Drinking excessively can harm your mental and physical health, causing ailments such as depression or liver disease. However, when it comes to the perils of alcoholism, little emphasis is placed over the possibility of a disorder referred to as “wet brain.”
Wernicke-Korsaff Syndrome, otherwise known as wet brain, is a degenerative disorder linked to long-term excessive alcohol consumption. The continuous use of alcohol often depletes your body of a number of nutrients that are necessary for optimal health. Wet brain, in particular, is caused by the lack of Vitamin B1 or thiamine, which causes serious brain damage over time.
What aggravates this situation is that many alcoholics tend to have unhealthy eating habits, usually opting for foods that do not provide enough nourishment for their body. Thus, they starve themselves of good nutrition that keeps the body functioning well.
Some experts assert that a sudden onset of wet brain can occur when a heavy drinker consumes a large amount of sugar. The spike in glucose acts as a trigger for the disorder and, once this occurs, oftentimes sends the alcoholic into such a severe state of wet brain that it becomes almost impossible to reverse the damage.
What Are the Symptoms?
When your body lacks nutrition over a period of time, you begin to develop some mental and physical symptoms. The most common symptoms of wet brain can include vision problems, difficulty forming new memories, hallucinations, and movement and balance problems. Typically, these symptoms present themselves due to possible bleeding in the brain. This is a serious problem that, if not treated immediately, can produce worse symptoms such as memory loss and psychotic episodes.
To find out if you have wet brain, visit a healthcare professional and get your blood tested, particularly your thiamine levels. While this diagnosis cannot be made by blood work alone, being honest about your alcohol intake and symptoms can help your doctor make a proper diagnosis.
What Treatment Looks Like
Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will encourage you to stop drinking immediately. In order to do so, you may be referred to an alcohol detox or alcohol rehab center. In these facilities, you can learn how to live your life without depending on alcohol and receive the support you need to get started.
Treatment also includes taking supplements for thiamine and other vitamins. Your doctor may also encourage you to attend counseling sessions to deal with any emotional or mental issues that may arise.
Wet brain is a very serious disorder and experts say that much of the time, it is difficult to fully recover from. Once you develop wet brain, you may have to contend with brain damage, amnesia, and coordination and balance issues for the rest of your life.
If you or your loved one has a problem with alcoholism, it is important to be knowledgeable of the risks as well as the fact that help is always available for anyone looking to get sober.