Excessive consumption of alcohol often leads to several health problems, including liver damage, stomach problems, and impaired cognitive function. If the time period in which large quantities are consumed is relatively short, many of the alcohol-related health problems can be treated and cured by quitting drinking and getting special treatments. However, if alcohol consumption is abused over several years, it not only leads to severe health issues, such as cirrhosis of the liver, but it may also lead to a condition known as alcoholic dementia. This condition can cause problems with learning, memory, and a wide range of other cognitive skills. The alcoholic dementia symptoms vary from person-to-person, but there are two factors that influence the symptoms: Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff syndrome.
Symptoms of Alcoholic Dementia-The Progression
Alcoholic dementia can occur in people of all ages and is generally the result of regularly abusing alcohol over several years. The progression of alcoholic dementia symptoms usually starts with Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which then progresses into Korsakoff Syndrome, which causes extremely serious memory problems that lead to alcoholic dementia. It takes time for the process to fully develop, but the disease is incurable. There are several symptoms that indicate the onset of alcoholic dementia, including:
- Frequent outbursts of anger
- Mood swings
- Slurred speech
- Gaps in memory loss
Alcohol dementia is also known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is a group of neurological conditions that are caused by a thiamine deficiency. When the body is deficient in thiamine (vitamin B1), the brain struggles with processing sugar into energy, which is necessary for brain functioning. In turn, the deficiency leads to the development of dementia symptoms, such as confusion and memory loss. The Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is comprised of two separate conditions; Wernicke encephalopathy (develops first) and Korsakoff syndrome, which often begins as the Wernicke encephalopathy symptoms are ending. Although alcoholic dementia is a combination of both conditions, each condition has its own unique set of symptoms, including:
Wernicke’s encephalopathy (acute phase)
- Staggering gait
- Difficulty swallowing
- Problems with speech
- Abnormal back and forth eye movements
- Double vision
- Eyelid drooping
- Leg tremors
- Decreased muscle coordination
- Mental confusion
Korsakoff Syndrome (chronic phase)
- Memory loss, including the ability to form new memories or retrieve old memories
- Confabulation, which means making up stories to fill in the gaps of memory loss relating to stories of the past
- Repeating questions numerous times within a short period of time
- Noticeable changes in personality
One of the first and earliest signs of the potential development of alcoholic dementia is having regular alcohol-related “blackouts”, which are extremely dangerous for the human brain and the blackouts are a contributing factor to alcoholic dementia. Early treatment is critical for the successful treatment of alcoholic dementia. If the condition is caught and treated early enough, those with the general and early onset of alcoholic dementia symptoms may show vast improvement. The best treatment for early-onset is to quit drinking alcohol and by improving their diet to include vitamin-enriched foods. If early symptoms are ignored and the person continues to consume alcohol, the stages of alcoholic dementia will continue to progress until the point of it being incurable.
Immune system. It’s one of the big fat words being juggled around lately. Our immunity is the battleground for good health. Staying healthy and arming our body with the necessities to keep us well and healthy is more than just taking your vitamins, eating good food, and exercise.
When we feel good and our immune system maintains that feeling and when come up against viruses (like Covid-19) or bacteria (like streptococcus, that causes strep throat) or just feeling run down, our immune systems wards off possible illnesses and potential diseases.
But maintaining a good immune system can feel overwhelming.
Did you know one of your best lines of defense for your overall health can be your dentist? Not only can your dentist boost your immune system with regular cleanings and dealing with infections in your mouth, but your dentist can also detect serious diseases in their infancy.
For example, Strep which can cause that razor blade feeling in your throat and a high temperature has a cousin Streptococcus Gordonii. Streptococcus Gordonii contributes to the build-up of the plaque that forms and covers the surface of your teeth. This type of bacteria originating in your mouth can cause blood clots, which can eventually lead to problems in your bloodstream, eventually affecting your heart and possibly leading to being one of the contributing factors of a heart attack. With a simple cleaning at the dentist and brushing and flossing at home, this can be greatly diminished.
Did you know that many serious diseases first show up in your mouth?
In fact, extensive research has shown 95 percent of many systemic diseases, first manifest in the mouth. And can be detected in your mouth before it comes up on other routine tests. Dentists are trained and aware that they are the first line of health for their patients, and many diseases can be caught and handled and often eliminated before they become a serious health issue.
Some of the more common that are found in early detection:
- Leukemia can be present with bleeding gums, lips, and tongue
- Oral cancer can take many forms, including a mouth sore that never seems to heal. An unusual white or reddish spot on the inside of your mouth or loose teeth or a lump inside your mouth can all herald oral cancer.
- Pancreatic cancer can be sores inside your mouth.
- Diabetes is indicated by bad breath and bleeding gums
- Osteoporosis can be detected with the bone loss on a routine x-ray.
- Heart disease and an oncoming heart attack can be foreshadowed by a sore jaw.
- Kidney disease can be lesions in your mouth and burning sensation, as well as changes in the amount of your saliva.
You may want to to know more about Arbor Dental if you’re looking to improve your overall health starting with good dental habits.