Drinking heavily can also impair your cognition by affecting your diet and vitamin absorption. Some alcoholics become deficient in an enzyme that prevents them from metabolizing vitamin B1 (thiamine), or they simply don’t eat a nutrient-rich diet, causing malnutrition. The resulting deficiencies can lead to cognitive impairment and alcohol-related brain damage.

While alcohol isn’t a cure for any of these problems, it can numb your natural response to life’s circumstances and make it hard to function without it. While early sobriety can be challenging, for this reason, experiencing life without alcohol means that you must learn new coping mechanisms https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/psychological-dependence-on-alcohol-physiological-addiction-symptoms/ and social skills. The good news is that by quitting alcohol, even those who have spent years throwing off the balance of their brains can begin to heal and restore the brain’s natural function. Alcohol abuse also leads to a poor diet which can also contribute to brain fog symptoms.

Cleanse Your Body

Alcohol is a depressant that lowers serotonin levels in the brain, which causes diminished mood and increased levels of anxiety and depression. So naturally, sustained periods of heavy drinking make them go a bit berserk. Neurotransmitters are very important chemical messengers of the brain.

What are the early signs of brain damage from alcohol?

Short-term symptoms indicating reduced brain function include difficulty walking, blurred vision, slowed reaction time, and compromised memory. Heavy drinking and binge drinking can result in permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.

The difference is that
alcoholic women reported that they had been drinking excessively for only about
half as long as the alcoholic men in these studies. This indicates that women’s
brains, like their other organs, are more vulnerable to alcohol–induced
damage than men’s (11). Alcoholic brain fog occurs during or after someone develops alcoholism. Someone may also experience brain fog as a result of a previous ailment. One study found that clearing brain fog after drinking is possible with long-term sobriety, with a considerable reduction in symptoms of brain fog starting 6 months after the last drink. Recovering alcoholics can improve their cognition and battle brain fog with brain games and therapies specific to their challenges.

Got Brain Fog? Here’s How Alcohol Affects Your Dopamine and Reward System.

The first phase in the rehabilitation process is detoxification, which entails eliminating all remnants of alcohol from the body. This can take several days or weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction. During this time, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, tremors, and seizures. Medically supervised detoxification can help manage these symptoms and ensure a safe and successful recovery.

Why do I have a foggy memory after drinking?

Alcohol-related blackouts are gaps in a person's memory for events that occurred while they were intoxicated. These gaps happen when a person drinks enough alcohol to temporarily block the transfer of memories from short-term to long-term storage—known as memory consolidation—in a brain area called the hippocampus.

People with an AUD have a protracted withdrawal phase due to the alcohol’s potent effects on neuroreceptors, which can last up to 26 weeks after alcohol cessation. Even two drinks a day can make a difference in brain size, but as always, the more alcohol brain fog you drink, the worse the effect. As a neurohormone, it’s also released by the hypothalamus in your brain, where hormones are produced to regulate your basic bodily functions and mood, like heart rate, temperature, sex drive, sleep, and hunger.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

According to a 2021 study in Scientific Reports, heavy drinking could lead to loss of brain volume. The researchers found that people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) had less brain matter than people without AUD. The affected brain regions controlled skills like attention, language, memory, and reasoning. By changing your brain, alcohol can therefore lead to worse memory and impaired judgments, among other changes. Sadly, there is no significant recovery timeline for several brain functions – semantic memory, visual-spatial skills, sustained focus, multi-tasking ability, and planning skills.

Last week, I wrote about the age in which individuals should begin monitoring their drinking. My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

Here at Sunnyside, we use the science behind habits to help you reach your goals. We make it easy to follow your patterns, catch your triggers, and offer 24/7 support with a community of like-minded people and trained coaches. Try our free 3-minute quiz and get a personalized plan and free trial to see how it will work for you.

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