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Get to Know the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol can have toxic effects on the body. These don’t appear early on, but rather emerge when the levels of alcohol-related toxins build up in the bloodstream. When someone has an alcohol use disorder (AUD) they will feel the effects of these toxins in the period after the effects of the alcohol wear off. These are called withdrawal symptoms.
Most people understand that when you drink too much you end up feeling really sick. Ethyl alcohol is very hard on the body. When you have an AUD, the after effects of drinking begin to expand and include a range of adverse symptoms.
These include the effects your body suffers through when you have a hangover, as it attempts to stabilize. The more entrenched the alcohol problem is, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms are after drinking.
Because alcohol is a legal substance, people tend to dismiss it as a safe product to ingest. Nothing could be further from the truth. Alcoholism is a disease of the brain that, left unchecked, will have fatal results. It isn’t only the adverse health effects that result from the drinking problem, but all aspects of life are harmed.
What Are the Signs of Alcoholism?
When you struggle with AUD there will be telltale signs of the disease that start to appear. These impact all areas of your life. Here are the various signs that occur with a drinking problem, including withdrawal symptoms:
- Night sweats alcohol withdrawal.
- Hand tremors.
- Weight gain.
- Weight loss.
- Poor complexion.
- Sleep disturbance.
- Dark under eye circles.
- Bloated face.
- Numbness in hands or feet.
- Avoids social gatherings.
- Increased cravings.
- Increased tolerance.
- Reduced cognitive function.
- Lying about your drinking.
- High risk behaviors, like driving under the influence.
- Drinking alone.
- Neglects responsibilities.
- Cannot stop drinking.
Adverse Health Effects Caused By AUD
The longer the drinking problem persists, the more chance that alcohol has to cause some serious health issues. Long-term health effects of AUD include:
- Cognitive problems. Heavy drinking can cause brain damage, which shows up first when cognitive function declines. Memory problems are also a sign of this. Thiamine deficiency often results, which can result in brain damage.
- Heart problems. Long-term heavy drinking takes a toll on the heart. One sign of a serious problem is heart arrhythmia. Alcohol can also cause alcoholic cardiomyopathy. This is when the heart muscle weakens and cannot pump enough blood to the organs.
- Increased cancer risk. Excess drinking can increase the risk of many types of deadly cancers. Types of cancer linked with AUD include oral, throat, esophageal, colon, liver, rectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer.
- Stomach problems. Heavy drinking causes excess stomach acid, such as acid reflux, which can lead to gastritis. It also causes problems in the stomach lining, such as ulcers and bleeding. The loss of blood can cause anemia and extreme fatigue.
- Liver disease. Alcohol is highly toxic to the liver. Liver disease is often not noticed until the later stages. This happens with cirrhosis. It often begins as fatty liver disease, which can be fatal unless a liver transplant succeeds.
What Are the Treatment Options for AUD?
Treatment for AUD can be offered in two formats: outpatient and inpatient rehabs. Outpatient programs are better suited for those with a more mild AUD. People with a more severe AUD should consider an inpatient rehab setting.
Programs come with many diverse themes and services, and range from basic to high end. Some of the niche rehabs include couples rehab, faith-centered rehab, pet-friendly rehabs, and retreat-style rehabs.
Treating an AUD will involve a multi-pronged approach, with therapy as the core treatment. Through the different therapies you will learn new methods to help change addict behaviors. CBT, for instance, shows you how to shift thoughts spurred by triggers. CBT helps you change the thought and action patterns that have kept you in the grip of AUD.
Treatment programs are rounded out with other facets, like classes, 12-step, yoga, and more. This approach can help you bring about lifestyle changes that assist in turning your life around.
After care efforts that begin after rehab is done will help to further cement sobriety. Sober living is helpful for those who do not have support at home. Joining a 12-step group will also help you to avoid a relapse.
Create a Wellness Plan
Once you decide to get help for a drinking problem it is helpful to make a wellness plan. If you have a history of heavy drinking, you are likely to have depleted health. Here are some tips for care planning during and after rehab:
- Supplements. Key nutrients, such as vitamins A, E, or D, and minerals, will need to be replenished.
- Hydrate. Drinking lots of water will help restore lost fluids.
- Healthy diet. Eating right is a building block to wellness. A diet that is high in lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and fresh veggies, seeds, and nuts is best.
- Exercise. Getting regular workouts at least 3 times per week will help improve mood, sleep, and overall fitness. Running, walking, hiking, swimming, and cycling are all good options.
After learning about the signs of AUD and how it can impact your health, why not take that first step? Embrace your future by getting the help you need and deserve to obtain renewed health and wellness.
LifeSync Malibu Offers Expert Treatment for AUD
LifeSync Malibu is an upscale treatment program that can offer new hope for someone with AUD. The team at LifeSync Malibu is ready to guide you on your recovery journey. They truly care about your success and are with you every step of the way. If you are ready to change your life, reach out to us! Connect with us today at (866) 491-4426.