How to Spot the Signs of Alcoholism

The condition of a person with ARBD may stabilize if drinking ceases. However, memory issues can lead to a greater risk of progressive dementia without treatment for alcohol abuse. ‘Alcoholic eyes’ is often used to describe the bloodshot eyes of heavy drinkers. Alcohol widens the blood vessels in the eyes, causing more blood to flow through them, increasing their appearance and volume. It can also cause yellowing of the sclera (whites) from jaundice caused by alcohol and liver complications. Combining alcohol and certain drugs causes the negative effects on oral hygiene to become worse.

Am I An Alcoholic? 10 Warning Signs of Alcoholism & How To Get Help – The Recovery Village

Am I An Alcoholic? 10 Warning Signs of Alcoholism & How To Get Help.

Posted: Tue, 21 Nov 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Alcohol use disorder can include periods of being drunk (alcohol intoxication) and symptoms of withdrawal. If you’re worried that you might have alcohol use disorder, don’t try to quit cold turkey on your own. According to the CDC, more than one million people die yearly of cirrhosis, including over 40,000 people in the United States. People with alcoholism can develop erosive gastritis, where the stomach lining wears away. Alcohol hepatitis can lead to liver failure and can also gradually damage the liver and lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is when normal liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue, which causes the liver to lose its ability to function well.

How Alcoholism Affects Appearance

The seizures that can occur during withdrawal can be severe enough to be fatal without medical supervision. For most people who drink, alcohol is a harmless part of the evening — a beer after work, a glass of wine with dinner, or a drink or two with friends. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) recommend that women have no more than one drink per day and that men have no more than two. However, for some people, alcosignshol use doesn’t stop at just a couple of drinks, and it can spiral out of control into addiction. They can go from having a casual drink here or there into becoming an alcoholic.

physical signs of alcoholism

Severity is based on the number of criteria a person meets based on their symptoms—mild (2–3 criteria), moderate (4–5 criteria), or severe (6 or more criteria). Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition involving frequent or heavy alcohol use. People with alcohol use disorder can’t stop drinking, even when it causes problems, emotional distress or physical harm to themselves or others. Too much alcohol affects your speech, muscle coordination and vital centers of your brain. A heavy drinking binge may even cause a life-threatening coma or death.

Alcohol Detox: Guidelines for Successfully Detoxifying from Alcohol

Chronic, long-term drinking can contribute to malnutrition by replacing foods needed for essential nutrients and by interfering with absorption, storage, or metabolism of the essential nutrients. This can also lead to anemia, when your red blood cell (RBC) count is lower than normal or there’s a problem with the hemoglobin protein inside those cells. Unexplained bruises and scrapes may be observed more frequently and alcoholics can have physical signs of alcoholism reduced platelet counts and other clotting factors, making them more likely to bruise. This is especially true when you consider the increased likelihood of them falling. Either way, fluctuations in a person’s appetite, as a result of alcohol consumption, can lead to changes in their weight. Severe alcohol consumption can impair the immune system, which can leave a person at greater risk of infections and skin sores (abscesses).

Treatment for alcoholism often involves a combination of therapy, medication, and support. If you think you might have an alcohol use disorder or if you are worried that your alcohol consumption has become problematic, it is important to talk to your doctor to discuss your treatment options. Even mild symptoms can have negative effects in a person’s life, both personally and professionally.

Common physical signs of alcoholism

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. It is essential for people struggling with substance abuse to have professional support to overcome addiction.

  • The symptoms, genetics, and brain structure related to mental health conditions can increase the risk of developing alcohol use disorder.
  • Theories suggest that for certain people drinking has a different and stronger impact that can lead to alcohol use disorder.
  • You may experience physical symptoms, such as fatigue, pain, swelling, breathing problems and irregular heart rate.

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