Alcoholism: Disease or a Choice? Considered a Brain Disease

Alcoholism: Disease or a Choice? Considered a Brain Disease

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why is alcoholism considered a chronic disease

The brain is another organ in our bodies that is very involved with alcohol. According to Waldo, “when alcohol or other addictive drugs are introduced into a body predisposed by inherited genetics to addiction, permanent biological changes occur in the brain” (2000). Nerve cells that drive messages to the brain about feelings, thoughts, and learning are obstruct by alcohol.

  • Proper treatment and management are essential for treating it, otherwise, relapse can make it worse.
  • Recognizing the difference between non-harmful alcohol consumption and alcohol addiction can be difficult.
  • Alcoholism and compulsive overeating are diseases like diabetics react to sugar in a same way as overeaters have a reaction to all kind of food and alcoholics to alcohol.
  • Seeking therapy can also keep you on track in your treatment goals and provide a supportive outlet and opportunity to learn healthy coping mechanisms that replace alcohol.
  • One possible explanation for this observation, in addition to those listed above for hemorrhagic stroke, is that patients in the morbidity studies may be younger at the time of the stroke than those in mortality studies.

Its most common symptoms include problems with thinking, concentration, and communication; depression and anxiety; physical weakness or paralysis; memory problems; seizures; and periods of severe confusion. 1Ischemic cardiovascular diseases are those caused by a blockage of blood vessels, resulting in a loss of blood supply to the tissue serviced by the affected blood vessels. For those looking for alcohol addiction treatment in Lake Worth, Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches is here to be that beacon of hope. Additionally, our BHOPB detox program for alcohol will ensure that you or your loved one that is struggling can navigate withdrawal safely and effectively. Like diabetics who learn to eat healthy foods to cope with their disease, alcoholics can learn skills to cope with alcoholism and maintain long-term sobriety. Alcoholism is considered a brain disease because it affects the way the brain operates, causing symptoms such as compulsive behavior and intense cravings.

Definition of Chronic Disease

There is also an increased risk of injuries from drowning, violent acts, and motor vehicle accidents. Strokes caused by complications from AFib tend to be more severe than strokes with other underlying causes. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a blood clot or by fatty deposits called plaque eco sober house price in the blood vessel lining. Other testing is based on behavior – amount of alcohol consumed over some time period and changes in cognitive and mobility behaviors. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, please get help. There are many resources available to those struggling with this disease.

Alcohol is hypothesized to induce immune dysfunction that results in relative immunosuppression. In addition, alcohol may increase the production of inflammatory cytokines and cell cycle activators, such as cyclin D1 and keratinocyte growth factor, that could lead to excessive multiplication of skin cells (i.e., epidermal hyperproliferation). Finally, alcohol may exacerbate disease progression by interfering with compliance with treatment regimens (Gupta et al. 1993; Zaghloul and Goodfield 2004).

Another neuropsychiatric disorder considered to be causally linked to alcohol consumption is unipolar depressive disorder. This association is supported by the temporal order of the two conditions, consistency of the findings, reversibility with abstinence, biological plausibility, and the identification of a dose-response relationship. One study determined the risk of depressive disorders to be increased two- to threefold in alcohol-dependent people (see Rehm and colleagues [2003a] for an examination of the causal criteria). This conclusion results from the observation that depressive symptoms increase markedly during heavy-drinking occasions and disappear or lessen during periods of abstinence (Rehm et al. 2003a).

why is alcoholism considered a chronic disease

Furthermore, the effects of alcohol consumption on risk of diabetes are dose dependent (see figure 3). Late-stage alcoholics are dangerously dependent on alcohol, making alcohol withdrawal very uncomfortable and painful. This is why it is important to recognize the signs that late-stage alcohol brings with it.

Defining Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Therefore, alcoholics should understand how unique and important their brains are for themselves and everyone else surrounded them. However, instead of calling it a brain disease, it is more than that because the whole body is affected. For example, if anyone is drunk, his or her cerebellum gets interfered because of alcohol. Hepatoma is very widespread on the alcoholic; colon and liver cancer are rare primary diseases. Therefore, Pace is saying that, “… alcoholism is a disease that affects not only the brain but also the liver, stomach, kidney, intestines, and pancreas” (2001).

  • An intervention from loved ones can help some people recognize and accept that they need professional help.
  • Listen to relatives, friends or co-workers when they ask you to examine your drinking habits or to seek help.
  • 2The GBD Study is a project that aims to provide a consistent and comparative description of the global burden of diseases and injuries and the risk factors that cause them.
  • Of course, just because there is no cure for alcoholism does not mean there is no hope for recovery.
  • The diabetic disease is something that the body’s failure to produce sufficient insulin.

Patients should realize that they are having metabolic defects which affect their livers due to alcohol. Once a liver loses the ability to breakdown, nobody can put it back to a workable liver. Other types of brain scans have revealed that alcohol damages parts of the nervous system and the brain stem, causing issues with problem-solving and emotional regulation. The scans have also shown differences in electrical activity in the brains of people dependent on alcohol and people going through alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs that provide trained professional or peer-led support for people in recovery from alcohol use disorder. If your pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problems functioning in your daily life, you likely have alcohol use disorder.

Understanding Benzodiazepines and Sedatives: Addiction Risk and Treatment

Many people say that you can never become an alcoholic if you choose to never drink alcohol. Disease management requires acceptance of a problem, follow-through with treatment, and an understanding that a person can have periods of symptom flare-ups or relapse (but this doesn’t mean hope is lost). Lean into your loved ones for support and ask them to help you through this difficult time. Alcohol use disorder is diagnosed based on criteria as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

In addition to these pharmacokinetic factors, hormonal differences also may play a role because at least in the case of liver disease, alcohol-attributable harm is modified by estrogen. However, hormonal influences on alcohol-related risks are not yet fully understood (Eagon 2010). The effects of overall volume of alcohol consumed, consumption patterns, and quality of the alcoholic beverages consumed on mortality and morbidity from chronic diseases and conditions are mediated by three main mechanisms. Late-stage alcoholism (or end-stage alcoholism) is the final stage of alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive condition that tends to get worse and worse over time.

why is alcoholism considered a chronic disease

Doctors definitely could seek the medical consequences, even though the patient has been through treatment. Dr. Lieber always explains about the metabolism of alcohol to his patients. There are many different ways of breaking down alcohol used by the patient when alcoholic develops to alcoholism.

Chronic Diseases and Conditions Related to Alcohol Use

These medicines work by reducing cravings, decreasing the impact of symptoms, and causing intolerable side effects upon alcohol consumption. Some alcoholics do not want to be labeled as having a disease although there are some alcoholics who see that as a “good” label – versus old fashioned, it’s your fault label. They may agree that they have a physical disorder (vs. a choice) or maybe even a syndrome.

Because of the inherent dangers of late-stage alcoholism, the ability to identify it is critical to any possible recovery. Contrary to many opinions, it is never too late to treat alcoholism and begin to reverse its negative effects. Here are five signs that can help you identify when you or a loved one has entered late-stage alcoholism.

The availability of alcohol, the acceptance of alcohol usage in your family or friend group, and many other similar factors let you develop an addiction. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., accounting for about 70 percent of all deaths. The CDC cites the major risk factors for chronic disease as tobacco use, lack of physical exercise, poor nutrition, and excessive alcohol use.

Alcoholism is a Disease

Alcoholics should learn how to manage themselves from alcohol to live healthy and to avoid alcoholism. Alcoholism can cause bad habits and it may build to a more serious health problem later such as cancer. Some people argue that alcoholism is a disease concept and other believes alcoholism is a choice. According to Hobbs, “the debate on whether alcoholism is a disease or a personal conduct problem has continued for over 200 years” (2000).