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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases & Conditions Arrow to AlcoholismAlcoholism Arrow to signs & symptoms of alcoholismSigns & Symptoms

liver disease informationThe signs and symptoms of alcoholism can vary from person to person -- depending on personality, intelligence, and many other variables.

Impaired judgement is the first major symptom. Life choices become increasingly centered around the next drink. Eventually, the alcoholic not only becomes more clever at hiding the problem from friends and loved ones but even themselves.

However, experts have become adept at spotting basic behaviors that are common to all alcoholics. These may range anywhere from frequent hangovers to accidental falls at home to auto collisions and near-misses on the road.

In college students, an alarming danger sign is alcohol poisoning from all-night binges. Other general symptoms of alcohol abuse include blackouts and memory loss, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, loss of interest in sex, and male impotence.

As alcohol begins to take its toll, and the immune system begins to break down, chronic infections or abscesses are also common symptoms. Only later are the obvious outward signs easy to spot — including "spider veins" and red nose and cheeks.

More serious medical conditions also present themselves as the disease progresses. These may include cirrhosis, hepatitis, anemia, heart disease (alcoholic cardiomyopathy), abnormal brain functioning (Wernicke's encephalopathy) seizures and hallucinations.

On the Web, find out more about the symptoms of alcoholism, how to spot them in teens, men, women, and the elderly, plus advice on when to seek treatment, where to find support, and other facts and information on reading the signs of alcoholism...

More about the symptoms of alcoholism around the Web:


Alcohol Withdrawal - Learn more about symptoms that may range anywhere from mild irritability to hallucinations, including information on treatment, when to get help from support groups, and related resources from MedlinePlus.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

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