Share this page

Health Library

AUD can affect people of all ages including adolescents. Symptoms are different for everyone, though common threads exist. These include:

  • Increase in amount of alcohol that is being consumed to try to reach same effects
  • Inability to stop or limit drinking despite associated problems
  • Significant amount of time doing activities to obtain or use alcohol
  • Craving or urge to use alcohol
  • Repeated home, school, or work problems
  • Difficulty in relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers
  • Missing previously favored activities in order to drink alcohol or recover from alcohol
  • Alcohol use even if it creates physically unsafe situations or leads to legal trouble
  • Alcohol use that continues even when it causes or worsens health problems

Dependence may also cause physical symptoms (withdrawal) when alcohol is stopped. Withdrawal may cause:

  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures that may result from delirium tremens (DTs)
Complications Associated with AUD

Complications of AUD cover a wide range of personal, family, social, and health problems, such as:

  • Accidents and injury—including motor vehicle accidents and falls
  • Violence, murder, and suicide
  • Domestic violence
  • Family problems
  • Failed relationships
  • Lost jobs
  • Problems with the law, including drunk driving arrests and jail time

Some common physical problems associated with AUD include:

  • Red palms, flushed face
  • Spidery veins showing through the skin around the umbilicus and on the face
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes and/or skin—jaundice, which indicates liver problems
  • Enlarged liver and/or spleen
  • Nausea, bloating, indigestion, and ulcers
  • Pancreatitis
  • Easy bruising and/or bleeding
  • Peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage, which can cause muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling
  • Impaired memory and cognitive function
  • Infertility in both men and women
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased susceptibility to infections and cancer

Organs That Can Be Damaged by Alcoholism

si55551355.jpg

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Medical complications include:

References:

Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 25, 2015. Accessed April 9, 2015.

Alcohol withdrawal. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 19, 2014. Accessed April 9, 2015.

Alcohol's effects on the body. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body. Accessed April 9, 2015.

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse. HelpGuide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/alcoholism-and-alcohol-abuse.htm. Updated February 2015. Accessed April 9, 2015.

American Psychiatric Association. Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-5. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.

3/5/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Tramacere I, Scotti L, et al. Alcohol drinking and pancreatic cancer risk: A meta-analysis of the dose-risk relation. Int J Cancer. 2010;126(6):1474-1486.



Last reviewed February 2014 by Peter J. Lucas, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Baptist Flame

Baptist Health Systems

1-800-948-6262

Find A Doctor

Services

Locations

Baptist Medical Clinic

Patients & Visitors

Learn

Contact Us

Physician Tools

Careers at Baptist

Employee Links

Online Services

At Baptist Health Systems

At Baptist Medical Center

close ×