Vitamin Deficiency and Chronic Alcohol Use

Chronic alcohol consumption damages the lungs, brain and heart. Heavy alcohol use dehydrates the body and can cause severe vitamin deficiencies. Over time, drinking alcohol can cause a number of health problems because of a lack of important nutrients.

People who are consumed by a chemical dependency on alcohol tend not to . Chronic drinking can be to blame for poor diets and malnutrition. Alcohol changes the food cravings that you have. Food may also take a back seat to acquiring alcohol. Essentially, alcohol becomes more important than eating properly, which creates vitamin and nutrition deficiencies.

Vitamin C is an important vitamin. Without the proper amounts of Vitamin C, you have higher risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, eye degeneration, cancer, and bone complications. Vitamin C is also partly responsible for how your liver metabolizes. Alcohol diminishes Vitamin C in the body which can lead to serious health problems. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, raw broccoli, and mango, so incorporating these foods into your diet is beneficial.

Alcohol creates thiamine deficiencies. Vitamin B1 or thiamine is a dangerous deficiency that alcoholics can be at risk for. As much as 80% of alcohol dependent people are thought to have some level of thiamin deficiency. Thiamin is responsible for brain and cognitive impairments. Thiamin is also important to memory and learning abilities.

Korsakoff syndrome is the result of thiamin deficiency in alcoholics. Korsakoff syndrome used to be known as “wet brain”. Korsakoff syndrome is an alcohol related dementia disorder. Symptoms of Korsakoff syndrome include:

  • Short term memory loss
  • Confabulate or make up stories
  • Other severe memory problems
  • Sudden jerking movements
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Personality changes
  • Balance and coordination impairments

Korsakoff syndrome can be caused by other risk factors, but is most commonly seen in people who have chronically abused alcohol and have had severe thiamine deficiencies. Thiamin can be found in dairy, beans, pecans, eggs, and several other foods. Vitamin deficiency can be prevented by not abusing alcohol and eating healthy. Speaking with a medical or addiction specialist about your drinking patterns and any symptoms you have can prevent further damage to your brain and body.

If you are in recovery for alcohol addiction, talk with your doctor about your drinking history. Ask your doctor to run blood tests to see if you have any dangerous vitamin deficiencies. You may consider meeting with a nutritionist to learn how to add vitamins to your diet through food or by taking supplements.

Full recovery of mind and body is possible when you choose the right recovery path. Hired Power’s dynamic team of experienced recovery professionals is here to guide you through recovery every step of the way. Call us today for information on our recovery services and how we can help your family bring recovery home. 714-559-3919

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