Can Alcoholism Be A Fatal Disease?
Alcoholism is also known as alcohol dependence syndrome, and it is a disease that involves a number of different elements. Someone who drinks excessively is not necessarily an alcoholic, and not every alcoholic drinks excessively.
Four Basic Elements of Alcoholism
- The person has a craving, which is a strong compulsion or a need for them to drink.
- The person experiences a loss of control, which means that he or she frequently cannot stop drinking once they begin.
- The person has a physical dependence, which means that withdrawal symptoms occur when they stop drinking heavily. Some examples of withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea, anxiety and shakiness.
- The person experiences a tolerance, which means that increasing amounts of alcohol are required in order for the person to achieve the same “high” that they achieved in the past. What may have taken two drinks to achieve in the past may now take four or even six for the same effect.
Understanding what alcoholism is and who it impacts is the first step to understanding what its capabilities are. One of the most common questions that people ask regarding alcoholism is whether or not it can be a fatal disease. The answer, simply put, is yes How Alcoholism Can be Fatal.
Chronic alcoholism tends to be a progressive type of disease and it is potentially fatal. It is characterized by a constant or incessant craving for drinking alcohol. The physical dependence that is created by the alcohol is something that people around you probably are not going to notice. Many alcoholics are high functioning, meaning that nobody around them has any suspicion that they are drinking excessively or modeling their life around alcohol.
What many people do not realize about alcohol is that the drunkenness you experience is a bad thing. It is actually a sign of acute alcohol intoxication, which means that you are poisoning your body and your body is attempting to tell you that something is wrong.
When you are drinking to excess to the point where you are becoming inebriated or intoxicated, you are causing irreparable damage to your body including vital organs like your liver and your brain. Your body cannot handle the toxicity of the alcohol when you are drinking excessively, so you are actually doing yourself a significant amount of harm.
Alcoholism is capable of leading to a wide variety of different physical ailments. There are two basic ways that alcoholism can be a fatal disease. Alcohol toxicity is capable of causing death when you drink to the point of excess. Because every person has a completely different tolerance for alcohol, it is actually possible for someone to reach the point of alcohol toxicity very quickly or much more quickly than the average person.
There are a number of other physical and emotional ailments that alcoholism is capable of causing, not only with excessive drinking but also with long term drinking. Some examples of ailments that can be caused by alcoholism include pancreatitis, chronic gastritis, end stage liver damage, enlargement of blood vessels in your skin, brain damage, heart damage, high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, and numerous others.
Although not all of these ailments are inherently deadly on their own, they are all physical harm that is irreparable and capable of being exacerbated by continued drinking. Someone who is drinking to excess or drinking on a chronic basis is going to cause serious, irreparable, and long term harm to their body and much of it is capable of resulting in death.
Health Risks Associated with Excessive Drinking
It should be no secret at this point that you can cause a lot of serious health problems when you consume alcohol on a chronic or excessive basis. Injuries sustained in automotive accidents, for example, are often caused by excessive drinking. Cirrhosis of the liver is one of the most common results of drinking, and one of the most widely known. There are actually a lot of other health risks associated with drinking. In the past few years, researchers and scientists have actually linked the consumption of alcohol to more than 60 different diseases.
What we are now learning is that alcohol is capable of doing all kinds of stuff to the body, and we are only now beginning to understand its true effects. Let us take a look at some of the most important conditions that have been linked to alcohol, alcoholism, and heavy or chronic drinking.
- Anemia: When you drink heavily you can cause your red blood cell count to be low abnormally, and these are the cells that are responsible for carrying oxygen through your body. This is a condition that is known as anemia, and it can trigger a wide variety of different symptoms including shortness of breath, fatigue, and lightheadedness.
- Cancer: According to researchers, drinking on a habitual basis can actually increase your risk of developing cancer. Scientists are now beginning to believe that the increased risk is derived from the body converting the alcohol into the acetaldehyde, which is actually a really potent carcinogen. There are a number of cancer sites throughout the body that have been linked to alcohol consumption including cancer of the mouth, of the throat, the voice box, the liver, the esophagus, the breast and the colorectal region. Heavy drinkers also using tobacco may experience an even greater cancer risk.
- Cardiovascular Disease: Binge drinking is capable of making platelets stick together to form blood clots and this is capable of leading to either stroke or heart attack. Researchers at Harvard found that binge drinking doubles your risk of dying from heart attack.
- Cirrhosis: The presence of alcohol is toxic to the cells of your liver, and so many people who drink heavily develop irritation and scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver is capable of being fatal when left unchecked because the liver can become scarred so heavily that it no longer functions properly.
- Seizures: Heavy drinking is actually capable of causing epilepsy, and can even cause the triggering of seizures in people that do not actually have epilepsy. Heavy drinking is also capable of interfering with medications that are meant to be used in the treatment of convulsions.
- High Blood Pressure: Alcohol is capable of disrupting your CNS or central nervous system, which controls the dilation and constriction of blood vessels. Heavy drinking is capable of causing your blood pressure to rise sharply, and this can become a chronic thing over time. High blood pressure commonly leads to a variety of other health problems including stroke, heart disease and kidney disease, all of which can be fatal.
- Nerve damage: Heavy drinking is capable of causing a type of nerve damage that is known as alcoholic neuropathy. This is capable of producing numbness and pins-and-needles feelings along with muscle weakness, constipation, incontinence, erectile dysfunction and a number of additional problems as well. This is because alcohol is toxic to the nerve cells in your body.
There are many ways that alcoholism can be a toxic and deadly disease. If you are an alcoholic, then now is the time for you to start getting help (800-303-2482) for what ails you.