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Signs of Alcohol Abuse and if someone is an alcoholic

Excuses, excuses, excuses
Some alcohol-addicted people come up with excuses to explain away their drinking habits, their alcohol-related symptoms, their behaviors and their reasons for drinking in the first place. The become proficient in making excuses, in telling stories and in rationalizing behavior that is uncharacteristic, uncomfortable or just plain “bad.”

Your drinking is a secret
You or a loved one may find it easier to drink alone, in secret, and to not discuss it with others. If you or someone you know feels the need to be what some might call a “closet alcoholic,” chances are alcohol abuse is present, and potentially a serious issue. Some people who fit this description may hide their bottles and cans in unusual places, from a desk at work to a dark corner in your car trunk to a pile of trash, for that matter.

Your tolerance gets higher and higher
In most cases, alcoholics develop a higher and higher tolerance for alcohol as their disease and addiction progress. Sometimes they drink more and more in terms of volume. Other times, the types of alcohol become harder and stronger, too, as time goes on. A tolerance that continues to increase over time is indicative of a liver that is unable to keep up with the sometimes-significant amounts of alcohol being consumers. A poorly functioning liver is not a sign of good health.

Everything may be falling apart, but you still have your alcohol

  • Love & Friendship: Your relationships are in trouble.
  • Law & Authority: You have had some run-ins with the law, with law enforcement, with any authority in your life, such as your boss.
  • Work Isn’t Working: Work is no longer manageable. Arriving on time is tough, staying put without drinking for an entire day even tougher.
  • Money: Financially, things are scary and tight. Anywhere I can get my drinks for free?

Existing health conditions are getting worse and I seem to have new health issues every day.
Some of these conditions or symptoms (new or worsened) could include:

  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Memory loss (especially short-term memory)
  • Liver disease and related issues, including cirrhosis of the liver (which is irreversible). Also higher chance of developing hepatitis.
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including pancreas damage and gastritis. These conditions and others affect the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients; digest food and produce certain hormones.
  • High blood pressure
  • Cadiovascular issues: Higher chance for heart failure, stroke, cardiomyopathy (weakened/damaged heart muscle)
  • Diabetes: Higher chance of developing new case (Type 2) and worsened condition for diabetics who drink heavily. The effects of alcohol on blood sugar can be devastating to individuals who already have issues with their blood sugar.
  • Reproductive: Women’s menstruation (period) can be negatively affected, even stopped. In men, erectile dysfunction (ED) is not uncommon.
  • Cancer: Alcoholics are known to be at a higher risk for cancers such as colon, liver, rectum, mouth and esophagus.

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