Alcoholism is an addiction, but it does not have to rule your life. Because drinking is legal and socially acceptable, if not encouraged, it can quietly take control of your life. The move from alcohol use to abuse to dependency can be insidious. San Antonio Recovery Center has professional, compassionate staff with experience in treating alcohol dependency. Call 866.957.7885 today if you or a loved one are struggling and need the help of an alcohol addiction treatment center.
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.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body
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 lose weight rapidly.
Alternatively, some alcoholics gain weight because they eat starchy, carbohydrate-filled foods in an attempt to settle their stomachs. They may also gain weight due to the empty calories in alcoholic beverages.
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; these two traits are 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 an obvious sign that the person is dealing with excessive alcohol consumption and possibly addiction as well.
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 excessively.
A similar side effect of alcoholism is commonly called a drinker’s nose, although the condition’s official name is rhinophyma. This symptom results from 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 workday, but they disappear after drinking.
Alcoholism can lead to liver damage in a very short amount of time. Often, liver damage leads to jaundice, 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 significantly impact the respiratory system and 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. There is a way forward that allows you to work toward the end of alcoholism and enjoy a healthier life of sobriety. At San Antonio Recovery Center in Texas, we offer a full continuum of care from detox to aftercare, including inpatient and outpatient programs.
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