The Physical Manifestation of Alcoholism: Serious Health Conditions Caused by the Disease

There are many serious health conditions caused by alcoholism. These include liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer, and heart disease. Alcoholism is a disease that affects not only the drinker but also their family and friends. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it is important to get help, such as from residential treatment centers like The Hope House. Keep reading to learn more about what serious health conditions can be caused by the disease.

Delirium Tremens

Delirium tremens is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in people who have been drinking heavily for an extended period of time. Alcoholism causes damage to the brain and other organs, which can lead to DTs. The main symptoms of DTs are confusion, agitation, hallucinations, and sweating. Seizures and death can also occur. Treatment for DTs includes supportive care such as fluids and medication to control seizures and anxiety. Some people may require hospitalization.

Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy


Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a form of chronic heart failure that is caused by long-term alcohol abuse. This condition is characterized by the progressive weakening and enlargement of the heart muscle, which can eventually lead to heart failure. People with alcoholic cardiomyopathy typically have a history of long-term alcohol abuse. The use of other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, can also increase the risk of developing this condition. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy can cause a wide range of symptoms, including shortness of breath, fluid retention, decreased exercise tolerance, and chest pain. In severe cases, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, which can lead to heart failure.

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms that can occur in people who have been drinking heavily for an extended period of time and then suddenly stop drinking. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can range from mild to life-threatening. The most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome include headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety. Less common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome include delirium, seizures, and death. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can occur in anyone who drinks heavily but is most common in people who have been drinking for years. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome usually occurs within 48 hours after the person stops drinking, but it can occur up to a week later.

Alcoholic Myopathy


Alcoholic myopathy is a type of myopathy that is caused by long-term alcohol abuse. It is a type of musculoskeletal disorder that is characterized by the degeneration of muscle fibers. Alcoholic myopathy is a relatively rare condition, and it is estimated that it affects only about 1 percent of all people who are chronic alcoholics. The symptoms of alcoholic myopathy can vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms include muscle weakness, pain, and cramping. In advanced cases, the muscles may become paralyzed. Alcoholic myopathy typically affects the muscles of the hands, feet, and neck, but it can also affect other muscles in the body.

Alcohol-Induced Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a condition that affects the pancreas, a large gland located behind the stomach. The pancreas produces digestive juices that help break down food, and the hormone insulin, which helps the body use sugar. Alcohol-induced pancreatitis is a type of pancreatitis that is caused by drinking too much alcohol. This can occur in people who drink only occasionally, as well as in those who drink heavily. Alcohol-induced pancreatitis is a serious condition that can lead to inflammation and swelling of the pancreas, and in some cases, to death. Treatment for this condition includes resting the pancreas, taking medications to relieve pain, and in some cases, surgery.

Alcoholism can have serious health consequences, both in the short and long run. Altogether, these health conditions can be very serious and even life-threatening. If you struggle with alcohol abuse, be sure to reach out for help. There is hope!