What is wet brain?
Wet brain, which is also known as Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) and water brain, is a disorder of the brain caused by vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency. This disorder is typically seen in the chronic stages of alcoholism and is caused by alcohol use and poor nutrition. Alcohol causes levels of thiamine to be depleted, as the enzymes that turn thiamine into a compound the body can use cannot work when someone drinks large amounts of alcohol consistently.
A lack of thiamine can cause neurological symptoms caused be legions that form due to a lack of thiamine.
Wet brain can be reversed if it is caught when the first symptoms of memory problems appear. This initial stage is known as Wernicke’s encephalopathy.
Once the initial stage passes the second stage, it is known as Korsakoff’s psychosis. People with this stage exhibit pronounced mental confusion, have low blood pressure, vision problems and a lack of muscle coordination. This stage is permanent, though symptoms can be managed.
It is not just the brain that requires thiamine. Everywhere in the body requires thiamine to work properly, meaning that your entire body will not function well if thiamine is low in your body.
Symptoms of wet brain
Signs of wet brain can differ depending on the stage of the disorder. In the first of the wet brain stages, known as Wernicke’s encephalopathy, symptoms can include confusion, disorientation, changes in vision and abnormal eye movements. If left untreated, these symptoms can progress to coma and death.
In the final stages of wet brain, known as Korsakoff’s psychosis, symptoms are more likely to be permanent. These can include memory problems, dementia, difficulty learning new information, confabulation (making up stories to fill in the gaps in memory) and amnesia.
There is no definitive answer when it comes to whether wet brain can reduce life expectancy. Someone may have wet brain and life a long life. However, it is generally accepted that the condition can lead to a decline in cognitive function and overall health. This, in turn, can lead to an increased risk of accidents and injury.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of wet brain. Early intervention is key to reversing the damage caused by thiamine deficiency. If you think you or someone you know may have wet brain, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible.
How Alcohol Abuse Causes Wet Brain
As mentioned before, wet brain is caused by a vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency. This deficiency can be caused by many things, but is most commonly seen in chronic alcoholics. Most people get wet brain from drinking. Alcohol use disorder causes the body to excrete more thiamine than it takes in, and over time this can lead to a deficiency.
In addition to causing a deficiency, alcohol also inhibits the enzymes that convert thiamine into a compound the body can use. This double-whammy makes it very difficult for people who abuse alcohol to get the thiamine they need.
A lack of thiamine can cause neurological symptoms and damage to the brain. This damage can be reversed if caught early, but if allowed to progress can lead to permanent damage.
In addition to causing wet brain, alcohol addiction can also damage the brain in other ways. Heavy drinking can lead to a decrease in the size of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory. This can lead to problems with memory and learning.
Korsakoff’s psychosis is a condition that is caused by severe thiamine deficiency. It is characterized by memory problems and confabulation (making up stories to fill in the gaps in memory).
The best way to treat Korsakoff’s psychosis is to replenish the body’s supply of thiamine. This can be done through IV infusions or oral supplements. It is important to catch the condition early, as the damage caused by it can be irreversible.
Once the body’s supply of thiamine is replenished, you must abstain from alcohol use. This is to prevent the condition from happening again. It is also important to follow up with regular thiamine supplements.
You cannot treat Korsakoff’s psychosis without also treating the underlying alcoholism. This is because Korsakoff’s psychosis is caused by a thiamine deficiency, which is most commonly seen in chronic alcoholics.
Treating only the psychosis will not be effective in the long-term, as the alcoholism will still cause a thiamine deficiency. This will eventually lead to the psychosis returning.
Heavy drinking can also lead to changes in the way the brain processes information. This can result in problems with decision making, judgment and impulse control. Chronic alcohol abuse can also cause changes in the brain that make it difficult to quit drinking. These changes can lead to cravings and withdrawal symptoms when someone tries to stop drinking.
How to get help with alcoholism
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, there is help available. There are many different types of treatment available, and the best course of action will depend on the individual.
Alcohol rehab is one option available. This usually involves a stay in a treatment facility where you will receive around-the-clock care and support. This can be an effective way to do an alcohol detox and get started on the road to recovery.
Following alcohol detox, patients at alcohol rehab undergo counselling sessions and group sessions, to get to the bottom of why they were drinking in the first place. Once the root cause is found, patients address this so that they do not need to keep drinking.
Patients also go through relapse prevention sessions. These help patients to understand what their triggers are, and talk them through the process of making better decisions in the future. One of the most important steps is removing negative influences from their lives. Often, this means that patients are encouraged to create boundaries around their old “drinking buddies”.
If you feel like you might get wet brain, it is important to quit drinking right away. Wet brain is a serious condition that can lead to permanent brain damage. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion, and difficulty walking. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away.
For more information on wet brain and how to avoid it, speak with Prosperity Haven.
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