In other cases, an alcohol-induced inflammation of the stomach lining reduces the body’s ability to absorb vitamins. You may have heard the term “wet brain” in connection with long-term, heavy alcohol use. It’s a colloquial term for the medical condition Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
How do you know if your brain is damaged by alcohol?
Wernicke's Encephalopathy is a deterioration of brain tissue, and the symptoms include confusion and disorientation, numbness in the hands and feet, rapid random eye movements (sometimes called 'dancing eyes'), blurred vision, and poor balance and gait (walking unsteadily).
Liberty Ranch helps clients build the behavioral and emotional tools needed to sustain long-term sobriety. Recovering from an alcohol use disorder is not easy, especially alone or without proper support. Alcoholism is a disease that can cause long-term damage to a person’s health, relationships, finances, loved ones and future.
How Does Chronic Drinking Affect the Brain?
The first step is detox, which is ceasing alcohol consumption, so the substance works its way out of the body. This can be a dangerous process, especially if you have developed wet brain. Wet brain is damage that happens to the brain due to excessive use of alcohol.
Contact us today to see how we can help you overcome your addiction. We can help you explore various addiction treatment options and find the best one for you. The second part of the treatment process for wet brain syndrome is to seek help from an addiction treatment program. Getting help for your addiction is important, especially if you suffer from wet brain syndrome, because the disorder will continue to progress if you don’t stop drinking. Thiamine, or vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin that is vital to helping to covert glucose into energy.
Identifying Wet Brain
reductions depend both on the enzyme and on the cell type studied (Singleton
and Martin 2001). Overall, transketolase activity may be the most sensitive
measure of thiamine deficiency. Studies using rats found that transketolase
activity may be reduced as much as 90 percent in the brain regions that are
most sensitive to thiamine deficiency (Gibson et al. 1984). Alcohol use disorder is a serious condition that affects around 6.2% of the U.S. adult population. Left untreated, alcoholism can cause numerous long-term, severe health issues, including cognitive deficits and cancer. Long-term, heavy drinking leeches and also prevents essential nutrients from entering the body.
Once wet brain reaches the second stage, Korsakoff’s psychosis, patients experience a marked decrease in the ability to form new memories. People with Korsakoff’s psychosis sober house may even fabricate stories to fill in gaps in their memory. Up to 90% of people with Wernicke’s encephalopathy will go on to develop Korsakoff’s psychosis.
How Dangerous Is Wet Brain?
7.4% of people 12 years and older have tried ecstasy at least once in their lifetime. Learn why is ecstasy addictive and the suggested treatment for addiction. Treatment of Wernicke’s encephalopathy begins with increased intake of thiamine. Doctors will help patients identify a more well-rounded diet of vitamin B1. The long-term effects of this disease can range from difficulty with personal interactions and injuries caused by loss of coordination to coma or even death. These signs — coupled with a doctor’s awareness of the patient’s alcohol addiction —could lead to further neurological testing.
There’s no single test for the syndrome, but a good indication, particularly when disorientation and confusion are apparent, is testing vitamin B1 levels in the blood. Research conducted by the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that when caught early enough, approximately 25 percent of people will recover, 50 percent will improve and 25 percent will stay the same. However, once the syndrome has progressed to the point of no return—no new memories or experiences, no reversing the symptoms—the disease is generally fatal. The grim reality of chronic alcohol abuse is that the body can only handle so much; and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a tragic, heartbreaking consequence of the abusive nature of alcoholism. A failure to diagnose this syndrome leads to death in 20 percent of cases, and long-term brain damage in 75 percent. While wet brain is not something that can be cured, doctors can reverse some of the symptoms or at least slow the progression of the disorder if they can intervene quickly enough.
Renewal Center for Ongoing Recovery
At times, doctors may prescribe glucose to hypoglycaemic alcoholics. This is because glucose will quickly eat up the body’s remaining thiamine reserves. This will only worsen wet brain symptoms, especially if additional thiamine is not given. To counter this, a higher dose of thiamine supplement is given to patients.
These discomforting and severe nutritional deficits are called wet brain. The following article will explore the dietary consequences of long-term alcohol abuse, and whether or not these deficits can be reversed. Likewise, if you or a loved one presents symptoms of Korsakoff’s syndrome, the later stage of the condition, you should immediately go to a medical provider.
The Dangers of Korsakoff Psychosis
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even deadly, in some cases, so detoxing under medical supervision is always the safest and most effective way to quit alcohol and begin a new, sober lifestyle. If a person with wet brain is unconscious or in a coma, they will need special care in a medical environment, and potentially, for a longer period, depending on the severity of their symptoms. Drinking more than three drinks in a single sitting will temporarily cause your blood pressure to rise, but extended binge drinking or regular alcohol consumption can cause a permanent increase in blood pressure.
- In addition, NADPH plays an important role in the synthesis of glutathione,
a compound that is essential in the body’s defense against oxidative stress.
- Once the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome worsens, there’s no going back.
- Symptoms cannot be reversed if the disease progresses into the second stage.
- You might hear the dated term “wet brain” used in reference to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.