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Blackouts

Understanding Alcoholism

alcoholism

Image is from DrugAbuse.com

Drinking has become entrenched in our society and it is part of our lifestyle. From toasting the bride and groom with a glass of wine or drinking during the happy hour to brush of the stresses of work, it has become a natural part of our live and this makes it difficult to establish when it becomes a problem.

For most people, moderate drinking means two drinks a day for men or one for women, this is however one end of a range that goes through alcohol abuse to full blown alcohol dependency.

Alcohol abuse

This is a drinking habit that results in adverse effects and results in the user not being able to fulfill their daily duties, whether in school, work or family obligations. At this point, it is common to find someone with legal problems as a result of drinking such as DUI or public disturbance. It also affects an individual’s ability to relate with other people.

Alcohol dependency

Also called alcoholism. This is where an individual has lost total control of their alcohol use. It is not dependent on the type of alcohol being consumed or the amount, it is solely about a person’s inability to stop drinking, either to maintain the alcohol fueled “high” or to avoid the stress and pain of withdrawals. Withdrawal symptoms include sweating, nausea, irritability, restlessness, tremors and even convulsions.

Alcoholism Warning Signs

The divide between social drinking and alcoholism can be blurred and many people don’t seem to know when they are on the verge of alcoholism. Below are some of the warning signs of a drinking problem:

  • If someone gets behind the wheel while intoxicated.
  • Drinking more than you had planned to.
  • Mixing alcohol with other drugs.
  • Poor work or school performance due to alcohol related activities.
  • Not remembering events while you were drinking, also called blacking out.
  • Inability to relax or unwind without alcohol.
  • If relationships start suffering due to alcohol.
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed and hiding it from family and friends.
  • Avoiding family commitments due to alcohol.
  • Breaking the law under the influence of alcohol.
  • Inability to stop drinking even when you try.

Causes of Alcohol Related Disorders

There are several causes of alcoholism, they include genetics, physiological and social factors. These factors do not affect everyone in the same way. For some alcoholics, psychological factors such as low self-esteem and impulsiveness my lead them to consume alcohol while others may be affected by social factors, chief of which is peer pressure. Poverty and physical abuse may also lead to alcohol dependency.

Genetic factors also play a key role in the alcohol dependency of some people. Most people who boast how much they are able to ‘hold’ liquor may be more at risk-not less- of developing alcohol problems. The absence of a history of drinking in a family does to protect the children from developing these problems.

How Alcoholism Affects People

Small amounts of alcohol may be beneficial for the body but heavy drinking is detrimental to someone’s health. Short-term effects include hangovers, memory loss and blackouts. Long-term effects that are as a result of heavy drinking include cancer, stomach ulcers, heart problems, brain damage and liver cirrhosis.

There are other dangers to alcoholism apart from ill health. People who suffer from alcoholism tend to engage in risky activities that may cause death, they include: Driving while drunk, suicide, unprotected sex and even homicide.

Drinking problems are also associated with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and memory loss. Such preexisting conditions may be made worse by alcoholism.

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Symptoms of Stomach Flu

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Image is from NaturalON

Stomach flu also goes by the name gastroenteritis. Usually, the flu goes away on its own after a short time. You may confuse stomach flu as being caused by the influenza virus. However, that is not the case. The strain of flu responsible for the condition is found around the regions of stomach and intestines, unlike influenza which involves the respiratory tract, head, and lungs. The agents that cause it are bacteria, viruses, and parasites including Cryptosporidium among others. These organisms enter the regions they infect through the mouth.

Stomach flu symptoms will manifest themselves after you have had physical contacts with an infected person. Among the physical contacts that will also get you infected are; handshakes, sharing food with someone having the virus and maybe drinking from a cup that has been used by a patient. Once you have been in contact with an infected person, the virus will transport itself to the regions where it will cause the condition. In the stomach and intestines, the virus will cause an inflammation at different spots and thus will lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

This virus manifests itself through a myriad of symptoms. Before the symptoms start to appear and reveal themselves, the virus shall have taken several days in your body. The number of days the symptoms will take will largely depend on the type of infection. While others can stretch up to ten days, others take a shorter time, probably a day or two. Usually, the symptoms will go away even without the assistance of a doctor.

The symptoms of stomach flu and how the virus will manifest itself will differ among individuals. Moreover, the severity of the symptoms will largely depend on how resistant your body is to the virus. If your body is less resilient, you will get more severe symptoms unlike when you have excellent resistance to the infection.

Below are some of the symptoms that will show in a patient infected by flu virus:

  • Fever that keeps escalating daily
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Fainting spells
  • Muscle pains
  • Burning pains in the stomach
  • Blackouts

Stomach flu cannot be considered as a critical condition since it can disappear by itself. Though at other times, the condition may escalate and the patient may appear very ill to the point that it could be life threatening. At this point, you must seek the attention of a physician. You need to take great care when you start noticing the symptoms especially dehydration and its developments. This is because it is the most dangerous symptom of stomach flu. If you vomit and diarrhea continuously, you will lose water and electrolytes from the body and which eventually lead to dehydration.

Here are some of the symptoms of dehydration;

  • Sunken eyes
  • Increased thirst
  • Skin loses its elasticity
  • Fever shoots to above 101 degrees F
  • Mucous membranes in the mouth become dry
  • Bloody vomit
  • Bloody stool
  • Decreased urination
  • Drowsiness
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Constant vomiting

While it can be a less severe condition, stomach flu comes with symptoms that are life-threatening. You can, however, handle the symptoms by taking more fluids aside from seeking medication. Above all, ensure that you avoid as much as you can, the areas that may get you contacting the condition. This will help you stay safe and not worried about the discomfort that the state subjects you to.

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