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9 Warning Signs Someone May Be A High-Functioning Alcoholic

Over the years, alcohol addiction has yet again manifested herself as wicked of a muse as she’s always been. Alarmingly, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), nearly 14.1 million adults in the United States suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD). A few pints a week may seem harmless at first, but before you know it, you’re hooked. Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to severe liver damage, including fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis, significantly impacting one’s health.

Slowly but surely, you say goodbye to the days when you used to drink just for the sake of it. You start to say hello to the dark times when you drink because you’re in desperate need of an escape.

Before you down that eighth tequila shot of the night, think of the millions of individuals from all around the world who have fallen victim to alcoholism. Most of them have never looked back, and they have ended up facing fatal consequences. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 3 million deaths occur each year due to harmful alcohol use.

Here are nine of the most common signs someone could be a high-functioning alcoholic (or HFA) and the physical repercussions, especially on the liver:

  1. You become nervous, uneasy, or ill-tempered if you don’t get your daily alcohol fix.

This one is particularly telling. When an HFA is compelled to forgo drinking entirely, his or her entire body undergoes severe adverse reactions. Alcohol dependence can lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as tachycardia, anxiety, excessive sweating, nervousness, and even seizures, which could further strain the liver.

  1. You prefer drinking over eating.

Choosing booze over a delicious stack of bacon burgers may seem unfathomable to a sober person, but to an alcoholic, it sounds like a really good compromise. In fact, most — if not all — HFAs use every mealtime as an excuse to break out the good liquor. This habit can result in malnutrition, making it harder for the liver to heal from alcohol-induced damage.

  1. You are not satisfied with just one or two drinks.

If you’re an HFA, you will most likely have trouble stopping once you start drinking. You will almost always finish other people’s drinks. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to inflammation and fat accumulation in the liver, eventually causing cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer.

  1. You wake up without feeling really hungover, even after a multitude of shots.

Now, this may sound like some sort of superpower, but it really isn’t. A healthy person’s liver can process roughly one drink per hour. That’s usually how long alcohol stays in one’s system. For an HFA, regular booze consumption has made the body dependent on alcohol, leading to a higher tolerance for hangover symptoms like headaches and nausea. However, this increased tolerance might also cause more significant liver damage over time.

  1. You always have a good reason as to why you drink as much as you do.

Whether it’s problems at home, difficulty sleeping, an abundance of parties, or stress at work, an HFA will always find an excuse to rationalize his or her harmful behavior. It’s either that or avoidance through denial. Denial can further delay the recognition of alcohol-related liver damage, worsening the prognosis.

Not ready to give up drinking?  Learn more about alcohol reduction programs & how to protect your liver if you are going to continue drinking

  1. You suffer from regular blackouts or memory loss.

Regular short-term memory loss incidents or blackouts could be a sign of being an HFA. Chronic alcohol abuse can also cause brain damage and negatively affect cognitive functions.

  1. You have a hard time coming to terms with your behavior.

Once HFAs are confronted with the issues regarding their alcohol consumption — as is the case with addicts of all other substances — they will usually revert to hostility or denial, rendering healthy discussions difficult or futile. This reluctance to accept the problem can further delay treatment for alcohol-induced liver damage and other health issues.

  1. Your behavioral patterns significantly change while you’re under the influence of alcohol.

Alcoholics, in general, undergo a Jekyll and Hyde scenario, wherein they notably change behaviors when they drink. For example, a normally rational, responsible, and gentle person may all of a sudden become impulsive, unreliable, and rough. These behavioral changes can strain relationships and make it difficult for loved ones to intervene and help address the alcohol problem.

  1. You go out of your way to hide your alcohol.

Most alcoholics discreetly sip drinks from a bottle in their cars or at their office desks. They often drink alone. This secretive behavior is probably the biggest red flag of all, as it indicates a deep-seated dependency and a refusal to acknowledge the problem.

For those who have finally been able to see things clearly, the bad has ultimately outweighed the good for far too long. Taking back the control one has once lost has proven to be very difficult to achieve on its own.

If you or someone you deeply care about has alcohol problems, head to a recovery center near you, or seek professional advice from a trusted health care practitioner. Early intervention can help prevent or mitigate the adverse effects of alcohol on the liver and overall health.

It’s important to consider, if you are going to continue drinking taking measures to protect your liver.
I recommend considering supplementation to ensure your liver is functioning optimally.

*** For those not willing to give up alcohol but know you need to protect your liver ***
ATTENTION: For Those Who Know They Want To Drink Less But Don’t Want To Quit Completely

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