Alcoholism is a chronic disease marked by a dependence on alcohol and the need to keep consuming alcohol despite the knowledge of it causing bodily harm. Alcoholism is more common amongst men than women, although women suffer more serious health consequences in the long-term. Chronic alcohol abuse can have severe consequences such as: liver failure and cirrhosis, gastrointestinal problems (gastritis), cardiovascular problems (cardiomyopathy and high blood pressure), hypoglycaemia, sexual dysfunction, birth defects, neurological issues and oral/ pharyngeal/ laryngeal cancer.

Symptoms: depression, anxiety, memory loss, lack of co-ordination, aggression, personality disorders. Chronic alcohol abuse leads to decreased blood pressure and heart rate and lower respiratory rate and reflexes.

Signs of alcohol abuse: drinking in secret in a ritualised manner, frequent black outs, disinterest in work and hobbies, hiding alcohol at home and work, having issues maintaining employment, finances and relationships, building up a tolerance, such that more alcohol is required to get the same effect each time and having withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking or nausea.

Who to consult: Counselling, dentist, dietician, GP, herbalist, naturopath, psychologist.

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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