Alcohol Abuse and Death

Posted on August 19, 2019 by Bagozzi Twins Funeral Home under blog, funeral home
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Some of the funerals at funeral homes in Syracuse, NY are for loved ones who died from the effects of long-term alcohol abuse. The physical and neurological damage that is done to the body through abusing alcohol for a long period of time is extensive.

With chronic alcohol abuse, the liver is severely impacted and liver disease develops. If the liver damage is diagnosed while it is still in the fatty liver (a condition where fats build up in the liver) disease stage, the condition can be reversed – and the liver is able to heal itself – if all alcohol use is stopped. However, many times by the time physical symptoms of liver disease – in which the liver becomes inflamed or scarred and is unable to function properly – appear, the liver is already permanently damaged. This can lead to conditions like alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis, as well as the development of liver cancer.

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Long-term alcohol abuse also affects the digestive system by wearing down the stomach lining and increasing acid production, which, in turn, can lead to the development of stomach ulcers. Chronic alcohol abuse can also cause digestion problems like faulty nutrient breakdown and absorption, which can lead to malnutrition (causing anemia) and impaired blood sugar control.

Pancreatitis, a painful and potentially fatal condition, can occur in long-term alcohol abuse because alcohol sends signals to the pancreas to release substances that are harmful to the body.

The central nervous system, which is controlled by the brain, can be severely affected by chronic alcohol abuse. Thiamine (vitamin B1) is vital to proper functioning of the central nervous system. Long-term alcohol abuse creates a thiamine deficiency that can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (can be present with or without bleeding lesions in the brain). Symptoms of Wernicke-Korsakoff can include confusion, memory loss (irreversible), and impaired motor coordination.

Other damage that chronic alcohol abuse can do to the brain is to disrupt sleep cycles, alter moods and personality, cause depression and anxiety, and impair concentration. Long-term alcohol abuse also may inhibit the growth of new brain cells.

The heart is another victim of chronic alcohol abuse. In 2016, more than a half a million deaths worldwide were directly attributable to alcohol-related cardiovascular diseases. The manifestations can be chronic high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, blood clots, strokes, cardiomyopathy, and heart attacks. With this data, a lot of people are relying on organ or body donations to extend their life.

The neurological effects of long-term alcohol abuse are extensive. Alcohol suppresses the central nervous system, which can impact breathing, speech, movement, thought, and memory. Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to a neurological disorder known as confabulation.

Confabulation happens when someone who regularly abuses alcohol is telling stories and recalling memories and there are blanks for where the real details or memories were stored in the brain, so they just make something up to fill in the blank. What they make up is not true and sometimes can be outright fantastical, but long-term alcohol abusers will insist that what they are saying is true and exactly the way it happened, no matter how outrageous it sounds. This can be frustrating for family and friends, to say the least.

Cirrhosis of the liver is most often the cause of death in people who chronically abuse alcohol. More rarely, some people die because they decide to quit drinking suddenly, without medical supervision, after years of alcohol abuse and it sends the body into shock and kills them.

We understand alcohol-related deaths at funeral homes in Syracuse, NY, and our compassionate and experienced team at Bagozzi Twins Funeral Home, Inc. is here to help you. You can visit our funeral home at 2601 Milton Ave., Solvay, NY 13209, or you can call us today at (315) 468-2431.

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