Heavy drinking can cause severe problems to a person’s mind and body as time goes on. What may start as mild wet brain symptoms can escalate to irreversible damage like wet brain disease. Wet brain disease is a disorder that affects several parts of a person’s memory, coordination, vision, and other elements. This can end up being a life-threatening disease if left untreated.
Wet brain disease is one of the many consequences of heavy drinking. As time goes on these symptoms can end up becoming more severe. This is why it’s important to look towards professional treatment when dealing with alcoholism. At Florida Center for Recovery, we offer a wide variety of treatment options with you in mind. Don’t wait for things to get worse, get help now.
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What is Wet Brain Disease?
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS), also called wet brain, is a brain disorder made up of two conditions. Wet brain disease can end up being life-threatening in some cases. Wernicke’s encephalopathy is the first part of WKS. This is a condition that causes the wet brain symptoms of loss of coordination, irregular eye movements, vision problems, and more. Wet brain is considered a temporary condition much of the time.
The second part of WKS is Korsakoff’s psychosis is a persistent condition that directly affects a person’s learning and memory. This can become so severe that a person may be unable to function normally on a daily basis. Both of these conditions make up WKS or wet brain disease.
WKS is referred to as ‘wet brain’ because of its association with heavy alcohol abuse (for years). While only a small percentage of people may develop WKS, those who heavily drink are at a much greater risk.
What Are Some Wet Brain Symptoms?
Wet brain symptoms usually come about because of thiamine deficiency. This is one of the many symptoms that come with intense drinking on a frequent basis. As a result of this, a person may develop wet brain disease because of malnutrition or other conditions as a consequence of alcohol abuse.
Research shows that nearly 80% of those who heavily drink end up becoming thiamine deficient. Wet brain disease is only diagnosed if a person is feeling wet brain symptoms while they are sober.
As described, WKS is comprised of two separate conditions, each with differing wet brain symptoms. WKS in general can end up wreaking havoc on a person’s mind and life. With continued heavy drinking comes a higher risk of developing WKS.
The wet brain symptoms of Wernicke Encephalopathy include the following:
- Lowered body temperature
- Intense fatigue
- Trouble with coordination
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle atrophy and weakness
- Twitching eyes
- Trouble keeping balance
- Poor reflexes
Symptoms of Korsakoff Psychosis include:
- Problems with vision
- Memory loss
- Trouble walking, keeping balance, and overall coordination
- Confusion and disorientation
- Forgetfulness and frustration
- Shifts in personality
- Difficulty learning new things or building memories
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include shaking, sweating, nausea, anxiety, and even brain damage. Some people may be more vulnerable to developing WKS since wet brain disease has some genetic factors.
The Connection Between Wet Brain and Alcoholism
As an essential nutrient, thiamine is used throughout the body for essential tasks. This particular nutrient is usually received through a person’s diet. Without it, a person’s body can become affected, particularly in the heart, brain, and nerves. Heavy drinking has been connected to thiamine deficiency, which can lead to wet brain disease.
Chances are if a person is heavily drinking on a regular basis, that person probably isn’t getting a balanced and healthy diet. More specifically, that person may not be getting enough thiamine in his or her diet.
Thiamine is a crucial part of a healthy and balanced life. Without it, a person becomes at risk to develop wet brain disease and other disorders.
There are other ways that a person may fail to get thiamine in his or her system properly. For one, heavy alcohol consumption tends to affect a person’s digestive tract. This alone can cause issues when the body attempts to absorb thiamine.
Wet brain disease can even up being life-threatening if a person with it doesn’t get help. Thiamine is an essential part of the body and is partly responsible for converting sugar into energy (along with other functions). If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, don’t wait to get help. Florida Center for Recovery is here for you.
Can you Reverse the Effects of WKS?
In some cases, wet brain disease can be reversible, however, this is dependent on a few factors. A person’s wet brain symptoms may vary in severity depending on how early a person gets wet brain treatment. As with many conditions, the earlier someone gets treatment the better.
Making a full recovery from wet bran disease is possible, even though it is rare. A person may have improved wet brain symptoms within 5-12 days with thiamine therapy. This is why it’s important to look into wet brain treatment and addiction treatment in general. A person must be willing to recover from both wet brain disease and alcohol addiction if he or she wishes to live a healthier and happier life down the line.
Wet Brain Treatment
One of the main strategies with wet brain treatment is to supplement thiamine in a person’s body. It’s important to be abstinent from alcohol while being treated for wet brain disease as being sober will increase the chances of successful recovery.
Since wet brain disease tends to come about from thiamine deficiency, wet brain treatment focuses on supplementing thiamine and helping increase its levels. By helping increase this number, thiamine supplementation can help decrease the severity of certain wet brain symptoms such as eye function, memory difficulties, coordination, and confusion.
It’s best to get help to treat wet brain disease sooner rather than later. Even with wet brain treatment, it’s important to take care of the root of the issue though, which is excessive alcohol and drug use.
Alcoholism and drug addiction can end up causing WKS along with other more severe conditions. This is why turning oneself into a rehab facility like Florida Center for Recovery is worth it.
Treatment Options for Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcoholism
Alcohol continues to be one of the most widely abused drugs in the world. What may start off as normal drinking can end up becoming a vicious pattern of abuse. Every year millions of people end up developing an addiction and dependence on alcohol.
Alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism, is a condition that occurs when a person can no longer control how much he or she drinks. People that suffer from alcoholism also have chemical changes made to their brains due to excessive drinking.
Alcoholics even suffer from withdrawal symptoms whenever they minimize or discontinue their use of the substance. When a person exhibits withdrawal symptoms whenever he or she minimizes or discontinues his or her alcohol use, it means that the person is dependent on alcohol to function.
WKS is one of the many consequences that may come about from heavy drinking on a regular basis. If you or someone you know has lost control of drinking to the point where it’s affecting your life, it’s time to get professional help.
The Signs and Symptoms of an Alcohol Use Disorder
Before someone can overcome addiction, that person must take the first step towards receiving professional help. To do this, someone must acknowledge the fact that a person is suffering from an alcohol use problem in the first place. That’s why it’s so important to understand the red flags that signal an alcohol use disorder.
- Failure to limit alcohol consumption
- Continuing to drink even if it is causing harm and difficulty in other areas of their lives
- Spending a lot of time recovering from alcohol or drinking alcohol
- Having a desire to cut down on drinking but being unable to
- Worsened performance at school, work, or home life
- Physical withdrawal symptoms including nausea, shaking, sweating, and other problems
- Becoming tolerant to drinking (meaning more is needed to feel its desired effects)
- Intense cravings to drink alcohol
Treating Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcoholism
While alcoholism can have negative impacts on a person’s life, it’s always possible to turn things around. At Florida Center for Recovery, we offer many different treatment options to accommodate all of our clients.
As with all cases of addiction, there are different methods of dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. Below are the standard methods:
- Detoxification (for drugs and alcohol)
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders
- Addiction resources
Alcohol use disorder typically starts with detox. Detoxification, or detox, is the process of purging the body of substances (drugs and alcohol). After the detox process is done, a person usually moves on to more individualized treatment (individual and group therapy for example).
Don’t Wait to Get Professional Help
Wet brain disease can be an extremely dangerous and severe condition, one that can come about from alcoholism. If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction, it may be time to get help. Florida Center for Recovery is here to help you towards a better, brighter life. Give us a call today to learn more about our services.
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.