April 30, 2007

Effects of alcohol on the body

There are a group of symptoms that may occur when a person suddenly stops drinking alcohol.  These symptoms may take place after either chronic or prolonged ingestion of alcohol. While not everyone who stops drinking will experience withdrawal symptoms, most people who have been drinking heavily or for a long period of time will have some form of withdrawal symptoms.  It is hard to predict which symptoms an individual will experience.

If you have been drinking for years or if you have been drinking alcohol in large amounts you may want to contact a professional before you stop drinking suddenly.  Going cold turkey can be dangerous and may not be successful.

Before you stop drinking there are some symptoms you should be aware of.  There are both psychological and physical symptoms and they range from mild to moderate to severe.  If you know about the symptoms before you quit you may have a better chance of managing them.  

You may have feelings of shakiness, nervousness or jumpiness.  Your anxiety level may rise or you may be more irritable than usual.  You also may become easily excited and have problems with fatigue or depression.

Other mild to moderate psychological symptoms include difficulty thinking clearly and bad dreams.  You may experience emotional mood problems like emotional volatility or rapid emotional changes.

Mild to moderate physical symptoms may include but are not limited to headaches, either pulsing or general, and sweating, especially the face or the palms of the hands.  Your sleeping patterns may be disrupted and you may suffer from insomnia.  You may experience nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.  Your heart may race and your skin may feel clammy.  Other symptoms are hand tremors or abnormal and involuntary movements of the eyelids.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe.  People who stop drinking alcohol suddenly may suffer from convulsions and fever.  They may also have problems with agitation and they may be confused.  Delirium tremens can occur as well.  There are times when a person who withdraws from the consumption of alcohol will have blackouts.  This is when the person forgets what happened during a certain drinking episode.

It is usually a good idea for someone who is struggling with an addiction to alcohol to get help rather than trying to stop drinking on their own.  There are many trained professionals and excellent programs available.  These people and programs know the best ways to handle alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Before you try to stop drinking alcohol on your own, consider getting help.  The withdrawal and recovery process can be easier if a person receives professional help.  Support systems are available, too, and these are often extremely helpful.

If you think alcohol has become a problem in your life, there are ways to handle the situation.  Getting the help you need and the assistance to give up the addiction will allow you to stop drinking surrounded by those who are trained to help.  Going it on your own is usually not a successful and often is much more difficult.

Want to find more information on how to stop drinking then visit: stop drinking alcohol

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April 24, 2007

Alcohol And Feelings Of Anger

There may be many emotions a person experiences while working on the issue of sobriety. Anger is one of those emotions and one of the most powerful. When a person is trying to remain sober it is important to know how to handle those feelings. If you understand how to recognize these feelings and what to do with them, it is easier to avoid relapse.

There are some steps you can follow to help you deal with the anger issues that involve alcohol. When anger is mismanaged it poses a threat to the recovery process for both those who have just stopped drinking and those who have not been drinking alcohol for a long time.

First of all you will want to learn how to recognize angry feelings. Discover the ways your anger reveals itself and how you know when you are angry.

Are you in the habit of denying your feelings of anger and hiding those feelings? Are you able to own your anger and go with it? All of these things are important and you will need to learn how to recognize your feelings of anger.

The second thing you can do is to make a list of your anger signs. Notice and record stomach, head and back aches. You may have a problem with rapid speech when you become angry. You may use sarcasm or become cynical. Do you scream and yell or argue with others when you are angry? Is violence an issue?

Also list any isolation techniques you use or if you tend to avoid people when you are angry. Often when a person is no longer drinking alcohol they will still have thoughts about using. Have you experienced compulsive actions that involve, eating, spending too much, gambling or sex?

You can add to the list denial or rationalization problems you have when angry, as well as revenge fantasies. Do you withhold yourself from others or become silent? All of these things may be signs of anger.

Next, pay attention to the causes of your anger. Think about the situation that resulted in your feelings of anger. Who else was involved and was it the first time or has it become a pattern?

Think about any other feelings that were involved. Were you stressed, lonely, hungry, scared or tired? All of these things can play a part in recognizing triggers to anger.

Now, what are some positive things that can be done after you have done your accessing, recognizing and list making? There are actually several things you can do to help yourself when anger and abstaining from alcohol have taken a toll.

Decide how you will behave. When you know what you are up against and you recognize the triggers, there will be many times when the choice of how to handle your anger will be up to you.

You can make good choices or ones that will only hurt yourself, others and your recovery process.

One way to make the best choices is to learn how to talk yourself through difficult situations. Talk to yourself in a calm and reassuring manner and use reason. Figure out what the outcome may be if you are able to make good decisions.

If there is another person involved, be willing to talk with them calmly and assertively. Try to listen patiently without interrupting. Avoid name calling and blaming the other person. If you are too angry to talk at the time of the incident, wait a few days if necessary.

You can manage your anger effectively while abstaining from alcohol.

Want to find more information on how to stop drinking then visit: stop drinking alcohol

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April 17, 2007

Alcohol And Health Problems

Think alcohol is harmless? Think again. Now, let’s not get excited. Not all drinking is a problem. Consuming copious amounts of alcohol can indeed be dangerous.

Combining alcohol with many drugs, prescription and over-the-counter, can be problematic. This practice can be dangerous, especially if combined with driving or the operation of heavy machinery.

Any woman who may be pregnant or hopes to become pregnant will want to avoid the consumption of alcohol. Drinking while pregnant can cause serious birth defects. Many of these birth defects are irreversible and will cause difficulties for the child for the rest of his or her life.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most serious of these birth defects. Children born with FAS may have physical, behavioral and emotional problems. Scientists do not know how much alcohol a pregnant woman can drink before a baby is affected with FAS so the best plan is to avoid all alcohol during pregnancy.

The above problems may be associated with periods of short-term drinking. Many other health issues may arise when alcohol is misused over a longer period of time.

Liver disease is often an alcohol-related disease. More than 2 million people living in the United States have problems with liver disease that is a result of drinking over a long period of time. The symptoms can include jaundice, abdominal pain, and fever. If a person does not stop drinking, alcoholic hepatitis can cause death but if the drinking ceases, there is a chance that the condition can be reversed.

10 to 20 percent of people who drink heavily develop alcoholic cirrhosis. This is an ailment that scars the liver and if a person suffers from it, he or she should not drink alcohol at all. There is treatment for this condition but a liver transplant may be needed for someone with life-threatening cirrhosis. Death may occur if the drinking continues. Cirrhosis is not reversible but if the person stops drinking, the chances for survival will improve.

The chance for some types of cancer increases for those who drink heavily for a long period of time. Cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus and voice box are types of cancer that may occur at higher rates in those who abuse alcohol over a long period of time.

Heart disease is another condition that may develop when a person drinks too much alcohol for too many years. High blood pressure and some kinds of stroke are other problems that may occur in people who abuse alcohol.

Long-term drinking may lead to pancreatitis. Inflammation of the pancreas can cause severe abdominal pain and it can be fatal if it reaches the acute stage. Chronic pancreatitis may result in weight loss, chronic pain and diarrhea.

Anyone who drinks heavily for short or long periods of time may develop any of these problems. Guard your health and watch the amount of alcohol you consume on a regular basis.

Want to find more information on how to stop drinking then visit: stop drinking alcohol

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April 2, 2007

Ways To Recognize Problem Drinking

There are ways to recognize people who have alcohol problems.  If you are concerned about your drinking habits or those of someone close to you, here are a few ways to determine if alcohol is indeed a problem:

If you are a woman who has more than seven drinks a week or more than three drinks at a party, bar or celebration, you may be drinking too much.

The same is true for a man who has more than 14 drinks a week or more than four drinks at a party, bar or celebration.  For those over 65, more than seven drinks a week or three drinks per occasion could mean you are
drinking too much.

Think that you or a loved one or friend may be in the drinking heavily category?

If you are a woman who is drinking more than three drinks every day or 21 drinks per week, the answer is, “yes.”  Men who consume more than five drinks a day or thirty-five a week also fit into the drinking heavily category.

Maybe you are concerned about the risks you or someone who is close to you is taking when you drink.  Those who drink and drive are taking risks with the consumption of alcohol.

If you operate heavy machinery or mix alcohol with medications, either over-the-counter or prescription medicines, you are putting yourself and others at risk.

When you don’t tell your pharmacist, doctor, or surgeon that you are a regular drinker, you are taking risks with alcohol.  Did you know that even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous for an unborn child?

If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you are taking risks every time you drink and even if you are not putting yourself at risk, you are putting your baby in a precarious and dangerous situation.

Drinking has become a habit when you or a loved one uses alcohol to relieve anxiety, relax or to get to sleep.  The use of alcohol has become a habit if you consistently drink so that you will feel more comfortable in social situations.

When drinking is used as a way to avoid thinking about unpleasant or sad situations, it may have become a habit. The same is true if you spend quite a bit of time socializing with other drinkers.

There may come a time when the consumption of alcohol begins to take over your life.  One sign that this is happening is if you worry about having enough alcohol for the evening or the weekend.

If you hide alcohol or purchase it at various stores so that people won’t know how much alcohol you are consuming you may have reached the point of having alcohol take over your life.

When you are at a social gathering do you try to avoid letting others know how much alcohol you are drinking? Do you attempt to get extra drinks and hope that others will not see you doing it?

If you fit into any of the above categories, it may be time to talk to a doctor or other professional about your alcohol consumption.

There are also self-help and support groups that can offer assistance.  Do not feel that you are alone or that you can not stop drinking.  The misuse of alcohol can lead to ruined health, the end of relationships and other serious consequences for you and for others.

Want to find more information on how to stop drinking then visit: stop drinking alcohol

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