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Alcoholism – causes, side effects and treatments at

Thursday, December 21, 2017 by

Alcohol use disorder (AUD), more commonly known as alcoholism, is classified as a chronic relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol consumption and undergoing a negative emotional state when alcohol in unavailable. An entry published on the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) website reveals that up to 16 million people across the U.S. suffer from the condition. However, the agency notes that less than 10 percent of patients receive treatments despite the prevalence of AUD.

Known side effects of alcoholism

Alcoholism is associated with an increased risk of central nervous system depression, poor muscle coordination, and even coma. Likewise, the condition is linked to a higher likelihood of suffering from liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. Excessive alcohol intake may also lead to gastritis and pancreatic damage, according to an article published on the Medical News Today website.

In addition, heavy drinking may result in high blood pressure and various cardiovascular conditions including cardiomyopathy or damaged heart muscle, heart failure, and stroke. The condition is known to trigger the onset of diabetes as well. Alcoholism may also raise the odds of developing various types of cancer such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, liver, and colon as well as rectum, breast, prostate, and pharynx.

Alcohol use disorder may affect both male and female reproductive health too. According to the article, excessive alcohol intake may lead to erectile dysfunction in men and menstrual issues and pregnancy complications in women. Alcohol abuse is also associated with higher odds of fatigue, eye disorders, short-term memory loss, and bone disorders.

Body systems harmed by alcoholism

Alcoholism is notoriously detrimental to the central nervous system and the digestive tract. Likewise, the condition is known to harm the heart, the muscles, eyes and bones. It is also found to affect both male and female reproductive health.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent alcoholism

An entry posted on the San Francisco Chronicle website explains that alcohol abuse depletes three of the most common nutrients that the body needs: vitamin B6, thiamine and folate. Likewise, the article stresses that alcoholism results in a marked reduction in vitamins A, D and E. Recovering patients are encouraged to eat foods high in these essential nutrients, which include:

  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Fortified milk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Nuts
  • Fortified cereals
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes

Treatments, management plans for alcoholism

Alcohol use disorder can be effectively stemmed through detoxification or withdrawal. Likewise, rehabilitation and counseling are employed to address emotional issues in patients and help them learn new coping skills and behaviors. Participating in support groups may also help address alcohol misuse. An entry published on the Health Line website adds that certain medications — such as naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfiram — may further enhance the treatment for alcohol misuse.

Where to learn more


Alcoholism causes central nervous system depression, diabetes, and various types of cancer.

Alcoholism triggers hepatitis and cirrhosis, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and stroke.

Alcoholism may result in erectile dysfunction, menstrual issues, and pregnancy complications.

Alcoholism leads to fatigue, eye disorders, short-term memory loss, and bone disorders.

Alcoholism is notoriously harmful to the central nervous system and the digestive tract.

Alcoholism is detrimental to the heart, the eyes, the bones, and the muscular system.

Alcoholism may also found to affect both male and female reproductive health.

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