Physical Signs and Other Symptoms of Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse

Weddings, birthdays, and graduations all usually come with a champagne toast. If meeting with friends or going on a date, grabbing a drink at a local bar is also extremely common. This creates ample opportunities for an alcoholic to make excuses to drink. It can lead to liver problems including fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis.

  • Even if you’re not a wine drinker, the acid in alcohol eats away at tooth enamel, allowing any color from beverages to adhere to teeth, Dr. Timothy Chase, of SmilesNY, told Healthline.
  • Alcohol use disorder can cause serious and lasting damage to your liver.
  • If the above signs present themselves, it may mean that the individual is suffering from alcohol addiction.
  • Coworkers, housemates, partners, or relatives can become the focus on why they believe they had to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.
  • It can help to give you a clearer picture of the ailments, sensations and changes to your body that might happen as a result of alcoholism.

Others, such as jaundice caused by liver disease and skin cancer are less treatable and are often a sign of end-stage alcoholism. Certain physical signs and symptoms might indicate that you’ve developed an alcohol addiction. Symptoms of alcoholism vary, but in this piece we’ll focus on some of the physical signs of alcohol dependence. It can help to give you a clearer picture of the ailments, sensations and changes to your body that might happen as a result of alcoholism. Consistently drinking over a period of time leads you to develop a tolerance for the substance.

Physical appearance

Early-stage alcoholic hepatitis may be reversible, but advanced cases can be fatal. Alcoholic myopathy is a condition that causes loss of function, strength, and deterioration of muscles after prolonged excessive alcohol consumption or binge drinking. Facial redness – Alcohol abuse reduces vascular control in the brain which can lead to blood vessels in the face becoming enlarged.

Many individuals with alcoholism are in denial or unaware that they have a problem. Others may realize something is wrong
but go to great lengths to hide their problem out of fear or shame. The more alcohol you drink during pregnancy, the greater the chance of problems in your baby. If you have adopted a child or are providing foster care, you may not know if the biological mother drank alcohol while pregnant — and it may not initially occur to you that your child may have fetal alcohol syndrome. However, if your child has problems with learning and behavior, talk with his or her doctor so that the underlying cause might be identified. Because early diagnosis may help reduce the risk of long-term problems for children with fetal alcohol syndrome, let your child’s doctor know if you drank alcohol while you were pregnant.

Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Addiction

They can also linger for years or can be part of the permanent damage done from a person who became obsessed, controlled and dependent on the drink. If you have it, you should know that you are not alone and you are living with a chronic medical condition that needs proper management and treatment. Some research shows that up to 6.2% of the American population lives with this condition. Recognizing that you need help is the first step in your treatment journey. If you or someone you know is showing traits of alcohol use disorder, contact your healthcare provider. While many people may use the term “alcoholic” to describe someone who has an alcohol addiction, the term is offensive and outdated.

physical characteristics of alcoholics

Thus, many of the hallmark signs of alcoholism involve changes in behavior. One in eight adults in America struggles with
alcohol addiction — a chronic disease characterized by lack of control of over one’s drinking, a preoccupation with
alcohol and continued drinking despite adverse consequences. Many alcoholics have livers that are inflamed, often large enough to leave a bulge through their skin where the liver is positioned in their bodies.


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