Some addicted to alcohol is known as “high functioning,” which means they continue to take care of themselves and their life responsibilities even as they become increasingly abusive with alcohol. Other alcoholics find themselves completely consumed by alcohol. Everything else in their life ceases to matter. Health, wellness, relationships, money- in varying degrees and forms, alcohol becomes their primary source of life. Drinkers who stop eating, stop exercising, or taking care of themselves in any way run the risk of developing Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, commonly referred to as “wet brain syndrome.”
What is Wet Brain?
According to American Addiction Centers¹, the wet brain’s definition is: “…a form of brain damage that results from repeat and heavy alcohol exposure”.
What Causes Wet Brain?
Wet Brain Syndrome happens because of malnutrition. Specifically, the body is lacking in thiamine, also called Vitamin B-1. If Wet Brain Syndrome is not completely advanced, thiamine treatments can help the brain recover.
Thiamine helps the body digest food and absorb nutrients from food. Alcoholism damages the insides, not just through malnutrition, but from the organs’ inability to process that much alcohol. A damaged liver means the body becomes inefficient at processing thiamine. Too much sugar in the brain is the heart of the problem. Thiamine is responsible for taking sugars, like the high sugar content of alcohol, and converting them into a useful form of glucose that the brain needs. Without this healthy conversion, the brain receives a chronic overload of harmful sugars. The old saying “too much sugar will rot your brain!” is somewhat accurate in this situation. Brain cells cannot regenerate without thiamine to create healthy glucose. As a result, the brain endures significant damage to the brain areas, which are essential to continue to act and think like a human, including the brainstem and the cerebral cortex.
Can You Recover from Wet Brain Syndrome?
Unfortunately, in advanced stages of severe alcoholism, the brain might not recover. Many addicted to alcohol have faced the look of concern from their doctor’s faces when they say one more drink could ruin their brain. People addicted to alcohol know it isn’t about one more drink, but the many, uncontrollable, more, which will follow.
The Final Stages of Wet Brain: When Late Is Too Late
Once the brain has entered into the final stages of Wet Brain Syndrome, it can be difficult to recover, especially without clinical intervention. Dementia can be caused by severe alcohol abuse. Motor functions, speech, and other primary movements can be permanently damaged. The ability to speak and understand becomes damaged, causing hallucinations, believing in hallucinations, inability to tell real from lies, and more.
Alcoholism doesn’t have to get worse before it gets better. If you believe you have developed a problem with alcohol, hope exists in recovery. Everyone has the capacity to change their lives. Design For Change is here to show you how. For information on our treatment programs and recovery services, call 855-997-1372 today.