Alcoholism has been a major cause of deaths in the world but it is given a cold shoulder. The problem is persistent amongst large populations in the world, as an irritant alcohol has been shown to cause physical harm. Chronic alcoholism is a progressive illness, the problem does not show physically first, behavioral changes are the major signs of a chronic alcoholic. There are several effects of chronic alcoholism include: hand tremor, excitability, irritability and nervousness, jaundice, itchy skin, parotoid swelling, finger clubbing and rhinophyma that is increase in nasal sweat glands which causes increase in size of the lower part of the nose. Alcohol affects gastrointestinal tract by causing inflammation, acute and chronic pancreatitis. Gastrointestinal inflammation, hypoglycemia, hepatitis and cirrhosis have been major problems of chronic alcoholism. Neurological effects have been observed on people who are chronic alcoholics, it is estimated that in each drink of alcohol 10,000 neurons are rendered useless. Alcohol makes conductive material in the neuron to be thick making impulse transmission difficult or impaired. The frontal lobe of the brain is also affected causing these individuals not to give up their bad patterns. Cardiomyopathy is seen in one out of thirty six chronic alcoholics. Anemia is also observed due to impaired synthesis of thiamine which is an important component in red cell synthesis.
Actually, when a user of alcohol reaches the point of chronic alcoholism then alcohol consumption to him/her has advanced to a problem and is no longer a choice of pleasure. At this point the user has become dependent on the alcohol and these proceeds to influence the individual’s normal conduct include decisions. This makes the individual unsafe and susceptible to health complications whenever he/she is forced to quit the consumption suddenly. Due to this, a professional approach on how to deal with the same is paramount.
Signs of Alcoholism
Irresponsible drinking is a major cause of alcoholism affecting many people in the world. It is known to cause alcohol dependency. There are many signs of alcoholism depending on an individual, getting familiar with these signs is important to help people affected or they themselves knowing that they are alcoholics and require change. It is important to understand the signs of alcoholism in order to for a person to recognize the need for treatment. These signs are:
Consuming alcohol in Secret-Alcohol consumption in secret is a sign of alcohol dependence, the moderate drinks is two drinks for men and one for women, this is not considered unhealthy for adults with no medical conditions. Hiding alcohol consumption is avoiding a problem rather than facing it.
Wanting a drink upon waking up-This is a major sign of alcoholism, in that a person feels the urge to drink on waking up. These people use excuses like; it calms their nerves, control pain or prevent shakiness. These are just claims to justify the problem of alcoholism.
Poor hygiene-Poor hygiene is a factor in alcoholics in that they tend to forget the basic personal hygiene e.g. oral care, unkempt hair, poor clothing, alcohol smell in their breathe e.t.c.
Being defensive when confronted about alcohol-This is common to alcoholics when confronted by close or any other members, the individuals become angry and enraged over any comment and suggestion that the person has a problem of alcoholism. These individuals become stubborn and refuse to discuss the matter further
Increase in alcohol intake-Tolerance to alcohol is prevalent to people who have become alcoholics, these individuals develop an urge to drink more and more alcohol. Drinking frequently leads to increase in the amount of alcohol for one to feel drunk. This is a warning of alcoholism. The individuals who abuses alcohol or with dependence experience the need to take larger quantities to obtain the feeling they were once feeling after a drink or two, which encourages alcoholism.
Poor nutrition-Excess alcohol intake affects digestion of food as well as intake of food absorption is hampered by injury of stomach and intestinal lining that absorbs food and minerals. As mentioned earlier chronic alcoholism affect pathways in the synthesis of various vitamins e.g. vitamin B12.the skin turgidity is affected due to poor nutrition.
Continued to drinking even when alcohol is causing problems to an individual – This is when people drink and their family are not comfortable or act against the family wishes
Drinking as a way to relax or relieve stress – Individuals who drink to soothe or relieve stress affecting them. Usually people drink after a hectic day or when they have had arguments with other parties and find drinking as a cocoon to hide in, instead of dealing with the problem.
Losing control over level of drinking – This appears when an individual cannot control the alcohol intake. They continue drinking more and more everyday leading to alcoholism.
Wanting to quit but it is not possible – This is a problem whereby an individual tries to quit but cannot.
Giving up other activities for alcohol – it is seen in chronic alcoholics who spend most of their time in alcohol dens instead of doing constructive activities.
Neglect of duties – This is prevalent in chronic alcoholics as they neglect their duties so as to indulge in alcohol, priorities change. Things that were given first priorities are now undervalued and alcohol preferred.
Depression – Alcohol is known to be a depressant, and because alcoholics feel depressed for hurting their loved ones due to the problem of alcoholism. They become depressed and indulge in alcohol in order to hide themselves from the reality.