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alcohol question

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alcohol question

Postby Retarded_at_bio » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:57 pm

Can someone explain 2 me the step by step effects 2 someone who is drinking alcohol. And what are the long term consequences that can result from this? I am asking becauce my grandfather drinks alcohol and I am very worried about him. Can someone please help. Thank you in advance.

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Postby kiekyon » Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:06 pm

What we commonly call alcohol is actually ethanol (or ethyl alcohol), which is primarily important because "wood alcohol," or methanol, is a potent poison. [As my high school chemistry teacher once said, "Methanol will kill you in hours; ethanol takes a number of years."]

The exact mode of action of alcohol is not completely understood. We do know that alcohol has some anaesthetic properties, and that may result from it's directly interfering with the binding of certain neurotransmitters, especially acetylcholine. However, it is most likely acetaldehyde (or ethanal), a primary metabolite of ethanol, that causes most of the problems. Acetaldehyde is known to react with dopamine yielding salsolinol and also to react with tryptamine producing tetrahydroharman. Both of those products have psychotropic activity. Since dopamine is also a precursor to noradrenalin (which acts in motor pathways), dopamine depletion may also be involved. Lastly, often forgotten is the fact that ethanol is a desiccating agent; that means that it removes water from systems. Many of the unpleasant effects of alcohol are likely to come from the fact that various parts of the body are dealing with dehydration.
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Postby pdavis68 » Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:50 pm

Alcohol has a number of effects. The mental effects can vary somewhat from person to person and is largely dependent on the amount ingested.

One to two drinks a day is generally very safe and in fact beneficial. It acts as a blood thinner and a relaxant and can actually add years to your life in the long run.

Anything beyond 2 drinks a day is unhealthy and it quickly starts to remove years from your life. Alcohol is, to some degree, a toxin, especially in larger amounts. The liver is responsible for removing this from your body. Excessive alcohol intake over years can cause a condition called aloholic cirrhosis. The liver will swell and eventually stop functioning.

The liver is remarkably resiliant and if one quits drinking before it's too late, the liver will heal completely.

Other potential problems include cerebral edema, also known as wet brain. Cerebral edema is the accumulation of fluid in the brain that can cause pressure on the brain resulting in brain damage or death.

Frequently there is very little you can do to help someone who drinks too much. The decision to get help, in most cases, has to come from the person who's drinking. You can give them information and tell them you care, but beyond that, they really need to decide that they want help.

The statistics on alcoholism are very pessimistic, I'm afraid. Fewer than 10% of alcoholics die sober. That means the vast majority die as drunks from drinking related illness.

I've seen a number of people try to get sober and they simply can't overcome the struggle. For many, it's a daily fight. I've seen it kill a number of people.

I can provide more information if you want, but there are tons of resources on the net that you can check out. Simply google "alcoholism"

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Postby Retarded_at_bio » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:03 pm

Oh my god thank you so much for helping me. I really appriciate it. Thank you pdavis68 and kiekyon. You guys rock!
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Postby Linn » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:18 am

pdavis68 wrote:
Frequently there is very little you can do to help someone who drinks too much. The decision to get help, in most cases, has to come from the person who's drinking. You can give them information and tell them you care, but beyond that, they really need to decide that they want help.

The statistics on alcoholism are very pessimistic, I'm afraid. Fewer than 10% of alcoholics die sober. That means the vast majority die as drunks from drinking related illness.

I've seen a number of people try to get sober and they simply can't overcome the struggle. For many, it's a daily fight. I've seen it kill a number of people.





That is so sad, I can not understand why people could do that to
themselves?

Pete, do you know how common is beri beri and
if it gets misdiagnosed at all in?
Pete

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Postby pdavis68 » Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:49 pm

Lynn,

Alcoholism is a tragic disease. It's certainly not something these people choose to put themselves through. It's simply an uncontrollable (or almost uncontrollable) urge to drink as much as possible. I suspect that without actually experiencing it, it's simply impossible to understand what that's like.

As for beriberi, I don't really know how common it is. In the U.S., it's found almost exlusively in alcoholics. Getting it would largely depend on the diet of the alcoholic. As it's the result of a thiamine deficiency, I would imagine that if you manage to get enough extra thiamine in your diet to compensate for what the alcohol destroys, then you may not ever get it.

Part of the problem is that many alcoholics fail to eat much at all and the fact that alcohol causes deficiencies in several vitamins, it makes it much harder for these people to maintain proper levels.

As for misdiagnosing it, I would suspect that if the alcoholic tells their doctor that they're an alcoholic, then it's unlikely that it would be misdiagnosed. Where it tends to get misdiagnosed is when alcoholics fail to disclose their alcoholism, which sadly, is very common.

Doctors actually have a tendency to think that alcoholics will disclose the truth about the amount they drink and are surprised when they discover otherwise. I'm not sure why this is. One of the defining characteristics of alcoholism is feeling the need to hide how much you drink, so why a doctor thinks he would be an exception to this is kind of odd.

But back to the topic of misdiagnosis, part of the problem is that without the knowledge of the alcholism, the symptoms of beriberi can easily be mistaken for other problems. So really, the problem usually lies in the disclosure.
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Postby waterboy » Sat May 06, 2006 7:07 pm

Alcohol has a number of effects. The mental effects can vary somewhat from person to person and is largely dependent on the amount ingested.

One to two drinks a day is generally very safe and in fact beneficial. It acts as a blood thinner and a relaxant and can actually add years to your life in the long run.

Anything beyond 2 drinks a day is unhealthy and it quickly starts to remove years from your life. Alcohol is, to some degree, a toxin, especially in larger amounts. The liver is responsible for removing this from your body. Excessive alcohol intake over years can cause a condition called aloholic cirrhosis. The liver will swell and eventually stop functioning.

The liver is remarkably resiliant and if one quits drinking before it's too late, the liver will heal completely.

Other potential problems include cerebral edema, also known as wet brain. Cerebral edema is the accumulation of fluid in the brain that can cause pressure on the brain resulting in brain damage or death.

Frequently there is very little you can do to help someone who drinks too much. The decision to get help, in most cases, has to come from the person who's drinking. You can give them information and tell them you care, but beyond that, they really need to decide that they want help.

The statistics on alcoholism are very pessimistic, I'm afraid. Fewer than 10% of alcoholics die sober. That means the vast majority die as drunks from drinking related illness.

I've seen a number of people try to get sober and they simply can't overcome the struggle. For many, it's a daily fight. I've seen it kill a number of people.

I can provide more information if you want, but there are tons of resources on the net that you can check out. Simply google "alcoholism"
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