Ethanol abuse can result in unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms. Physical symptoms include tremors, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Psychological symptoms include depression, irritability, memory loss, and disorientation. Sadly, ethanol abusers often suffer from these problems long after their last shot of alcohol to drink. Clinicians must be aware of these risk factors for this disorder, especially because of its relationship with depression and mental illness. Clinicians who treat patients suffering from alcoholism are also advised to be on alert for signs of depression among patients with ethanol abuse.
Because of the many health and social consequences of alcoholism, alcohol intoxication and related complications often go undiagnosed and untreated. As the liver is unable to metabolize excess ethanol, it converts it to acetaldehyde, a condition recognized as acetaldehyde poisoning. Acetaldehyde poisoning is associated with seizures, comatose, shock, coma, and death. Clinicians treating patients suffering from ethanol abuse are required to carefully monitor vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and urine output; to look for acetaldehyde levels in urine, blood, and urine excreta; and to perform skin tests to determine toxicological and clinical outcomes.
There are different classifications of ethanol abuse. The most common is chronic alcohol intoxication, which results from drinking alcohol over a period of time, resulting in severe damage to the liver. Acute alcohol intoxication, sometimes called an “off-label” DUI refers to drinking an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time. This can cause symptoms not seen in chronic heavy drinking, such as euphoria, euphoric relaxation, anxiety, and rapid pulse. Chronic alcohol use can lead to progressive damage to the liver and can progress to the point of causing liver cancer. Symptoms of this disorder may include edema, jaundice, seizures, coma, or even death.
Chronic or repeated acute alcohol toxicity often occurs in combination with another form of chemical abuse (i.e., acetaldehyde, methanol, or ketamine). This results in what is known as a synergistic toxicity, which means that one substance can exacerbate another. This is true for both acute and chronic methanol and ethanol abuse. Acetaldehyde poisoning often occurs when a person ingests ethylene glycol, which is used in making paper and plastic products.
Ethanol abuse and nutritional malady can result in serious and life-threatening consequences. The possible complications from ethanol abuse and cardiomyopathy include liver failure, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, kidney failure, seizures, coma, or death. In most cases, those who suffer from ethylene glycol poisoning will experience more than one of these complications. In addition, it has been found that an increased risk of developing diabetes and pancreatitis is associated with chronic ethanol abuse and nutritional deficiency. In extremely rare cases, cardiomyopathy may develop, resulting in heart failure or circulatory collapse.
treatment for ethanol abuse
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from ethanol abuse or other chemical deficiencies, please contact a medical health professional. A medical doctor can accurately identify the underlying cause of the symptoms. He/she may be able to prescribe the correct treatment protocol. He/she will also be able to provide you with support during and after the treatment process. The benefits of contacting a professional sooner rather than later make this an especially important step, since many individuals suffering from acute intoxication syndrome may not realize they have a problem until it is too late.
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