A woman on a bench, suffering profoundly from wet brain.

The Deadly Signs of Wet Brain

Alcoholism (or alcohol use disorder) has many negative effects on your physical health. While things like cirrhosis are the most famous (and infamous) side effects of long term alcohol abuse. But they are not the only ones. While modern science is only now on the verge of understanding exactly how big the carcinogenic effects of alcohol use disorder are, human beings have known about the negative effects of alcohol for millennia. One of the biggest side effects of alcohol abuse is informally (and infamously) called “wet brain”.

Wet brain, formerly “alcohol encephalopathy” and now “Wernicke encephalopathy” is the result of long term vitamin deficiency. One brought about by the side-effects of alcohol abuse. In this blog, we’re going to discuss the signs and symptoms of wet brain. As well as its dangers and cures.  

A woman wondering about the nature of wet brain and its connection to alcohol abuse.
Wet brain can be a mystery But it doesnt have to be

What is “Wet Brain”?

The aforementioned neurological condition is known as “Wet Brain”. One known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a bodily disorder. One that results from a deficiency of thiamine (more commonly known as vitamin B1). Thiamine is essential for the proper functioning of the brain, and its deficiency can lead to serious cognitive and neurological problems.

The term “wet brain” is derived from the idea that this condition often occurs in alcoholics. And furthermore, any individual with a history of heavy alcohol use. As alcohol is a liquid. Those who were sodden (both meaning wet and slang for drunk) might eventually have what is described as a “wet brain”. From the association with the “wet” alcohol and the neurological symptoms that make up “wet brain”. 

Alcohol overconsumption has global negative effects across the body. But in the case of wet brain, it interferes with the body’s ability to absorb thiamine. Over time, this kind of unabated alcohol abuse leads to severe vitamin B1 deficiencies. For most healthy people, they are able to absorb enough vitamin B through their diet. Alcohol abuse can make this all but impossible.

Symptoms of Wet Brain

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, presents with a wide range of symptoms. These can include:

  • Confusion and disorientation: Individuals may have difficulty understanding their surroundings and may be disoriented in time and place.
  • Ataxia: Problems with muscle coordination and control, leading to unsteady movements and a shuffling walk.
  • Ocular abnormalities: This includes abnormal eye movements, such as rapid and involuntary eye jerks (nystagmus), and difficulty controlling eye movements.
  • Memory impairment: Short-term memory loss may be present, but it is not as pronounced as in Korsakoff’s psychosis.
  • Confabulation: Individuals may create false or distorted memories to fill in gaps in their memory.
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency symptoms: These can include fatigue, weakness, and other signs of a lack of thiamine.
  • Severe memory impairment: Individuals may have significant difficulty forming new memories and may rely heavily on past memories.
  • Confabulation: Continued fabrication of false memories to compensate for memory gaps.
  • Apathy and lack of insight: Individuals may seem indifferent or apathetic and may lack awareness of their cognitive deficits.
  • Emotional changes: Mood swings, irritability, and a general flattening of affect may occur.
  • Difficulty with daily activities: Impaired ability to perform everyday tasks due to memory and cognitive deficits.

Why it all matters: Treating alcohol abuse

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a serious side effect of alcohol abuse. But it is by no means the only one. And like all of the other side-effects of alcohol abuse, they can be ameliorated. And even reversed by getting treatment. Alcohol abuse and its symptoms can be scary. There is no denying that. But by not getting treatment for alcohol abuse, life without rehab can be even scarier. Alcohol rehab can be a new lease on life. Seize it. And get help today. 

Get help for alcohol abuse at ARIA. Today. 

At the Addiction Recovery Institute of America, our addiction treatment specialists provide expert care for individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders. Our goal is simple: to provide each of our clients with the tools they need to achieve long-term recovery. When you enroll in any one of the programs at ARIA, you are committing to sobriety, right here in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

We are dedicated to holding up our end of the bargain by designing individualized substance abuse treatment programs that serve each of our client’s individual needs. To get in contact, Call us at (844) 973 2611 or head over to our Contact Us page, fill out our information form and our representatives will get back to you as soon as possible. 

and alcohol is sometimes referred to as a “wet” substance. It’s important to note that the use of this term may oversimplify the complexities of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and may not be a clinically precise way to describe the condition. If you suspect someone may be experiencing symptoms related to thiamine deficiency or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, it is crucial to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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