Alcoholism & Cardiovascular Issues
The American Heart Association lists numerous cardiovascular issues associated with alcohol use and abuse. In addition, there is conflicting research about potential benefits associated with mild to moderate alcohol use. AHA strongly suggests that despite some of these research findings, individuals should not begin drinking alcohol in an attempt to improve their cardiovascular health, and individuals with cardiovascular issues should stop drinking alcohol altogether.
Some of the potential cardiovascular issues associated with using alcohol include:
The same factors associated with recovery from neurological damage as a result of abstaining from alcohol apply to recovery from cardiovascular issues when one chooses to abstain from alcohol. However, in most cases, the full extent of the damage produced by chronic and heavy alcohol use on the cardiovascular system is not fully resolved. Typically, any reversal of damage occurs rapidly in the first months to the first year of abstinence and then slows down following that. Individuals need to also pay attention to other lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, getting plenty of rest, stress management, etc., in order to experience their full potential of recovery.
Ulcers Caused By Alcohol
Inflammation that occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly in the lining of the stomach, is known as gastritis. Alcohol use is associated with the development of gastritis, and if this inflammation continues for extended periods of time, abscesses and other damage may occur as a result. This is due to excessive stomach acids that build up in the gastrointestinal tract.
When this damage becomes chronic, the individual develops ulcers. Ulcers can be very uncomfortable, and if not treated, they can create a life-threatening condition. Unless they are extremely serious, gastritis and ulcers can be reversed through treatment and abstinence from alcohol, although there will most likely be some scar tissue remaining in the individuals gastrointestinal tract.
Alcohol Can Cause A Specific Brain Disease
In addition to causing shrinkage within specific portions of the brain, and sparking the death or damage of some brain cells, alcoholism can also cause deficiencies that can kill brain cells in another manner.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that alcoholism can cause a deficiency in vitamin B1, also known as thiamine. This vitamin is required for optimal brain health, and when it is absent, it can cause a very specific type of brain disease. This Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome can cause short-term symptoms such as confusion or stiff muscles, and if left untreated, it may move into a debilitating form of psychosis that often requires around-the-clock care.
The Alzheimers Association reports that researchers arent sure why alcohol abuse causes a thiamine deficiency, but they suspect it is caused by alcohols impact on the stomach, liver, and other vital organs. It may also be spurred by other health issues, such as anorexia.
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Which Is The Best Diagnostic Test For Encephalomalacia
Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scan is the most commonly used method for detecting any sign of softening in the brain. CT scan of the brain is another useful diagnostic test. There are no definite ways of curing this disorder as it is not possible to make destroyed brain tissues start working again.
How Long Does It Take For Your Brain To Recover From Drinking
The new research shows that it takes at least two weeks for the brain to start returning to normal, so this is the point at which the alcohol recovery timeline begins. Until the brain has recovered, it is less able so suppress the urge to drink. This is because the alcohol has impaired the brains cognitive ability.
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The Impact Of Alcohol
Overall, alcohol is linked to over 200 diseases, conditions, and injuries. In 2010, alcohol abuse was responsible for 2.8% of all deaths in the US. While it can take years of heavy drinking for diseases like alcohol-related brain damage to appear, negative effects on the brain materialize after only a few drinks.
As an individual consumes alcohol, he or she will begin to feel the depressant effects it has on the brain. As the bodys control center, the impairing effects of alcohol quickly impede the normal function of areas all over the body. Short-term symptoms indicating reduced brain function include difficulty walking, blurred vision, slowed reaction time, and compromised memory. Heavy drinking and binge drinking can result in permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.
How Is Arbd Different From Dementia
ARBD doesnt always get worse over time, unlike common causes of dementia such as Alzheimers disease. If a person with ARBD stops drinking alcohol and receives good support, they may be able to make a partial or even full recovery. They may regain much of their memory and thinking skills, and their ability to do things independently.
Can We Eat Grapes With Alcohol
There’s evidence that the natural sugars found in honey and natural fruits can actually help you move the alcohol out of your system faster. Try eating mangos, grapes, oranges, pears and plantains. Watermelon is also another great option since it has such a high water content and it can help you rehydrate.
Signs That Alcohol Has Caused Brain Damage
Can alcohol permanently damage your brain? Weve determined that the answer is yes. But what are some signs and symptoms that brain damage is a likelihood due to alcohol consumption? How do you know if a loved one has alcohol-related brain damage? Weve listed many symptoms below.
Its worth remembering that a person is unlikely to display all of the symptoms on this list. A persons particular combination of symptoms will depend upon which part of the brain has been damaged.
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Alcohol And Cognitive Function
- Alcohol and TBI both affect cognitive skills like memory and flexible thinking .
- Alcohol may make some of the cognitive problems caused by TBI worse.
- Alcohol may affect people with TBI more than it did before their TBI.
- The negative cognitive effects of alcohol can last from days to weeks after drinking stops.
- Not drinking can keep your cognitive abilities at their best and help you stay sharp and focused.
Alcohol Damage In The Adolescent Brain
Recent research in the effects of binge drinking have focused on the effects on the adolescent brain. While we are considered adults by law at the age of 18 and we are able to drink legally at 21, the human brain continues to develop well into the mid-twenties.
A recent study conducted at the University of California, San Diego compared brain scans of teens that drink heavily with those that do not and the results were quite telling. The study found that teens that drank heavily had damaged nerve tissue in their brains. The researchers believe that this damage can be linked to a decrease in attention span in young men, and a decrease in the ability to comprehend visual information in young women.
Though the study surveyed adolescents that had reported binge drinking, some only drank four or five drinks during one binge session, which for many full-grown adults wouldnt necessarily constitute as a binge. The adolescent brain, and in many cases, the entire body, is more sensitive to the toxins in drugs and alcohol.
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Dealing With Behaviours Of Concern
Helpful strategies include:
- Be prepared to listen people with ARBI need to feel listened to and understood.
- Reassure the person that you are there to help them.
- Speak in a calm, soothing tone.
- Give praise when the person regains their composure after an outburst.
- Set clear and firm limits, and repeat them as often as possible.
- Reinforce and reward appropriate behaviour
- Ignore the behaviour if it is appropriate to do so and there is no risk of harm to the individual or others.
There are some responses you should try to avoid when dealing with behaviours of concern, including:
- Avoid arguing or reacting to any provocation.
- Avoid using a bossy tone or ordering the person around.
- Ignore negative, critical or aggressive comments.
- Do not take the behaviour personally.
- Avoid adopting defensive postures such as standing with your arms crossed.
Using Hightech Tools To Assess Alcoholic Brain Damage
Researchers studying the effects of alcohol use on the brain are aided by advanced technology such as magnetic resonance imaging , diffusion tensor imaging , positron emission tomography , and electrophysiological brain mapping. These tools are providing valuable insight into how alcohol affects the brains structure and function.
Longterm heavy drinking may lead to shrinking of the brain and deficiencies in the fibers that carry information between brain cells . MRI and DTI are being used together to assess the brains of patients when they first stop chronic heavy drinking and again after long periods of sobriety, to monitor for possible relapse to drinking .
Memory formation and retrieval are highly influenced by factors such as attention and motivation . Studies using MRI are helping scientists to determine how memory and attention improve with long-time abstinence from alcohol, as well as what changes take place when a patient begins drinking again. The goal of these studies is to determine which alcoholinduced effects on the brain are permanent and which ones can be reversed with abstinence.
Another hightech tool, electroencephalography , records the brains electrical signals . Small electrodes are placed on the scalp to detect this electrical activity, which then is magnified and graphed as brain waves . These brain waves show realtime activity as it happens in the brain.
The P3 component is reduced in alcoholics compared with control subjects.
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High Total Lifetime Alcohol Consumption
The quantity and period of alcohol intake are strongly connected to the prevalence of neuropathy. Alcohol-induced neuropathy is more common in continuous and frequent heavy drinkers with 29.6% and 29.9% compared to episodic drinkers with 11.3% of those who took part in the study.
Symptoms of the disease can appear in the first 15 years of alcohol abuse and severe alcoholic polyneuropathy after ten years.
Growing New Brain Cells
For decades scientists believed that the number of nerve cells in the adult brain was fixed early in life. If brain damage occurred, then, the best way to treat it was by strengthening the existing neurons, as new ones could not be added. In the 1960s, however, researchers found that new neurons are indeed generated in adulthooda process called neurogenesis . These new cells originate from stem cells, which are cells that can divide indefinitely, renew themselves, and give rise to a variety of cell types. The discovery of brain stem cells and adult neurogenesis provides a new way of approaching the problem of alcoholrelated changes in the brain and may lead to a clearer understanding of how best to treat and cure alcoholism .
For example, studies with animals show that high doses of alcohol lead to a disruption in the growth of new brain cells scientists believe it may be this lack of new growth that results in the longterm deficits found in key areas of the brain . Understanding how alcohol interacts with brain stem cells and what happens to these cells in alcoholics is the first step in establishing whether the use of stem cell therapies is an option for treatment .
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How Do You Flush Out Alcohol
Eat, Eat, EAT. Eating is perhaps the most important way to flush alcohol out of your system. The toxins in alcohol can cause low blood sugar and even crashes, so its important to balance it out and get some food in your body. If you think youre too nauseous to eat, try something light like eggs or crackers.
Alcohol Consumption And Arbi
Alcohol is one of the most popular drugs in Australia. Around 40 per cent of Australian adults drink alcohol on a weekly basis and 10 per cent drink every day. Alcohol consumption ranges from light to heavy consumption.Alcohol related brain impairment is more likely to occur if a person drinks heavily on a regular basis over many years. A decline in thinking-related abilities is gradual and depends on how much alcohol is consumed and for how long. It is also possible to develop ARBI over a short period of time, if the drinking is excessive enough. This is known as binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking and is a short-term, high-risk way of drinking alcohol.Men and women who consume more than four standard drinks on any single occasion are at risk. Mixing alcohol and other drugs either illegal drugs or some prescription drugs can cause serious health problems.
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Can Drugs Permanently Damage The Brain
Drug use can cause a variety of effects on vital organs such as the brain and the heart. Some of these effects may be short-term, which means that they typically disappear soon after use. On the other hand, long-term effects last long after the drug use has taken place, sometimes for months or even years.
Unfortunately, there are permanent drug effects that stay with the user forever and are irreversible despite attempts to return to a healthier state. Many of the permanent damage caused by drugs occur in the brain, but the drug use effects can also occur in other parts of the body.
For example, cocaine attacks the cardiovascular system and causes permanent damage to the heart and blood vessels. Consider starting drug addiction treatment as soon as possible to ward off or avoid the worsening of the permanent effects of drugs on the body.
Disorders Linked With Arbi
ARBI is associated with changes in cognition , difficulties with balance and coordination, and a range of medical and neurological disorders. Some alcohol-related disorders include:
- Cerebellar atrophy the cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for muscle coordination. Damage results in difficulties with balance and walking, which is called ataxia.
- Frontal lobe dysfunction the brains frontal lobes are involved in abstract thinking, planning, problem solving and emotion. Damage results in cognitive difficulties.
- Hepatic encephalopathy many people with alcohol-related liver disease develop particular psychiatric symptoms, such as mood changes, confusion and hallucinations.
- Wernickes encephalopathy this is a disorder caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin B1. Some of the symptoms include ataxia, confusion and problems with vision.
- Korsakoffs amnesic syndrome this includes a loss of short-term memory, an inability to acquire new information and confabulation .
- Peripheral neuropathy the bodys extremities are affected by numbness, pain, and pins and needles.
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Alcohol And Brain Injury
Brain injury can be caused by alcohol because it:
- has a toxic effect on the central nervous system
- results in changes to metabolism, heart functioning and blood supply
- interferes with the absorption of vitamin B1 , which is an important brain nutrient
- may be associated with poor nutrition
- can lead to falls and accidents that injure the brain.
Reduce The Harm From Drinking
If you donât want to stop drinking, you can still reduce the harms of drinking:
- Eat food and drink water before you drink alcohol. This will help slow the effects of the alcohol. If you have a sharp rise in your blood alcohol level, it can lead to nausea, vomiting, falls, blackouts, and alcohol poisoning.
- Have a plan so you donât drink and drive. Have someone who isnât drinking take you home. Plan to spend the night where you are drinking or drink only at home.
- To avoid dangerous spikes in blood alcohol level, drink beer rather than hard liquor. You can also mix hard liquor with water instead of sweet, bubbly drinks.
- Sip your drinks slowly . Drinking too fast can make the pleasant feelings from alcohol go away.
- Drinking in bars makes some people drink more slowly because of the cost. If you go to a bar, donât drink and drive.
- Take vitamins, like B1 , B12, and folate, to reduce the chance of brain damage from drinking.
- Have no more than two drinks per day. Cut back on certain days of the week, such as weeknights.
- ake a drinking âholidayâ . This may remind you of some of the benefits of being sober
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Why Is The Heart Vulnerable To Damage By Drug Use
In a healthy state, various chemical signals within the body can indicate to the heart that it should relax or work faster and harder. With the use of drugs, some of these chemical signals can be either overly enhanced or reduced, thus causing the heart to act abnormally. This abnormal heart activity can last for a short or long duration and sometimes can be reversible. However, some of these effects can lead to serious consequences, including death.
Drug use by injection causes additional heart problems. Improper and unsanitary injections can result in collapsed veins and bacterial infections within the blood vessels and the heart itself. A drug addiction program can help the user to understand the risks better and learn strategies to gain control of their lives.
Why Is Teenage Drinking Dangerous
Alcohol is the most commonly used and misused drug among young people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The CDC reports that excessive underage drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among individuals each year.
According to the CDCs 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Study, when high school students were asked about their activities during the previous 30 days, 33% said they drank some amount of alcohol, 18% reported binge drinking, and 8% said that they drove after drinking alcohol.
Moreover, more than 90% of the alcohol consumed by young people is in the form of binge drinking.
The CDC defines binge drinking as a drinking pattern that brings a persons blood alcohol concentration to 0.08% or above. Binge drinking means consuming five or more drinks in about two hours for someone who is biologically male, or four or more drinks for someone who is biologically female.
The dangers associated with binge drinking include increased risk of drunk driving, violent behavior, being a victim of sexual assault, transmitted diseases, and long-term alcohol addiction.
Adding to the concerns are studies providing scientific evidence that alcohol significantly impairs learning and memory in teens.
Studies have debunked the widely held notion that adolescents can be kept safe and learn how to handle alcohol if they drink under adult supervision.
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