What is Alcoholism?

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LiveMD provides you with the information that you need to know about alcoholism.

Alcohol has been around for thousands of years and when consumed in moderation can actually have beneficial effects on the body. When it is consumed in excess, however, alcohol can not only harm the body but it can have severe consequences on a person’s life and relationships.

How Much is Too Much?

The maximum, recommended amount of alcohol that should be consumed differs depending on age and sex but general guidelines show that not exceeding 3 drinks on any one day and 7 drinks in any one week is considered moderate. These amounts are just guidelines and occasionally exceeding them does not necessarily make you an alcoholic. You should also attempt to drink less than this if you are taking certain medications, have certain health conditions or are at a higher risk of developing alcoholism. Alcohol should be completely avoided if you are pregnant, driving, operating machinery or are underage.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a disease that occurs when someone develops a dependency to alcohol and continues to drink in excess. This disease can cause high blood pressure, high blood sugar, heart disease, brain damage, and can damage your liver. It can ultimately lead to death if drinking is not brought under control. Alcoholism can also cause issues to arise in everyday life as drinking takes priority over all other activities. Relationships may suffer, there may be problems at work or attendance issues. There is also an increased risk for injury or accidents and a higher number of crimes and homicides are committed by those that are intoxicated or suffering from alcoholism.

How Can you Identify an Alcoholic?

Often times, someone suffering from this disease can do a very good job in hiding it from friends and family. They will drink when they are alone and can seem to function well in everyday life. Others have a harder time and may appear to drink quite often or consume in excess when they do drink. Here are some common signs to look for when trying to identify alcohol abuse:

  • Frequent drinking
  • Drinking large quantities at one time
  • Smelling of alcohol, especially during the day or at work
  • Hiding bottles of alcohol
  • Feeling sick or experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking
  • Drinking in the morning
  • Feeling guilty after drinking
  • Missing time from work because of drinking
  • Spending less time with family or friends because of drinking
  • Trying to quit but being unsuccessful

What Can be Done to Help?

The best way to help someone with a drinking problem is to give them support. Alcoholism is a physical addiction that will require a lot of support from family and friends and help from a doctor, therapist or addictions specialist. It is something that may take a considerable amount of time to recover from.

If you or a loved one are suffering from the affects of alcoholism, it is never too late to ask for help. LiveMD has a team of trained professionals that can get you on the road to recovery. Book a phone, video, text, or in-person chat today by visiting www.mylivemd.com .

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February 26th, 2016 by