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Brain Damage and Alcohol Consumption

Submitted by Stella Morgan on June 14, 2011

Alcohol Related Brain Damage, Injury

Brain damage and alcohol consumption are directly correlated. Post birth injury to the brain of the infant is referred to as acquired brain injury. Alcohol is one of the most common causative factors to this disorder and such injuries are referred to as ARBI (Alcohol Related Brain Injury). The degree of damage or injury depends on the individual’s sex, age, alcohol drinking pattern and dietary regimen. Typical symptoms of ARBI involve poor cognitive development, lack of coordination and loss of memory.

The chances of cure are better in early stages, owing to their positive retrieval. Cases of permanent damage are more. More information on alcoholism treatment

Alcoholic damage on the brain has a toxic effect.

The nervous system is affected and wastage of brain cells is a result of dehydration. Brain injury increases the risk of accidents, thereby hurting the brain. It is also linked to poor dietary pattern.

Injury to the nervous system leads to malfunctioning of the heart and blood circulation. Thiamine, essential for brain functioning is poorly absorbed. Heavy drinkers face the problem of brain damage, on continuous consumption for a long period.

Violent drinking for a short span of time also results in ARBI. Safe consumption levels for men are around 4 standard drinks per day, for a period of 4-5 days per week. Two drinks per day for 4 days is allowed for women.

ARBI (Alcohol Related Brain Injury) correlates with lack of concentration, neurological problems and poor thinking. Damage to the frontal lobes affects the cognitive deciphering ability. Loss of short term memory or Korsakoff’s amnesic syndrome is an offspring of ARBI. Ataxia or difficulty experienced in balance and walking is due to ARBI, resulting in cerebellar atrophy. Hallucination and mood swings are common in those with alcohol related hepatic disease or hepatic encephalopathy. Wernicke’s encephalopathy, an outcome of B1 deficiency, causes eye problem, ataxia and confusion. Pins and needles and pain in the extremities is typical of peripheral neuropathy. These conditions call for a neuropsychologist. Intervention depends on the individual nature and kind of brain damage. Also try alcoholism diet

People suffering from ARBI, require a lot of care. Reduce distractions when conversing with them and avoid a stressful situation. Provide them with some time to complete a piece of work. Rest periods in between work prove beneficial. Allow them to face a single problem at a time and help them in their understanding by splitting the information into pieces. A team of support groups, physician, neuropsychologist and acquired brain injury associations play a vital role in their treatment.

Health experts all over the world urge people to drink alcohol only in moderation, or to avoid drinking it altogether, because of the adverse effect it can have on the body. Alcohol can have a highly negative impact on almost all the organs in the body, including the brain. There are numerous studies depicting the brain damage done due to alcohol consumption. Long term consumption of high amounts of alcohol could lead to severe damage to the brain. Some of the problems that can be seen in people as a result of brain damage from alcohol include a weak memory, poor cognitive thinking and lack of proper physical coordination, just to name a few.

Many of the articles and programs on brain damage and alcoholism claim that drinking a small amount on certain occasions will not lead to any damage; brain damage from alcohol abuse only occurs when people drink more than the recommended amount on a frequent basis. Unfortunately, in spite of that there are many people who suffer from brain damage from alcohol poisoning; this could be due to the fact that a lot of people do not realize how much is too much and drink, till they think they can take it. There could be different factors that could cause people to start consuming excessive alcohol, such as age, peer pressure, excessive stress, family history, and so on. If the consumption continues to be in high amounts, on a regular basis, it will not be long before a person begins to see symptoms of brain damage from alcohol consumption.

Brain Damage from Alcohol Symptoms

Alcohol can interfere with the functioning of the brain as well as the chemical produced by it to a great extent. There are many different symptoms of brain damage from alcohol abuse, which can warn a person that he or she needs to stop drinking as soon as possible. However, most people tend to ignore the facts about alcohol and brain damage symptoms, which is why it is necessary for their family and friends to recognize the signs and ensure that they seek help. Some of the most common signs of brain damage from alcohol include:

  • Blackouts for a period of time, for which the intoxicated person does not have the ability to recall even important details of certain events, or even of the entire event.
  • Frequent headaches, which can be very severe in intensity
  • Loss of appetite is very common in people who drink a lot, which worsens the effect of alcohol on the brain as well as the body, since the body is further suffering from inadequate nutrition intake.
  • Memory lapses and impairments, which could worsen with the amount of alcohol consumed.
  • Passing out, or fainting, because of consuming an excess amount of alcohol.
  • Poor visual, spatial and cognitive skills often accompanied by improper coordination.

As soon as these signs and symptoms are evident in a person, it is important to consult a specialist, for reversing brain damage from alcohol as soon as possible.

Alcohol and Brain Damage Treatment

Many health experts warn people that the brain cells do not regrow, or get regenerated over a period of time, in spite of the body’s attempts to heal as much as possible. Therefore, brain damage from alcohol withdrawal or excessive consumption cannot be reversed completely. The steps recommended by doctors for alcohol and brain damage treatment include:

  • Staying sober on a lifelong basis.
  • Getting started with a workout routine so that the body oxygenates in a better way
  • Following a healthy diet, which includes foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein and other essential nutrients
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight, which reduces the amount of physical pressure applied on different parts of the body.
  • Practicing various stress reduction techniques, such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing
  • Using certain herbs, to increase the functioning of the brain, such as milk thistle seeds.

Although the methods mentioned above for reversing brain damage seem harmless,, it is best to consult a team of medical health care providers, before using any of them.

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