Monday, April 15, 2013

Experts estimate that 14 million people, or about one of every 13 Americans, are problem drinkers. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the signs and consequences of alcohol abuse in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholism is common and can be very costly. It causes significant medical problems, and can destroy families and lives.

You have an alcohol problem if alcohol use interferes with your health or daily living. You develop alcoholism if you become physically or psychologically dependent on alcohol.

Long-term heavy drinking can damage the liver, nervous system, heart and brain. It can also lead to high blood pressure, stomach problems, medication interactions, sexual problems, osteoporosis and cancer.

Symptoms of an alcohol problem include personality changes, blackouts, increasing alcohol intake and denial of the problem. A person with alcoholism may sneak drinks, drink alone or early in the morning, and suffer from the shakes. They may also develop family, school or work problems.

Many people deny that they have a problem with alcohol. If you or a loved one show signs of alcohol abuse, seek help from your physician or a counselor.

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