Over 14 million adults in the United States that are aged 18 and over have problems with alcoholism. This makes alcohol-related problems one of the most significant public health issues today. Thankfully, the good news is that there are various forms of treatment for alcoholism, and they are effective in most cases.
We at Asheville Detox employ clinically-supervised detox in addition to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in order to help you stay as comfortable as possible while you recover mentally and physically.
Perhaps you are concerned about someone that you love. There are several physical indications that may show that an individual has a problem with alcohol. Let’s take a look at several telltale physical signs that alcohol has control over their life.
Also known as alcohol use disorder, alcoholism involves having a problem controlling how much you drink, thinking about drinking, continuing to drink even when it is causing problems in your life, having to drink more and more to get the same effect, or having undesirable withdrawal symptoms when you slow down or stop drinking. Drinking alcohol often becomes your number one priority, above all else.
What Are the Physical Signs of Alcoholism?
When someone is abusing alcohol there are often physical signs that show what is going on. Although these can differ from one person to the next, here are a few of the most common physical symptoms:
1. Decline in personal hygiene: The individual may start to care less and less about self-grooming and personal hygiene. The condition of their skin may be in poor shape and their eyes may look tired due to the fact that they are dehydrated and haven’t had enough sleep. Both of these are consistent with heavy alcohol use. They may smell of alcohol from the night before, or perhaps from having a drink in the morning as a hangover cure.
2. Changes in their weight: Alcoholism can have a big influence on how much food a person consumes. They may no longer be hungry, as their appetite shifts to craving alcohol instead. On the other hand, they may crave foods that are high in fat to complement hunger-increasing hormones that are generated from drinking alcohol.
3. Facial Redness: Particularly in the nose and cheeks, redness (not caused by a sunburn) is a telltale sign of alcoholism. This happens due to enlarged blood vessels. Over time, these can lead to spider veins occurring on the skin.
4. Having Skin Sores and Abscesses: After alcohol is consumed, it weakens the immune system. This allows skin infections to happen much easier. Alcohol dries out the natural oils on the skin, which are the natural defenses against free radicals. This leads to an alcoholic getting repeated skin infections.
5. Having an upset stomach: It is not uncommon for alcoholics to develop gastritis, a condition where the lining of their stomach erodes. As a result, the stomach bleeds or can develop ulcers.
6. Feeling a tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
7. Becoming uncoordinated: Logically when an alcoholic is drinking, their coordination is affected, however even when they are sober, they aren’t as swift on their feet as they used to be. The risks of falls and accidents even when they aren’t drinking is greater.
8. They have scrapes and bruises: Alcoholics often have reduced platelet counts and other problems with clotting, which makes them more susceptible to bruising. You may frequently notice unexplained bruises and scrapes.
9. They have developed liver problems: Alcoholism can lead to cirrhosis, fatty liver and hepatitis, which is essentially inflammation of the liver.
10. Their skin looks yellowed: A sign that something ill may be going on in the liver, jaundice is where the skin takes on a yellowish tone.
11. They experience symptoms of withdrawal: If an alcoholic stops drinking, they will display the physical symptoms of withdrawal, which include nausea, vomiting, tremors, sweating, and seizures in serious cases.
What Are Some Physical Manifestations of Alcoholism?
When you are showing patterns of alcoholism, there are certain signs or physical manifestations of your behavior that tend to come up. Here is how you know that you have gotten out of control with your drinking:
- You have become unable to cut down or stop drinking.
- You keep drinking even though it is harming your health, giving you problems with your loved ones, or is damaging your school or work relationships.
- Your craving for alcohol is strong and you are unable to control it.
- When you stop drinking, you become irritable, restless, depressed and sick.
- There are blocks of time that you can’t remember, due to drinking alcohol.
- You may have put yourself in dangerous situations such as drunk driving, unsafe sex or possibly risked giving yourself alcohol poisoning from drinking too much.
How Is Alcoholism Treated?
The first step in treating alcoholism is always detox. Particularly if you are a heavy drinker, this should always be facilitated under the care of medical staff. This is because the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be quite severe for some.
In a detox center, you may receive special prescription medications that will help you manage your withdrawal symptoms more comfortably. These medications may help to stop or reduce your drinking and help to prevent relapse.
Counseling and support groups are another important element of your recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous as well as other programs are critical in giving you the support that you need.
Get Help Today at Asheville Detox
In your life, where you stand today, are you struggling with alcoholism? We at Asheville Detox know how hard it can be to take an honest look at yourself and admit that you have a problem. Understand that we are never here to judge you. Our friendly team of professionals is here to stand beside you whenever you are ready to make the first move and let go of your addiction. Please contact us and prepare to change your life for the better.