HEALTH

Alcoholism, what can be the most serious symptoms and harms

Alcoholism has serious and penetrating consequences on various aspects of life. Not only does it cause physical damage, mainly affecting the liver and brain, but it also has psychological and socio-relational effects. In fact, an individual's entire life can be compromised by alcohol abuse.

Those who abuse alcohol are more prone to accidents, family problems and domestic violence. Moreover, the life expectancy of those addicted to alcohol is on average 12 years shorter than that of the general population.

Physical damage includes liver problems, which can develop into cirrhosis or cancer, and increases the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular problems. Internal problems such as gastritis, oesophagitis, pancreatitis and vitamin deficiencies are also common.

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Alcoholism: a multifactorial problem
Alcoholism has serious and penetrating consequences on various aspects of life. Not only does it cause physical damage, mainly affecting the liver and brain, but it also has psychological and socio-relational effects. In fact, an individual's entire life can be compromised by alcohol abuse.
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Negative effects on behavior and longevity
Alcohol abusers are more prone to accidents, family problems and domestic violence. Furthermore, the life expectancy of those addicted to alcohol is on average 12 years lower than that of the general population.
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Physical health implications
Physical damage includes liver problems, which can develop into cirrhosis or cancer, and increases the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular problems. Internal problems such as gastritis, oesophagitis, pancreatitis and vitamin deficiencies are also common.
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Effects of alcohol on the brain
The effects of alcohol on the brain are manifold. In low doses, it activates pleasure areas that release endorphins. With increasing doses, however, alcohol has a depressant effect on the Central Nervous System, inhibiting the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate and slowing down brain activity.
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Long-term physical damage from alcoholism
Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to numerous physical damages. 90-95% of alcohol is metabolised in the liver, and abuse can overload the liver, causing irreversible damage such as cirrhosis of the liver.
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Psychological damage from alcoholism
In addition to physical damage, chronic alcohol abuse also causes psychological damage. It generally leads to a progressive loss of judgement and a deterioration of personality. It also damages brain processes related to attention, concentration, short-term memory and problem-solving skills. Although some of this damage may be partially reversible, organic damage often remains permanent.
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Alcoholism and malnutrition
Another complication of alcoholism is malnutrition. Alcohol introduces calories that reduce the drinker's appetite, but does not provide nutrients, leading to states of profound malnutrition, which have negative effects on the body and mind.
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Delirium Tremens: a dangerous condition
Delirium tremens refers to the severe reaction to alcohol withdrawal, characterised by symptoms such as disorientation, hallucinations, and cardiac changes. It is a dangerous condition that requires hospital treatment. Due to its severity, it can be life-threatening.
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Korsakov's psychosis: memory loss and alcohol
Korsakov's psychosis is another severe alcohol-related disorder characterised by a marked memory deficit. Patients often 'fill in' memory gaps with fantastic memories, called confabulations. This disorder can cause disorientation and confusion.
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