Alcoholism, now known as alcohol use disorder, is a condition in which a person has a desire or physical need to consume alcohol, even though it has a negative impact on their life.In the past, a person with this condition was referred to as an "alcoholic." However, this is increasingly seen as an unhelpful and negative label. Health professionals now say that a person has an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), in 2015, 15.1 million American adults (6.2 percent of the population) had an alcohol use problem.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, 3.3 million deaths every year result from the harmful use of alcohol.
DefinitionAlcohol abuse disorder refers to a long-term addiction to alcohol.The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) describes alcohol use disorder as "problem drinking that becomes severe."
A person with this condition does not know when or how to stop drinking. They spend a lot of time thinking about alcohol, and they cannot control how much they consume, even if it is causing serious problems at home, work, and financially.
Alcohol abuse can be used to talk about excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol, but not necessarily dependence.
Moderate alcohol consumption does not generally cause any psychological or physical harm. However, if who enjoy social drinking increase their consumption or regularly consume more than is recommended, AUD may eventually develop.
SymptomsA person who drinks excessive amounts of alcohol will often not be the first person to realize that this is so.
Some signs and symptoms of AUD include:
Alcohol consumption becomes a problem when it takes precedence over all other activities. Dependence can take several years to develop.
The problems linked to alcohol dependence are extensive. The effects can be physical, psychological, and social.
CausesCauses and risk factors include peer pressure, drinking from a young age, and depression.Alcohol dependence can take from a few years to several decades to develop. For some people who are particularly vulnerable, it can happen within months.
Over time, regular alcohol consumption can disrupt the balance of:
Dopamine levels in the brain rise after consuming alcohol. Dopamine levels may make the drinking experience more gratifying.
Over the long- or medium-term, excessive drinking can significantly alter the levels of these brain chemicals. This causes the body to crave alcohol in order to feel good and avoid feeling bad.
Possible risk factorsSome risk factors may also be linked to excessive drinking.
The criteria include having a pattern of consumption that leads to considerable impairment or distress.
At least three of the following criteria should have been present during the past 12 months:
Some signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse may be due to another condition. Ageing can lead to memory problems and falls, for example.
A person may go to the doctor about a medical condition, such as a digestive problem, and not mention how much alcohol they consume. This can make it difficult for a doctor to identify who might benefit from alcohol dependency screening.
If a health worker suspect alcohol may be a problem, they may ask a series of questions. If the patient answers in a certain way, the doctor may then use a standardized questionnaire to find out more.
Tests for alcoholismBlood tests can only reveal very recent alcohol consumption. They cannot tell whether a person has been drinking heavily for a long time.
If a blood test reveals that the red blood cells have increased in size, it could be an indication of long-term alcohol abuse.
Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) is a blood test that helps detect heavy alcohol consumption.
Other tests can indicate whether there is damage to the liver, or — in males — reduced testosterone levels. Both of these might indicate chronic alcohol consumption.
However, screening with an appropriate questionnaire is seen as an effective means of reaching an accurate diagnosis.
Many people who consume unhealthy amounts of alcohol deny that alcohol poses a problem for them. They may tend to minimize the extent of their drinking.
Talking to family members may help the doctor understand the situation, but they will need permission to do this.
ComplicationsComplications of this condition may include memory loss, confusion, mental health issues, and problems with work or home life.Drinking alcohol usually elevates a person's mood at first.
However, a person who has been consuming unhealthy amounts of alcohol for a long time is likely to become sedated when they drink.
This is because alcohol depresses the nervous system.
Alcohol may undermine a person's judgment. It can lower inhibitions and alter the drinker's thoughts, emotions, and general behavior.
Heavy regular drinking can seriously affect a person's ability to coordinate their muscles and speak properly.
Heavy binge drinking could lead to a coma.
Eventually, regular heavy drinking may cause at least one of the following problems:
Symptoms of Acidosis
Due to fast paced daily lifestyles, eating on the run, people have to face a constantly growing endangerment: the over-acidification (Acidosis) of the body cells, which will interrupt cellular activities and functions. It is a major root of sickness and disease. Having our cells constantly exposed to an acidic environment leads to acidosis!
Studies have shown that an acidic, anaerobic (which is also the lack of oxygen) body environment encourages the breeding of fungus, mold, bacteria, and viruses. As a result, our inner biological terrain shifts from a healthy oxygenated, alkaline environment to an unhealthy acidic one.
When our body pH becomes more and more acidic it starts to set up defense mechanisms to keep the damaging acid from entering our vital organs. In fact. it is a lot of hard work for our body to neutralize and detoxify these acids before they can act as poisons in and around the cells, ultimately changing the environment of each cell.
Unhealthy conditions which can be caused directly by Over-Acidification and are Symptoms of Acidosis are:
It is known that acid gets stored in fat cells. As a defense mechanism, your body may actually produce fat cells to protect you from your overly acidic condition. To protect itself from potentially serious damage, the body creates these fat cells to store the acids and carry them away from vital organs. Those fat cells and cellulite deposits may actually keep acid wastes at a safe distance from your vital organs. Many people have found that a return to a healthy alkaline inner biological terrain helps them losing excess fat*.
Joint Pain and Arthritis
All substances left by the metabolizing process are acidic and toxic; therefore these have to be neutralized by alkalizing elements, e.g. calcium ions, sodium ions, and lithium ions, among which calcium is the most important. Calcium ions are positively charged ions which are constantly looking for acid, to form calcium carbonate in our body. Calcium carbonate is harmless and will be moved out of the body, providing our body fluid pH is alkaline. Otherwise, it is being deposited around body joints. If the calcium ion level is low in the blood and body, excess acid will remain in our body and will lead to numerous health problems, like Join Pain or Arthritis.
Many people think they can eliminate osteoporosis by increasing their consumption of milk and dairy products. But in fact the instances of osteoporosis are rare in countries where the consumption of dairy products is very low. So osteoporosis is a clear acidosis symptom. As the body becomes more acidic, our body tries to remain healthy to protect us against heart attacks, illness, strokes or even cancer. In doing so, it takes calcium from the teeth, bones and tissues, making them weak and brittle.
Yeast and fungus produced in an acidic environment can feed on our nutrients and thus reduce the absorption of everything we eat by as much as 50%. Without protein the body can't produce enzymes, hormones or other chemical components necessary for cell energy and organ activity. This causes people to become very thin, which is not healthier than being overweight. As alkalizing and oxygenating takes place, the body naturally begins to seek its own ideal weight*.
Low Energy and Chronic Fatigue
When having our cells constantly exposed to an overly acidic environment our biological terrain's oxygen level drops, leaving us tired and fatigued. This will allow parasites, fungus, bacteria, mold and viral infections to flourish and gain a hold throughout the body.
If our internal biological terrain is exposed to excessive acidity, bacteria and/or fungi and/or viruses can attach themselves to the inner walls of arteries. This can attract white blood cells, causing proteins and cells to clot. In this way a plaque forms in the artery, thus narrowing the artery and restricting the flow of blood, nutrients and oxygen to the tissues supplied by that artery. Should that happen to the coronary artery, a heart attack may occur.
Allergies are distinct symptoms of acidosis as the toxins produced within an acidic, oxygen deprived environment as well as the absorption of undigested proteins is major cause of allergy conditions. When the digestive system is weakened, a wide range of allergic reactions can occur, e.g. food allergies, and the overall susceptibility to allergens is increased.
There are many different forms of acne, and not few are linked to an unhealthy diet. Especially foods that are highly acidic tend to cause acne.
Frequent Colds, Bronchitis, Infections, Headaches
Only when our pH level is fairly balanced, the binding of oxygen to the hemoglobin protein of our red blood cells in the lungs operates. If the pH is too acidic, microbes in our respiratory systems can grow much more easily, and in that way cause bronchitis, pneumonia and sinusitis, and invade our cell system. This can result in cough, bronchial spasms (asthma), colds, infections and headaches.
Acidosis is an increased acidity (i.e. an increased hydrogen ion concentration). If not further qualified, it refers to acidity of the blood plasma. Generally, acidosis is said to occur when arterial pH falls below 7.35, while its counterpart (alkalosis) occurs at a pH over 7.45. Arterial blood gas analysis and other tests are required to separate the main causes.