When alcohol consumption becomes addictive, we speak of alcoholism. It has physical, social and mental consequences, ranging from a state of intoxication to chronic illnesses affecting various organs.
These symptoms mainly occur after once-off excessive consumption.
- Slowed reactions and reduced concentration
- Double vision (squint-eyed), “tunnel vision”
- Lack of coordination
- Increased aggression
- Slurred speech
- Danger of falling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness, including coma (risk of respiratory paralysis)
These symptoms tend to occur after long-standing and regular consumption.
- Stomach infection (gastritis)
- Shaky fingers (tremors), sometimes also hands
- Fatty liver, liver inflammation (hepatitis) and liver cirrhosis
- Cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure
- Immune deficiency, susceptibility to infectious diseases
- Loss of libido, impotence
- Personality changes, depression, anxiety, dementia, etc.
- Tingling, numbness (particularly in the feet)
- Oesophageal, laryngeal, pharyngeal cancer
- Damage to the unborn child
- Withdrawal symptoms, e.g. hallucinations
Causes and treatment
- Stress, conflict and other problems are suppressed with the help of alcohol
- Peer pressure
- Loneliness, lack of social support
Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital
- Blood tests (e.g. inflammatory markers and liver function)
- Ultrasound (e.g. of liver)
- Medicine-supported alcohol withdrawal
- Therapy focusing on mental and social aspects
When to see a doctor?
How do you recognise alcoholism in your environment, or in yourself?
- Strong desire for alcoholic drinks
- The amounts of alcohol that can be tolerated increase (development of alcohol tolerance)
- Efforts to reduce alcohol consumption are repeatedly unsuccessful
- The ability to control the amounts and times of alcohol consumption decreases
- A lot of effort goes into hiding the problem
- Leisure activities and social contact progressively decline
Alcohol abuse, alcoholism