Many people understand that misusing alcohol can seriously affect your physical and mental health and your relationships with others. However, a less commonly known health issue that may arise when misusing alcohol is Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Also known as wet brain, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome consists of various stages and can result in symptoms ranging from memory impairment to the development of lesions on the brain.
If you or a loved one suffers from alcohol misuse, seeking help from a treatment center such as Crest View Recovery Center can help you prevent brain damage from alcohol for a happy and healthy life.
How Does Alcohol Abuse Cause Wet Brain?
Wet brain is the result of a lack of Vitamin B1, or thiamine, which is critical to brain function and necessary for the body to turn sugar into the energy it needs to function correctly. While a person can be deficient in thiamine for several reasons, the most common is alcohol abuse.
The liver requires nutrients to process alcohol. When you drink large amounts of alcohol regularly, the liver cannot get what it needs from your diet alone, so it must draw nutrients from other areas of the body to continue performing this function. One of these nutrients is thiamine, so when the liver pulls too much from the brain, it creates a B1 deficiency resulting in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
Signs and Symptoms of Wet Brain
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is two separate issues, Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff syndrome, that may occur at the same time. Since Wernicke’s encephalopathy typically occurs first, you will notice symptoms such as:
- Drooping eyelids
- Muscle coordination issues
- Double vision
- Leg tremors
- Rapid eye movement
- Low blood pressure
- Vision problems
Regular mental activity may become increasingly more difficult as Wernicke’s encephalopathy progresses. After the symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy become well established, an individual will move into Korsakoff syndrome and experience symptoms such as:
- Vision problems
- Auditory or visual hallucinations
- Memory loss
How to Help Someone With Wet Brain
If someone you love has wet brain, do your best to be patient and employ the following strategies to aid in their care:
- Trying not to take their behavior or lack of memory personally
- Speaking in soothing tones
- Avoiding arguing or provoking your loved one when they forget something
- Setting or repeating boundaries when necessary
- Listening to them when they need to feel heard and understood
- Reassuring your loved one that you still care about them
Get Help With Alcohol Abuse Programs From Crest View Recovery Center
If you or someone you care about is suffering from alcohol misuse, early intervention is the best way to prevent wet brain. At Crest View Recovery Center, we offer alcohol addiction treatment services at our Asheville, North Carolina, facility. Speak to a member of our team to learn more about our services by calling us at 866-986-1371 or completing our contact form today.