Monday, March 30, 2009

Alcoholism is a chronic disease that makes your body dependent on alcohol. Dr. Edward Hill begins a three-part look at alcoholism in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Alcoholism is a disease that affects the part of the brain that controls your feelings, the way you make decisions and the way you act. People with alcoholism cannot control how much they drink.

Nobody knows what causes alcoholism. People with parents who have alcoholism have a greater chance of getting the disease. Alcoholism may be related to the things we learn when we are growing up. Alcoholism is not caused by a lack of willpower or moral values.

It is not easy to tell if you have alcoholism. You might drink socially at first, but over time the drinking can get out of control. Your family, friends or doctor might notice it before you do. You might drink to help yourself go to sleep or deal with stress and anxiety. Over time, you need to drink more to feel the same way.

As the drinking gets worse, you may have mood problems, trouble sleeping, problems with family and friends or problems at work. If you have these signs or symptoms seek help.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.