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Alcoholism and Malnutrition

Malnutrition is a Common Issue For Most Alcoholics

Most alcoholics will suffer from some form of malnutrition. Unfortunately, there are a number of components that contribute to malnutrition. Large amounts of alcohol will inhibit proper digestion in many alcoholics. When alcohol is consumed into the body, it can hinder the absorption of healthy nutrients from entering the bloodstream. Furthermore, the liver also ceases to function properly and can not appropriately convert nutrients and release them back into the body.  Without healthy nutrients, the body’s cells weaken and are negatively affected by the toxic effects of alcohol. Without healthy cell functioning, the body’s cells can not regenerate adequately. In time, the damage will continue to worsen.

Nutritional deficiencies can also contribute to the alcoholic’s psychological and emotional well-being. Certain vitamin deficiencies such as the absence of thiamine can cause issues with fatigue, mental alertness and irritability. The emotional stability of the alcoholic thus becomes compromised. If the deficiency remains unchecked, it can ultimately lead to mental confusion and loss of memory.

Alcoholics also tend to develop vitamin B deficiencies. This further aggravates the psychological and emotional stability of the alcoholic. A lack of Vitamin B1, B2, B6 and B12 can contribute to poor brain functioning and can cause dementia and tremors. In the worst scenario, a vitamin B deficiency can lead to severe neurological damage. Alcohol can also affect the body’s ability to metabolize healthy fat soluble vitamins such and vitamin A and D. When the body lacks these vitamins, it can become vulnerable to developing vision issues, excess bleeding and poor healing.

Usually by the time an alcoholic reaches the late stage of alcoholism, he has completely lost his appetite. Again, this only further exacerbates the issue with malnutrition. Extreme vitamin deficiencies can cause a number of unusual diseases of the central nervous system that can be irreversible if the disease of alcoholism goes untreated.

©2011 Signsofalcoholism.org

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