There are 14.4 million adults who have reported some form of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Among this group, only eight percent of them have sought treatment. This is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. All of these statistics come from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) for the year 2018.
Each of them paints a grim picture of the reality behind alcoholism. A fact that will lead people to a lifetime of suffering with wet brain. With this article, we will go through the short-term effects, the long-term effects, and the treatment options.
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What is Wet Brain?
Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, better known as wet brain, is a vitamin B1 deficiency that occurs in alcoholics. This is coupled with drinking preventing the brain’s absorption of thiamine, which is needed in several brain functions. This is when the brain damage starts to occur.
Short Term Effects of Wet Brain
According to the NIH, the short-term effects fall under something called Wernicke’s Encephalopathy. The common symptoms they have include mental confusion, lack of muscle coordination, and abnormal eye movements. Depending on the individual, they may exhibit one or all of these symptoms. Below are some other addiction signs that may occur.
- Blurred vision
- Lower body temperature
- Higher heart rate
At this stage, it is somewhat easy for alcoholics to address these signs. However, many alcoholics do not actively seek treatment. As a result, 80 percent of people move onto the next stage: Korsakoff’s Psychosis.
Long Term Effects
After what could be years of alcohol abuse, wet brain will provide alcoholics with what could be considered an early version of dementia. In fact, up to 24 percent of those suffering from dementia may be linked back to alcohol. Some of this is up to speculation, but those who suffer from the long-term effects of alcohol abuse will most likely be brain-damaged.
Korsakoff’s Psychosis, otherwise known as the long-term wet brain, is the long-term case of when an alcoholic tells you that he is not drunk. They will often forget their friends, family, and recent people that they have met. Classic signs of this are comparable to dementia: asking the same questions repetitively, creating fiction out of reality, and not being aware of anything being wrong. Below are some other potential symptoms.
- Trouble learning new skills
- Vision issues
- Significant confusion
- Becoming frustrated quickly
- Issues walking
How is Wet Brain Diagnosed?
There are no specific ways to diagnose a patient with wet brain. If tests are conducted, they are generally done to rule out other potential diseases. A doctor can usually tell if a patient has this syndrome based off of their physical appearance.
How Do You Cure Wet Brain?
There are no defined ways to cure wet brain at this time. Doctors may prescribe medication, suggest therapy, and provide them with rehabilitation. Those who suffer from the long-term effects of this disease may go through detox and eventually shipped to a treatment facility.
What Do You Take to Treat Wet Brain?
Doctors tend to medicate their patients using magnesium sulfate in combination with providing thiamin. This allows the body to rebuild the necessary chemicals needed to function. Doctors will also offer advice on rehydration and nutritional facts.
What Can I Eat to Help My Wet Brain?
We do suggest speaking to a doctor. But starting on a diet to reduce the effects of wet brain is a solid idea. Proper nutrition will help with many things in your life. Below is a list of foods that may help you in creating a new diet plan.
- Pork or beef
- Some cereals
For those who are excessive drinkers, they may have issues adjusting to a new diet. Some alcoholics are unable to process foods properly. As always, get a doctor’s advice as you are transitioning out of this lifestyle.
Are There Other Things I Can Do to Prevent Wet Brain?
Regular hydration and nutrition are keys to preventing alcoholism from taking over your life. Those who successfully get through the initial stages of detox may find themselves liking how they feel. Others may struggle a bit more depending upon a variety of factors. Regardless, there is no way of reversing brain damage.
Starting a regular exercise regiment will also assist those who need help replacing the alcoholic void in their life. There are many speculations on where it comes from. Still, a clear way to prevent it is by surrounding yourself in positivity. Be sure to be around people who encourage the sobriety in your personal journey.
Alcohol Dementia and Treatment
To this day, the level of support for this issue is relatively limited. Crossing over the addiction and mental health issues of this level are difficult to manage. As a result, the two can tend to be treated as two separate issues. However, there are unique circumstances for those who have alcoholic-dementia. There is also a great deal of social stigma that is preventing those who suffer from getting help. The stigma can apply to all levels of alcoholism. Learning how to sober up is the first step of getting help. Second is just as simple as asking for help.
Wet brain is a terrifying consideration that can take away minutes, days, months, or years from people who are struggling to live. Whatever background they come from, any walk can walk into an alcoholic trap that can change their life forever. Those who abuse alcohol tend to suffer from it for the remainder of their life.
The short-term issues are scary enough: losing control of your faculties, your muscles, and your vision are among these. But when considering the long-term effects of wet brain, you find yourself losing your memory, forgetting your loved ones, and believing that everything is fine. Eventually, this can lead to the most severe cases of alcoholic dementia.
With nearly 15 million adults suffering from some form of AUD, it is a problem that needs to be addressed today. If you know someone who is suffering from this, the NIH has a handy tool for having this conversation. If you are that someone, remember that there Is strength in reaching out for help.