Symptoms of Alcoholism


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General information about symptoms of Alcoholism: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible symptoms of Alcoholism. This symptom information has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of symptoms of Alcoholism. Furthermore, symptoms of Alcoholism may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Alcoholism.

List of symptoms of Alcoholism: The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Alcoholism includes:

Symptoms of Alcoholism: Alcoholism, also known as “alcohol dependence,” is a disease that includes four symptoms:

Craving: A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.

Loss of control: The inability to limit one’s drinking on any given occasion.

Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, occur when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.

Tolerance: The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to “get high.”

People who are not alcoholic sometimes do not understand why an alcoholic can’t just “use a little willpower” to stop drinking. However, alcoholism has little to do with willpower. Alcoholics are in the grip of a powerful “craving,” or uncontrollable need, for alcohol that overrides their ability to stop drinking. This need can be as strong as the need for f ood or water.1

How can you tell whether you may have a drinking problem? Answering the following four questions can help you find out:

• Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?

• Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?

• Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?

• Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning (as an “eye opener”) to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

One “yes” answer suggests a possible alcohol problem. If you answered “yes” to more than one question, it is highly likely that a problem exists. In either case, it is important that you see your doctor or other health care provider right away to discuss your answers to these questions. He or she can help you determine whether you have a drinking problem and, if so, recommend the best course of action.1

More symptoms of Alcoholism: In addition to the above information, to get a full picture of the possible symptoms of this condition and its related conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by complications of Alcoholism, underlying causes of Alcoholism, associated conditions for Alcoholism, risk factors for Alcoholism, or other related conditions.

Medical articles on symptoms: These general reference articles may be of interest:



Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Alcoholism Getting the Facts: NIAAA

Last revision: April 10, 2003

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