Physical Signs and Other Symptoms of Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse

“It was just not pretty,” Grace said in one of her videos for The 30-Day Alcohol Experiment, her program that helps people reevaluate their relationship with alcohol. When Annie Grace was drinking glasses, if not bottles, of wine on a daily basis, she’d wake up with purple stains on her teeth. Among people with darker skin tones, it can present as stinging or burning and sensitivity to topical products, as well as “darker or dusky brown patches,” Justine Kluk, a dermatologist, told Refinery29. “When skin gets inflamed, it produces a condition called rosacea,” he said. Rosacea is characterized by redness on the face, and sometimes the ears, back, and chest. Being in a relationship can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be challenging.

This can also lead to anemia, when your red blood cell (RBC) count is lower than normal or there’s a problem with the hemoglobin protein inside those cells. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For one, studies show that there may be sex differences in alcohol pharmacokinetics. Men may have more efficient metabolisms in breaking down alcohol.

What’s the Right Amount of Alcohol for Your Health?

Alcoholic myopathy is a condition that causes loss of function, strength, and deterioration of muscles after prolonged excessive alcohol consumption or binge drinking. As with water retention in the face and body due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol, the feet can also become swollen and discolored due to excessive alcohol abuse. Recurrent swelling of the may suggest an underlying issue with the kidneys, liver, or heart and should be seen by a doctor if continuing for more than two days in a row.

signs of alcoholism women physical effects

The best practice would be to talk with an addiction counselor or mental health professional about safe options to detox from alcohol. Champagne, eggnog, mulled wine — for many, the holiday season is a time for celebration, which typically involves copious amounts of alcohol. A person struggling with an alcohol addiction may experience sudden and noticeable weight fluctuations.

Physical health risks include:

Women who struggle with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are also more likely to die from cirrhosis than men in the same situation. When estrogen and alcohol are combined, it causes a greater risk of liver damage. Physical signs of liver damage include yellow skin and eyes (jaundice) and swollen legs and ankles. Other possible symptoms are dark physical characteristics of alcoholics urine, abdominal pain, itchy skin, and chronic fatigue. Environmental and genetic factors aside, the sheer number of drinks people consume in a given period of time can put them at risk for developing an alcohol use disorder. Women who have a daily intake of more than three drinks, or more than seven per week, are considered at risk.

Individuals who are at risk for withdrawal effects require supervised medical detox. As a result, it is recommended that anyone seeking to detox from alcohol consult a medical professional first. However, if a person has an attachment to drinking, such as relying on it to “have a good time,” they may develop problematic drinking habits and eventually develop an AUD.

Coping With End-Stage Alcoholism

The scans also show that alcoholics often struggle with decision-making and higher-order executive cognition functions. They don’t have as much control over these regions of their brain. They’re not going to delay their decision for a larger prize at a later date. A review of the 11 factors set forth in the DSM-5 regarding severe alcohol use disorder (i.e., the presence of six or more factors) provides additional insight into this condition. Having six or more of the alcohol use disorder symptoms would indicate the need for a treatment intervention to address the addiction. Unwashed hair, body odour and stained clothing are some of the more noticeable signs of alcoholism.

If you’ve had two or three of those symptoms in the past year, that’s a mild alcohol use disorder. Despite the psychological effects of alcoholism being similar for both sexes, female psychological symptoms are often faster to make an impact than male symptoms. This is due to ladies being affected faster by alcohol in both the long and short-term. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a staggering 46% of females admit to having consumed alcohol in the last month.

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