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Alcoholism - Effects on Health, Treatment and Rehabilitation.


Alcoholism is increasing these days . In this blog, I will discuss its effects on various organs of our body, treatment and Rehabilitation.

Mr. Vasu started taking alcohol in little amounts for relaxation which later turned into an addiction which costed him his life.
When it is taken in minimum levels it may or may not harm u . But when it goes into an addiction it harms your each and every part of your body.

Selective Focus Photography of Wine Bottle Pouring on Wine Glass

Brain :

Alcohol interferes with brain communication pathways affecting cognitive and motor abilities. Hence, we see the changes like slurred speech, gait , improper reasoning ,lack of concentration.
If this continues over period of time, it results in weaking of Central nervous system. Loss of memory too may result. Thiamine deficiency too results which in turn makes it worse for the central nervous system.

Brain, Anatomy, Human, Science, Health

Heart :

Long time drinking results in change in cardiac muscles causing cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure resulting in cardiac problems.

Human Heart, Blood Flow

Liver :

Alcohol has to pass through liver for digestion. In long run, this toxin causes inflammation of liver cells causing
  • Fatty liver which soon progress into cirrhosis of liver which is final stage .
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis , inflammation of liver cells causing yellowing of the sclera of eyes , nails and skin initially.
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis - the final stage resulting in multi organ failure and  death.
Liver, Biology, Medical, Anatomy, Human

Pancreas :

Inflammation of pancreas result in pancreatitis. It's painful condition which needs hospitalisation . If it can't be treated medically, it has to be operated .

GI Ulcers :

Gastrointestinal  ulcers are also a complication of alcoholism. If there is existing GERD (Gastrointestinal Re flux Disease ) ,it makes symptoms more worse.

Digestive, System, Human, Digestion

Immune system :

Alcoholism weakens immune system and may predispose to Tuberculosis. WBC count too gets lowered and our body's ability to fight against diseases.

Cancer :

Alcoholism increases chance of gastrointestinal, mouth, oesophagus , breast and few other cancers.

Accidents and Injuries :

Falls and accidents are common in alcoholic mode. Do not drive after alcohol intake , it will put even others life at risk.

Bones :

Demineralization of calcium, phosphorus occurs due to alcoholism resulting in osteoporosis as they age. It's even more if they started alcoholism at very young age.

Skeleton, Human, Diagram, Labelled, Bone

Vitamin deficiencies:

There is inflammation of gastrointestinal tract resulting in poor absorption of vitamin and minerals causing vitamin deficiencies and common one is thiamine deficiency . Beri- Beri is severe version of it which may cause Central nervous breakdown.

Few tips to reduce alcohol consumption :
  • Go for walk , yoga or gym . Exercises tend to release endorphins which makes you happy and you don't feel to consume alcohol much.
  • Eat something when you are about to go to parties with liquor consumption. This makes your stomach full and craving to drink reduces.
  •  Better to stay away from people who force you to drink.
  • Divert your attention to something good like fitness.
Laboratory tests that reveal the extent of harm :

LFT(Liver Function Test) :

This test measures the concentrations of proteins and enzymes in the blood that are produced by the liver or released when the liver cells are damaged.

LFT test includes :

  TEST                                          NORMAL RANGE *

Total Bilirubin                               0.1 - 1.2 mg/dL
Direct Bilirubin                             0.0 - 0.50 mg/dL
Indirect Bilirubin                           0.0-0.8 mg/dL
Total Proteins                                 6.4-8.3 gm/dL
Albumin                                         3.5-5.2 gm/dL
Globulin                                         2.3-3.5 gm/dL
SGOT                                             upto 38
SGPT                                              upto 45
Alkaline phosphatase                     40-130 U/L

* The normal range may vary slightly .

Cost of the test : 300 - 500 Rs. varies according to city,availability etc.

USG Abdomen :

Ultrasound abdomen is the scan of abdomen which is safe and painless test which uses sound waves to make the images of abdomen such as liver,gall bladder,spleen,urinary bladder.
This test reveals the condition of the Liver.

Cost of the test : 1000-1200 Rs . Varies according to the place and other factors.

GGT ( Gamma Glutamyl Transferase ) :

NORMAL VALUE* :5.0- 85.0
* Varies slightly .
This test determines the elevated alkaline phosphatase levels indicating alcohol abuse or some damage in liver.


If u have decided to quit alcoholism ,

Consult Psychologist for counselling sessions.

If this doesn't help, take help of Psychiatrist to quit alcoholism.
They will put you on anti craving medications, anti anxiety drugs. Also vitamin supplements specially thiamine will be given.
 Be careful not to drink alcohol with this medications as it will cause u more harm . 

Go to alcohol de-addiction centres if u decide to abstain alcohol and cannot do with your will power.

Alcohol Anonymous (AA)  group is a group which support you in this process . Join this group as you will get motivation to quit alcohol.

Psychotherapy :

 Number of counselling sessions will be held which helps in relieving stress , anxiety and gives you mental stability.

Aversion therapy : 

Aversion therapy is behavioural conditioning where in alcohol smell , taste is mixed with unpleasant stimulus like nausea induced by chemical agents . This way behaviour modification occurs towards alcohol.

Family therapy :

All the family members from kids to old aged people get affected if one person is in addiction. Hence , family therapy aims to  give the required assistance to cope with the stress and involve in the rehabilitation program .

Conclusion : 

Life is a beautiful gift , let us not end in a sad note with addictions. Everything is good in its limits .Set  boundaries and enjoy life to maximum. What do u say?
Thank u..

By Divya Lokesh.


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