Unformatted text preview: Fundamentals of Nutrition
Alcohol and the effects on the
body NTR 300
Dr. Wilfred H. Turnbull 1 Objectives:
8. Alcoholism: an overview
Symptoms of Alcoholism
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
2 Alcoholism is a disease that is properly
defined as primary, chronic disease with
genetic, psychosocial, and environmental
factors influencing its development and
manifestations (4). 3 So what does that really mean?
“A primary, chronic disease…”
A primary disease is one that sustains as
itself, it’s not just a symptom of an
underlying disease state.
A chronic disease is one lasting longer than
3 months and cannot be prevented by
vaccines or cured by medicine (3).
4 So what does that really mean?
This disease is characteristic of and
develops with genetic, psychosocial
(involving both psychological and social
aspects) and environmental factors. A
statistic states that children of alcoholics are
four times more likely than other children to
become alcoholics (6). This may be due to
mostly environmental factors but also
genetic as well. 5 What happens in the body
when you drink?
when When a person drinks alcohol,
the alcohol is absorbed through
the stomach, enters the
bloodstream, and passes into the
tissues. The effects of alcohol
depend on a variety of things,
including a person's size, weight,
sex, and age, as well as the
amount of food consumed right
before and at the time of drinking
(7). 6 Symptoms of Alcoholism: 7 Behavioral Changes: Solitary drinking,
unexplained mood swings,
missing work, loss interest in social activities.
ADDICTION: A progressive, chronic,
relapsing disorder that may
include a craving for alcohol
and a compulsion to use it;
inability to control alcohol
use and continued use in
spite of negative
8 Symptoms of Alcoholism:
6. Physical symptoms:
(usually occurring during
Some or all may occur
when alcohol use is stopped
after a period of heavy
drinking. 9 Why this is unhealthy… Some serious complications of Alcoholism:
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Since alcohol is a depressant there
is an obvious connection between
substance use and psychological
effect. Depression is defined as a
“psychotic disorder marked
especially by sadness, inactivity,
difficulty in thinking and
concentration, a significant increase
or decrease in appetite and time
spent sleeping, feelings of
loneliness, hopelessness, and
sometimes suicidal thoughts (12). “ 11
In Alcoholism, after the initial high or
happiness dissolves, the person comes
back to reality and experiences a
hangover or withdrawal symptoms
which produces feelings of dysphoria,
or feelings of depression mixed with
anxiety and physical malaise (5).
Some things that may help depression in
people with Alcoholism are
antidepressants, psychotherapy to get
to the root of the problem, and the
twelve step program (or Alcoholics
Also called the “fatty liver condition”,
Cirrhosis is a chronic liver disorder involving
damage to liver cells, decreased blood flow to
the liver and scarring of liver tissue which
eventually interferes with liver function (10).
Cirrhosis is usually associated with alcohol
addiction but can also be caused due to an
illness that can damage the liver I.e.: Hepatitis
B&C, and Sarcoidosis (a condition that is
similar to tuberculosis).
Also, genetic factors or lifestyle and
environmental causes where an overload
of chemical and drugs can overwork the
liver causing scarring.
Symptoms of Cirrhosis include jaundice
in the eyes and/or skin, ascites (fluid
build up in abdomen), nausea, weight
loss, edema (fluid build up in the legs)
and eventual liver failure.
15 Cirrhosis: Treatments for Cirrhosis include: Avoiding all taxing substances
(drugs and alcohol).
(drugs A low fat-high protein diet
low Colchicine (usually used in Gout
cases, helps to reduce scar tissue)
cases, Liver transplant (which is a serious
effective TX in most cases, but is
difficult to find donors)
16 Malnutrition: Malnutrition is defined as an imbalance between
the intake of nutrients
and the bodies needs(11). Nutrients are
undersupplied and the body is
imbalanced according to dietary means.
Malnutrition makes the body
weak and may cause other health issues to
Alcoholism is the most common cause of thiamin
deficiency (Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome) in
the USA and may lead to deficiencies of
magnesium, zinc, and other vitamins (13).
17 Malnutrition: Symptoms of this type of malnutrition in
alcoholism include: Weight loss Fatigue and irritability Loss of appetite Skin and hair change color.
Treatment would involve increasing
calories and nutrients in the diet.
18 B-Vitamin Deficiency
Vitamin Deficiencies in the alcoholic are
thought to be due to Dietary restriction due
to GI disturbances. Changes in the GI tract
are due to drinking in excess and interfere
with absorption and utilization of many
nutrients. The most common B vitamin
deficiencies in alcoholics are thiamin (B1),
Folate, and Riboflavin (B2).
This kind of Vitamin deficiency can be
dangerous and eventually lead to brain
damage unless treated accordingly. 19
19 Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
Also called: Wernicke's disease, alcoholic
WK is a brain disorder caused by a lack of
thiamin (Vitamin B-1).
Although it is mostly seen in alcoholics, WK can
also be seen in people with
dietary deficiencies, eating disorders, prolonged
vomiting or people
undergoing chemotherapy (9). 20
20 Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WK)
A person experiencing this disorder may develop
the following symptoms:
the Mental confusion Vision impairment Hypotension Ataxia (inability to use voluntary muscles) Coma
Treatment includes proper nutrition, hydration
and re administering (via IV) of
Vitamin B-1. Most symptoms can be reversed if
detected early. 21
21 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition caused by a
prenatal exposure to
alcohol. It is one of the major causes of mental
retardation and birth defects. If
a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, her
baby can be born with FAS,
which is a lifelong condition of physical and mentally
FAS is characterized by
FAS abnormal facial features Growth deficiencies CNS problems
22 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Children born with this condition may also have
problems with learning,
memory skills, attention span, and communication
difficulties throughout their
This is a very sad and serious condition however, it
is 100% preventable if the
pregnant woman abstains from Alcohol completely
throughout her entire
23 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) 24
24 FAS (continuted) 25
25 Ways to help…
Primary: prevention and education (in school) can help
younger people learn about the significance of
alcoholism and how important it is.
Secondary: if a family member or loved one is in help
there are ways to “intervene” which involves outside
Tertiary: Treatment, hospitals or a medical environment.
Alcoholics anonymous website.
Al-Anon for family groups
1600 Corporate Landing Pkwy
Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617
(757) 563-1600 26
9. Brannon Linda and Feist Jess Health Psychology, an introduction to Behavior and
Health fifth edition 2004
Alcoholics Anonymous www.Alcoholics-anonymous.org.
Chronic disease definition: www.Medicinenet.com.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence:
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
About.com the facts on alcoholism. Is it inherited?
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
The University of Maryland Medical Center.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
27 References: (cont.)
10. Cirrhosis web site: www.gutdoc.org/Cirrohis.htm
11. Merck website:
12. Merriam-Webster Online: www.m-w.com
13. Health touch online: www.healthtouch.com
14. Preventing B vitamin deficiencies in alcoholics.
15. Fetal Alcohol syndrome:
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- Winter '11