Alcohol Abuse Awareness Month! JULY

I have had my fair share of cocktails. During my 20's, I abused alcohol. I had no responsible role model for establishing healthy drinking habits. My goal was to drink until I was drunk. That was a horrible goal.... my one saving grace i believed, was since i only drank on the weekend it wasn't a problem. I wish I had someone to teach me, how dangerous alcohol binges are and provide info on alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. I decided to write this blog for my 20 year old self.

What is alcohol addiction?

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is a disease that affects people of all walks of life. Experts have tried to pinpoint factors that may predispose someone to alcoholism like genetics, sex, race, or socioeconomics. Psychological, genetic, and behavioral factors can all contribute to having the disease, however, it has no single cause.

Alcoholism is a real disease. It changes the brain and neurochemistry causing the inability for a person to control their actions. Those actions could destroy their family, relationships, friendships, and may even be fatal.

Alcohol addiction can show itself in a variety of ways. The severity of the disease, such as how often someone drinks and the alcohol they consume, varies from person to person. Some people drink heavily all day while others binge drink and then stay sober for a period of time.

Regardless of the addiction, someone typically has an alcohol addiction if they heavily rely on drinking and can’t stay sober for an extended period of time. I have friends that won't eat at a restaurant if it doesn't have a bar.

What are the symptoms of alcoholism?

Alcohol addiction can be difficult to recognize. Unlike cocaine or heroin, alcohol is widely available and accepted in many cultures. It’s often at the center of social situations closely linked to celebrations and enjoyment.

Drinking is a part of life for many people. Being common in society, it’s hard to tell the difference between someone who likes to have a few drinks periodically and someone with a real problem.

Some symptoms of alcohol addiction are:

  • increased quantity or frequency of use
  • high tolerance for alcohol, or lack of “hangover” symptoms
  • drinking at inappropriate times, such as first thing in the morning, or in places like church or work
  • wanting to be where alcohol is present and avoiding situations where there is none
  • Increased belly fat
  • changes in friendships; someone with an alcohol addiction may choose friends who also drink heavily
  • avoiding contact with loved ones
  • hiding alcohol, or hiding while drinking
  • dependence on alcohol to function in everyday life
  • increased lethargy, depression, or other emotional issues
  • legal or professional problems such as an arrest or loss of a job

Addiction tends to get worse over time, so it’s important to look for early warning signs. If identified and treated early, someone with an alcohol addiction may be able to avoid major consequences of the disease.

The brain and the alcohol detox process

In these uncertain times, it's essential to have enough GABA (neurotransmitter). Alcohol disrupts your brain’s ability to produce enough GABA which is needed to help you sleep, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. This is why it's important to increase your GABA intake when you are on the DMD detox. The brain of a person who drinks regularly has a more difficult time managing their stress, anxiety, and weight. The detox process helps the brain re-learn the function to produce GABA without the presence of alcohol. 

If you’re worried that someone you know has an alcohol addiction, it’s best to approach them in a supportive way. Avoid shaming them or making them feel guilty. This could push them away and make them more resistant to receiving help. Invite them to join you in a DMD customized Detox to improve overall health and reduce unwanted body fat.

An important part of the DMD Detox will require casual alcohol users, wanting to get rid of excess belly fat and feel better, to stop drinking for 21 days. Cravings will be reduced by adding GABA as well as our proprietary blend of other natural supplements that are known to affect GABA activity such as L-arginine, kava, passionflower, and American ginseng.

GABA is Found Naturally in Certain Healthy Foods.

GABA can be found in green, black, and oolong tea, as well as in fermented foods including kefir, yogurt, and tempeh. Other foods that contain GABA or may boost its production in the body include:

  •  whole grains, fava beans, soy, lentils, and other beans
  •  nuts including walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds
  •  fish including shrimp and halibut
  •  citrus, tomatoes, berries, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and cocoa

 If you enjoy wine and cocktails, but are wanting to reduce unwanted belly fat, it would be my honor to point you in the right direction. 

What if Abstinence From Alcohol becomes too unbearable?

Be aware of these symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol:

  • Physically shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Jumpiness
  • Insomnia
  • headaches 
  • Irritable
  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Breathing rate
  • Confusion

If abstaining from alcohol for 21 days creates withdrawal symptoms, a person may feel that they must drink alcohol to feel normal, not overly anxious, calm in social settings, or to get to sleep.

In some cases, I would suggest seeking inpatient detox options. Eliminating withdrawal symptoms by drinking more and more alcohol is very dangerous.

You don't have to struggle alone. For more information on the DMD (DETOX) text your name and questions anytime 904.236.5858.

"Dr. Fitness"