There are a number of physical signs that indicate someone is addicted. Many people don't realize that. If you are concerned that you or a family member might be an alcoholic, symptoms you should look for include:
- Experiencing blackouts
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swelling or redness in the palms of the hands
- Red areas on the face
- Skin sores and infections
- Loss of libido
- Frequent upset stomach
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Losing one's balance frequently
- Illnesses that cannot be otherwise explained
The illnesses and diseases that can occur are the most concerning.
This occurs when the liver becomes inflamed. It is caused by the repeated consumption of alcohol. People who develop this condition must stop drinking immediately. Continuing to drink can lead to even further health problems and complications.
It develops because of the toxins in alcohol. The liver processes everything that goes through the body. These toxins can injure the cells in the liver. Women have a much greater risk of developing this condition than men do. Symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling or pain in the abdomen area
- Yellowing skin or eyes (jaundice)
If an individual develops alcoholic hepatitis and does not stop drinking, cirrhosis can result. This takes place when scar tissue in the liver replaces healthy tissue. It usually takes many years to develop cirrhosis.
As scar tissue continues to develop in the liver, it becomes very hard. Eventually, it will start to fail due to the lack of blood flow. Blood can get backed up and forced into the spleen. This can cause serious problems in the spleen as well.
The only remedy for cirrhosis is a liver transplant. However, stopping the use of alcohol can help. Doctors can also give medications to slow down its progression.
When a person has gastritis, he or she experiences inflammation in the stomach lining. The lining is extremely irritated and begins eroding. This can occur progressively, or it can cause pain suddenly. Excessive alcohol use is a common cause of gastritis.
Gastritis needs to be treated immediately. If it isn't, it can cause blood loss, and even lead to stomach cancer.
Various forms of cancer can be caused by excessive drinking as well. The body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde. This chemical is known to cause cancer:
- Mouth cancer
- Throat cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Heart Disease
Heavy drinking can eventually cause blood clots in the body. These blood clots can easily lead to a heart attack. It can also lead to a weakening of the heart muscle. Eventually, heart failure can result.
Additional heart complications can occur as well. Many of them can lead to sudden death, without prior symptoms.
Finally, seizures can result from continuing to drink in excess. Someone who suffers from alcoholism is more prone to epilepsy. This is even true if there has never been any history of seizures within the family at all.