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Alcohol (long term symptoms)

Background:
I'm 31 years old now and have been drinking increasingly heavily since about 12 years old (including a decade of college partying later on). For several years I've consumed roughly a 5th (usually of bourbon whiskey) or a great amount of beer daily (skipping days here and there). I rarely eat decently (used to broke college living) and I don't exercise at all (my job is to sit in a chair and program software from the house).

I've never really experienced hangovers throughout the years (very very rare) except for this last year. I managed to graduate around the same time my best friend committed suicide and have been unemployed for some time now... so needless to say, I starting pouring it on heavily and more regularly (sometimes a couple of 5th's a night between friends).


Symptom:
Throughout this last year I've had the usual hangover experiences from time to time (nausea, headaches rarely, extreme thirst, etc...) but this last couple of months it's become so bad that I've slowed down tremendously (because my body made me). There were sometimes if I didn't consume enough or, eat properly while consuming I would start to get what I believe to be DT's, which then mentally told me "hey, just drink enough to not feel sick anymore if you wake up sick", and of course this would sometimes lead to heavy drinking later that night after I get to feeling better.

This last month has been the most painful though. I've woke up a few times with cold-sweats, nausea, extreme abdominal pain which appears to stem from I'm guessing liver spasms judging by the area it generates from (which made it difficult to stand for more than a few minutes without getting sick or feeling like my abdominal was on fire) but no headaches.

My eyes are also red constantly most likely from continual dehydration and a poor diet (I don't think they are yellow), my skin looks normal...*cough* my stool is more often essentially diarrhea sometimes dark oily and/or yellowish color (this is not constant).


Current Situation:
Since regulating more water intake, trying to eat more regularly, taking a short walk once feeling better to clear up the system, and drinking less often or slim-to-non, these symptoms have been slowly lessening.


Conclusion:
I already know the basic idea that most people would say and I understand it completely "stop drinking so dam much, fix your diet, see a doctor, etc...". I understand alcohol in excess is a poison. Although I appreciate these sentiments, I'm more looking for what this community thinks on how severe these symptoms are. I've read up a bit on fatty liver, cirrhosis, liver cancer, hep C (for a friend), etc, but an actual person might help more to talk to.

Sorry for the wall of text. Any input or ideas are greatly appreciated!
4 Responses
Avatar universal
As a side note:
The nausea is usually caused/influenced by a buildup of air in my abdomen and often results in 'throw up' air pockets a lot with whatever else has managed to stay undigested.
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
For 31 they are VERY SEVERE!and if you don't cease the drinking will kill you!At age 28 i was dx'd w/moderate liver damage!that plus MANY other symptoms were the smack i needed in the face to become committed to sobriety.At age 61 now and not one drop of alcohol,or drugs...my conclusion is its a better life!The choice is yours!
517872 tn?1613422715
Alcohol kills brain cells. It makes you feel something good about yourself than a person who does not drink knows about himself but he is trying to improve and move ahead. Whereas as the person on alcohol is satisfied and shining his ego. Just an opinion.
Avatar universal
If you took the time to write that you are aware there is a problem but hoping that someone will answer and tell you not to worry about it you're not an alcoholic OR you've realized that your over the edge but can't muster the strength to admit you need to quit and act on that.  

Find a local in-patient alcoholic treatment clinic and admit yourself.  After the intake process is complete you will be given an anti-craving drug for a few days.  The effect is short term to help you get your head clear and make rational decisions about your life and body.  You will likely then be prescribed Antabuse and the clinic will administer it daily.  You will likely have pee tests everyday because you can't be trusted.  Most programs start with intense inpatient.  You are there 8-10 hours a day everyday and participate in various group sessions that address addiction.  

After intensive inpatient you attend group sessions twice weekly.  You are given Antabuse to get through between sessions and pee tested both randomly and each time you show up.  If you take the program seriously you will feel better and better each day and the feeling of constant depression from withdrawal will subside.  

At that point it's up to you.  There are to types of support groups - the traditional AA and "smart" groups which are an alternative to AA.  AA isn't right for everyone as it preaches abstinence and a higher power for strength.  Smart groups follow the school of thought that recovery is about understanding addiction and why you're an addict.

Remember - addiction is a disease and it never goes away.  I can only be treated.  Addiction is usually paired with other issues that go unchecked - anger, anxiety, depression, bi-polar issues, etc.  Once the addiction is in check get treatment for the other symptoms.  Other symptoms can be successfully managed and treated with medication.

As far as long term commitments go - you're done with drinking.  Get over it.  Divorce it, break up with it or whatever works.  It takes time but your former dysfunctional "management" of your alcoholism to pretend you live a normal life will subside.

Antabuse will give you the peace of mind that you have no choice but to stay sober.  If after a month you still think about drinking you should be rational enough to understand that you are an alcoholic.  If after 6 months of taking Antabuse you are trying to make "deals" with yourself to stop taking it and drink in moderation you are an alcoholic.  If after 1 year of taking it you decide to stop and within 48 hours you are trying to figure out how many hours or days you have to go before you can have a drink STOP and go back on as this in itself you convince you that you can never drink again.

Hope this helps and guides you in the right direction.
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