of such blood clots.
  4. Reduced instances of cognitive impairment: Reports suggest that people who consume alcohol within limits are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Moderate consumption tends to make the brain cells fit and more active, thus, enabling the cells to deal with stress and other related factors.
  5. A little wine for a better libido: Limited consumption of wine is good for a better sexual life. Research indicate that the antioxidants present in wine act as a catalyst, resulting in an improved libido (lowers the incidences of erectile dysfunction in men). A little wine can work wonders for women as well (increasing their sexual desires and feelings).
  6. Enjoy a diabetes-free life: Type 2 Diabetes and the associated ailments and complications can make life miserable. However, people who consume a small quantity of alcohol (preferably 1-2 glasses per day) are at a lower risk of developing diabetes (Type 2). A path-breaking finding indeed!

People with moderate alcohol consumption are also at a lower risk of developing gallstones. The high silicone content in beer helps to strengthen the bones, but only when consumed within limits. Beer is also rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin).

Popular Questions & Answers

I’m what one would consider to be a heavy drinker. I’ve been drinking for the past several years. I want to quit but can’t afford a de addiction centre or a psychiatrist. How can I manage this from home?

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user, I can understand. You must understand the difference between ALCOHOL ADDICTION and abuse. You can definitely quit alcohol in one go. Just stop it and swear not to drink again. Engage yourself in games and other engaging activities during evenings or when you feel the urge. Just a week, your habit should change. There are many other methods, which you can see through internet. The best method is what I suggested. Please try it without fail. Take care.

Hello, Which drink is better or (alcohol) and how much quantity is better? I want to take after dinner? Please recommend me. Thanks.

Counselling Psychologist
Psychologist, Thane
Hello lybrate user, no drink is better all are harmful. You can take coconut water everyday before breakfast. Health is real wealth refrain urself from any drinks.

Hi. Today I read about the benefits of red wine. I'm in my 40's now. I've not taken any alcohol content so far. In that case if I take red wine will it affect. By seeing its benefits if I have to take how much quantity I can take. Like 1tsp or 2 tsps. Need your guidance. Thank you.

MD-Psychiatry, MBBS, Certificate in Medical Neuroscience
Psychiatrist, Akola
Red wine in quantities Not exceeding 30 ml per day can be beneficial for heart. But due to its high addiction potential, walking 2-3 km daily, eating a calories restricted diet is found to be as good as & cheaper, addiction free, safer option to red wine.
1 person found this helpful

Hi Sir, I am just 17 and I am changing to a completely alcoholic I can not move a day with out cigarette and alcohol what is the solution for this?

Psychologist, Chennai
Chew few ajwain (herb) for 3 days automatically you will get good result and a; lso gradually take for 3 months. If possible meet me for free psychological counseling.

I am a hard alcoholic. When I drink I drink too much on a regular basis. But when I stop I give a gap of 10 to 15 days also. I am 43 year old.

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
Alcohol dependence is associated with significant physical, mental and social problems. Physically, there can be liver failure, jaundice, vomiting of blood, passing blood in stools, stomach ulcers, damage to nerves of the body, swelling of legs, fluid collection in abdomen, and many more. Mentally, there is irreversible brain damage, worsening of anxiety or depression, triggering of psychosis and mood disorders, dementia, etc. From a social point of view, there may be isolation from neighbors or family, increased abusive behavior to children or spouses, legal problems, accidents, etc. Anti craving medications are available which will help to reduce the craving. Consult a psychiatrist with experience in deaddiction.
3 people found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Alcoholism?
Causes of Alcoholism.
What is the symptoms of Alcoholism?
Treatment of Alcoholism.
Prevention to avoid Alcoholism.
Withdrawal symptoms of Alcoholism.
Play video
Ill Effects of Alcohol
How alcohol affects liver and metabolism?

Hello, friends, my name is Dr. Hanish Gupta. I am a General Physician working in Delhi at various major hospitals and having my own clinic by the name of Life Aid in Mayur Vihar Phase one. Today, I have come to discuss with you very important topic of the bad effects of alcohol on our liver.

We all know that liver is the primary organ in the body that deals with metabolism and metabolism is the process by which we digest food, we assimilate it in our body and also eliminate the toxins that come with it. Fortunately for us liver is the organ that takes care of all these toxins. All the bad things that collect in our body because of our bad eating habits or drinking habits, the liver is the organ that helps us eliminate those toxins and keeps us healthy. Alcohol is one such toxin.

We may have a good time with alcohol drinking with our friends whether socially or by our own conception but at the end of the day alcohol is and will remain a very important toxin in the body that needs to be eliminated. Liver is the organ that does that. Unfortunately some people they don't realize the delicate balance of alcohol and liver if we take alcohol in moderation then liver gets the ample time to eliminate it from the body and metabolize it but if we keep on taking it regularly and in very high amount then liver becomes overburdened in eliminating. This toxin out of the body what happens is that liver starts to store the excess alcohol because it does not have enough time or power to eliminate. It is the excess alcohol that starts to get collected in the liver cells and because of this excess accumulation of alcohol in the liver cells they start to bloat up and the first stage of liver damage begins.

At this stage if a person who has started to become dependent on alcohol stops taking alcohol then all the bad effects of alcohol they get reversed as far as the liver mousse but if unfortunately somebody continues to take alcohol despite the good advice of his doctor then liver starts to undergo permanent damage and may become shrunken in a very short span of time. This is the problem with liver once it starts shrinking the permanent damage has already been done which is known cirrhosis of liver which is actually an irreversible damage to the live.

So friends my nice advice to you is that you want to take alcohol always remember the delicate balance between alcohol intake and your liver metabolism. If you go by this principle then you will have a very healthy life which is going to be too thanks for listening in. I hope that you connect with me again on liberate online consults or have the sweet opportunity of visiting my clinic at Delhi. Thank you very much.
Play video
Alcoholic Liver Disease
Symptoms, causes, and treatment for Alcoholic Liver Disease


Hi, This is Dr. Umesh Alegaonkar from Thane, Sampada Hospital. The topic of discussion is Chronic Alcoholic Liver Disease.

As you know, that 95% of the cases of liver damage on earth is because of alcohol and over intake of alcohol. Usually, it is defined as alcoholic diseases when a person suffers from the diseases of liver related illnesses and consumes more than 80 grams of alcohol or 240 ml of alcohol every day for at least five years. In the case of women, this amount gets little lower, it's 50 grams of alcohol daily for five years. Usually, the liver failures manifest in terms of increase in weight gain, jaundice, irrelevant speech, a decrease in night sleep, day time sleep pattern alters, decrease in appetite, increase in your abdominal girth. It is usually very late to diagnose the chronic liver disease because of the alcoholism, usually, the patients are into the denial mode, and the sonographic features may not be able to reveal the intensity of the liver diseases.

The newer technology like the Fibroscan can definitely give an early indication of the liver damages that has happened because of the alcohol intake. Apart from the history of the alcohol intake, the patient can simply opt for Elastography which is the finest diagnostic tool available nowadays in any of the diagnostic centers. Depending on the share value, we can judge the severity of the liver damage because of alcohol. Of course, the liver transplant is the golf standard treatment when the liver is completely damaged, but the need for the liver transplant goes into declining mode as the person quits alcohol, it decreases by and large the survival rate from the day of abstinence of alcohol is more than 30%. So if we consider that 30% of the life span of a person when he leaves alcohol considering the liver damage costing nowadays are around 30-35 lac rupees. We can estimate the amount of money which can be saved by just remaining away from alcohol.

Apart from that, liver damage recommends multiple tests such as blood test, urine test and ultimately the huge socio-economic burden needs to be evaluated just because of alcohol giving trouble not only in the family but also in the society. A simple measure by lessening your alcohol intake or abstaining from alcohol may be a fair idea but it is not recommended at all when a person gets to know the liver has roughly damaged because of the alcohol. Now, that day onwards, he has to abstain from alcoholism.

For any other further alcohol related or liver damage inquiries, please contact on lybrate.com
Play video
Impact Of Drug And Alcohol On Children
Hello!

My name is Dr Ankita Mishra. I am a consultant psychiatrist and I will be talking on the topic today alcohol and drugs. What parents need to know? Many young people today are using drugs and alcohol and smoke quite often and statistically up to 50 % of children to the age of 16 years have tried illegal drugs at some point in time. So it is really important for a parent to be aware of this and not take this as part of normal growing up. Taking drugs and alcohol can have serious physical and mental health consequences and can lead to depression or psychosis as well.

Taking drugs can make a youth quiet unpredictable and can lead to accidents, injuries and they can involved in unprotected sex for that matter and it can also have serious physical health problems because of sharing needles and other equipment such as HIV and hepatitis. So it's very important to take all this into consideration. The most commonly used drug is something which is readily available like alcohol or smoking and there can be wear reasons why the youth today uses drugs it could be because of curiosity, for fun, it could be as a way to cope up with anxiety and depression as a way to deal with difficult situation. And it is commonly seen that if there is a member of family or one of the friends are using drugs or alcohol it's more likely for the person to get addicted to it.

It's quite difficult to say when using drugs or alcohol is more than usual or it's like something which is concerning but if you feel that your child is quite concerned about using alcohol and taking drugs or smoking or if you feel that it has become a focus of his or her life and it's quite preoccupied with either using a drug or finding ways to seek it or maybe spends a lot of time thinking about it then it something which can be quite concerning. There can be some behaviour and symptoms is well.

If you feel your child is quite isolated, is not involving in with family or friends, is behaving out of character or you senses unusual smell in your room or you find unusual things like silver foil or needle covers then it is something to be worried about. If you suspect that your child is doing drugs or taking alcohol for that matter there are certain things which you can do as parent. First of all, you have to take stay calm and make sure that it's actually the truth. Secondly, there is no point in getting angry with your child or blaming the child because at this point it's your support and helps that they need most.

There is no point in getting into long conversations or fighting over it especially when your child is in an intoxicated stat. The best possible way to help them out is to let them know that you are on their side and you are there to support them and seek professional help. You can contact a psychiatrist or psychologist what they can do is they can talk with you as well as your child and they can maybe if needed prescribe medication or get your child into therapy. And it's a way by which you as a family and as well aa your child will get the required help and support to recover from addiction.

Thank you so much if you have any further queries or if you want to contact me then you can do that through Lybrate.com
Play video
Know More About Hepatitis
Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver damage and inflammation. Other toxic causes of hepatitis include overuse or overdose of medications and exposure to poisons.
Play video
Fatty Liver
Fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis, is a term that describes the buildup of fat in the liver. The most common cause of fatty liver is alcohol use disorder and heavy drinking. Higher body weight, a high processed sugar diet, high triglycerides, diabetes, low physical activity, and genetics all play a role.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice