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Understanding Alcohol's Impact: A Focus for Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to learn more about how too much alcohol can affect our health. As a psychiatrist, I see how drinking too much alcohol can cause serious health problems. I want to share with you some common health issues caused by alcohol, like delirium tremens, seizures, stomach bleeding, pancreatitis, liver problems, and infections in the belly. I'll explain what these are and how doctors can help treat them.

1. Delirium Tremens (DTs)

What Happens: DTs can start a few days after someone who drinks a lot stops drinking. They might feel very confused, see things that aren't there, shake, and be very scared.

How to Help: People with DTs need to be in the hospital. Doctors give them special medicine to calm them down, vitamins to help their brain, and fluids to keep them hydrated. They watch them closely to make sure they get better.

2. Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures

What Happens: Someone who stops drinking suddenly might have seizures, which are like electrical storms in the brain that cause the body to shake uncontrollably.

How to Help: Doctors give medicine to help stop the seizures and make withdrawal easier.

 

3. Gastrointestinal Bleeding

What Happens: Drinking too much can hurt the stomach and intestines, leading to bleeding. Signs include vomiting blood or having very dark stools.

How to Help: This is serious and needs quick treatment. Doctors might need to do a procedure to find and stop the bleeding.

4. Pancreatitis

What Happens: This is when the pancreas, an organ that helps digest food, gets inflamed. It causes a lot of belly pain, nausea, and vomiting.

How to Help: People with pancreatitis might need to stay in the hospital to rest their pancreas, get fluids, and manage pain.

 

5. Hepatic Failure

What Happens: Long-term drinking can damage the liver, leading to liver failure. This can cause yellow skin, bleeding problems, and confusion.

How to Help: Stopping drinking is crucial. Some people might need special nutrition or even a liver transplant in severe cases.


6. Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis (SBP)

What Happens: This is an infection in the fluid in the belly, often in people whose livers are damaged by alcohol. It causes belly pain, fever, and confusion.

How to Help: Antibiotics are used to treat the infection. Doctors might also give medicines to help with fluid buildup.


During Alcohol Awareness Month, it's important to remember that drinking too much alcohol can lead to serious health problems. If you or someone you know is struggling, it's okay to ask for help. Doctors can treat these conditions, and there are ways to reduce drinking and improve health. Let's use this month to spread the word and support each other in staying healthy.

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13 de abr.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Learning about the toxic effects of alcohol has been a journey it’s not something I learned growing up. In fact our society normalizes alcohol use. I appreciate your communications about the harmful effects of alcohol

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Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Reading blog @ Sanexus Tx, 1st thought - not really my problem. But (it's like family here amongst patients & therapists) I asked if everyone knew it was Alcohol Awareness month and how they felt about alcohol - got some pretty funny comments which I won't mention because alcohol's toxic effects are not funny.

Alcohol use starts small, but for whatever need or stressor that happens, and it will, you begin to consume more & more; until alcohol consumes you.

Alcohol works by releasing feel good chemicals, which are short lived. So you dose yourself again and again. Can be addictive.

From personal experience, my alcohol use started during law school....after weekend study groups I liked to add nips of…


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Douglas Morris
Douglas Morris
05 de abr.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

I rarely drink alcohol, sometimes I drink or not at all.

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