Alcoholism disease and alcoholism physical symptoms should be understood if there’s concern about alcohol abuse. Alcoholism disease can be defined as a drug addiction where alcohol consumption is at a level that interferes with the person’s physical and mental health and negatively impacts family, social or work responsibilities.
Because alcohol consumption can involve many organs in the body, long-term heavy drinking puts a person at risk for developing serious health conditions and illnesses. While each of the health conditions listed below can exist for reasons unrelated to alcoholism disease, certain conditions and alcoholism physical symptoms may be indications that alcohol abuse exists and is affecting the health of the person.
Here are examples of health conditions and related alcoholism physical symptoms that may indicate alcoholism disease:
• Liver Inflammation — alcoholism physical symptoms for liver inflammation include abnormal yellowing of the skin, eyeballs and urine, fever and abdominal pain. Since alcohol destroys liver cells and the ability of the liver to regenerate new cells, long term abuse of alcohol can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
• Cirrhosis of the Liver — symptoms of cirrhosis or scarring of the liver tissue can be tiredness or even exhaustion, nausea, loss of sex drive and appetite loss leading to weight loss.
• Malnutrition — a common alcoholism physical symptom is malnutrition. While the symptoms will vary with the specific malnutrition-related disorder, general symptoms include dizziness, tireness, unexplained weight loss and reduced immune system function.
• High Blood Pressure — high blood pressure symptoms include dizziness, headache, blurred vision and nausea. And the American Heart Association advises that excessive alcohol consumption can raise levels of triglycerides in the blood and related increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
• Pancreaitis — long term heavy drinking can result in the development of inflammation of the pancreas which is called ‘pancreatitis’. The pancreas are needed for food digestion, and pancreaitis symptoms include severe abdominal pain and weight loss.
• Erectile Dysfunction — alcoholism disease will likely affect a man in the bedroom. Heavy drinking can cause sexual dysfunction, meaning the man may have difficulty getting an erection. And the likelihood of alcohol-related erectile dysfunction occurring increases as a man gets older.
• Insomnia — the connection between sleep problems and disturbances and alcohol abuse has been proven by numerous studies. Alcohol in the body can interfere with getting to sleep and with enjoying deep, restful sleep. In fact, insomnia may continue for weeks or months after alcohol abstinance.
Additional long term alcoholism disease health effects include damage to the brain, nerve damage, bleeding in the esophagus and depression. Alcohol consumption can increase the breast cancer risk in women undergoing hormone replacement therapy, according to the National Cancer Institute. Alcoholic beverages are considered cancer-causing by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Important note — all of the conditions listed above may be due to reasons other than alcoholism disease and must not be considered conditions that should be self-diagnosed. Most of these conditions can be life-threatening and should only be diagnosed by qualified health care professionals.
Besides alcoholism physical symptoms, learn more about the alcoholism warning signs, alcoholism stages and proven resources available online that can help. It is never too late to begin recovery from alcoholism disease and alcohol addiction.