There are many different ways to recognize and identify alcoholism in yourself or a loved one. While some of these signs are behavioral or psychological in nature, others are physical. Learn to recognize the effects of alcohol on the body so that you can help those struggling with alcohol addiction sooner.
Lack of Appetite and Rapid Weight Loss or Gain
One of the effects of alcohol on the body is a change in appearance, particularly when it comes to weight. Someone struggling with alcoholism may not be hungry often, or they might have an upset stomach a lot of the time. As a result, it’s common for alcoholics to rapidly lose weight.
Alternatively, some alcoholics gain weight, because they eat starchy, carbohydrate-filled foods to try to settle their stomach. They may also gain weight due to the empty calories in alcoholic beverages.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body: Red and Swollen Hands
Sometimes a person’s hands can be a dead giveaway that they’re struggling with alcoholism. Excessive alcohol can make the palms red and swollen, two traits easily recognized when you shake someone’s hand. This may have to do with chronic dehydration and an imbalance of electrolytes in the body.
Visible Spider Veins on the Skin
Spider veins are burst blood vessels that appear directly underneath the skin and spread out like spider webs. They are typically red, and are often a very clear sign that the person is dealing with excessive alcohol consumption and possibly addiction as well.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body: Red Nose and Cheeks
Two of the most common and best known physical signs of alcoholism are a red nose and cheeks. This happens because enlarged blood vessels are prominent in the face and become more noticeable when someone drinks to excess.
A similar side effect of alcoholism is commonly called drinker’s nose, although the official name of the condition is rhinophyma. This symptom is a result of increased nasal sweat glands, which can actually enlarge the overall size of the nose, even in adulthood.
Hand tremors may be an indicator that the person is dealing with alcoholism. Tremors are one of the early withdrawal symptoms, and they may manifest after as little as 10 hours without alcohol. Often, alcoholics have hand tremors in the morning or at the end of the work day, but they disappear after drinking.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body: Jaundice
Alcoholism can lead to liver damage in a very short of time. Often, liver damage leads to jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin. This happens because the liver of an alcoholic produces an excess of bile that begins to circulate in the bloodstream.
Chest Infections or Respiratory Problems
Alcohol consumption can greatly impact the respiratory system, and it may also lead to chronic chest infections or coughing. Noticing any of these symptoms could be a physical sign of alcoholism.
Recognize the Effects of Alcohol on the Body
Recognizing alcoholism is the first step toward treating it. At San Antonio Recovery Center in Texas, you can work toward the end of alcoholism and a healthier life of sobriety.
At San Antonio Recovery Center, we treat a wide variety of substances. No matter what substance you’ve abused, we’re ready to help you start your road to recovery. From alcohol to cocaine to prescription drugs, San Antonio Recovery Center has the treatment you need to succeed. Substance addictions treated at San Antonio Recovery Center include but aren’t limited to:
- Crystal Meth
- Polysubstance Addiction