What Are - Alcoholism Physical Symptoms


All medical experts agree that there are alcoholism physical symptoms that will appear over time. Generally speaking, the affects of alcoholism will increase the longer the person drinks. It can also be said that in many

cases, the sooner the person stops drinking, the less severe the overall health issues will be for that person. This is one of the most important reasons why those with a problem need to get assistance as soon as possible.

It should also be noted that this condition is considered a progressive disease, and this can also be applied to the physical symptoms that may occur. What that means, for example, is if a person has sleeping disorders early on in his or her drinking, those same sleeping disorders may become much more pronounced as the amount of time drinking increases.

Early Alcoholism Physical Symptoms

It should be kept in mind that not all people with a drinking problem will experience the same set of signs as the next person. It is also important to understand that a person with a problem does not have to exhibit all of these signs in order to have a problem. The affects of alcoholism can be far reaching but they can also vary wildly.

One of the most common signs is also one of the most easily observable, and that is frequent periods of intoxication. There is no set number that represents "too much", but common sense should prevail. If a person is drinking daily or even every other day, then a problem is probably at hand.

Another of the alcoholism physical symptoms is black outs or periods of memory loss. Normally, only the person with the problem will have reliable access to this sign. Family and friends should understand that heavy drinkers are often less than truthful if asked about black outs.

Alcoholism physical symptoms will often increase dramatically at some point in time. Many experts suggest that a person who experiences three of the following seven conditions is a person with a problem that needs resolution. These conditions usually set in once the person has developed a dependency issue with alcohol. Again, the affects of alcoholism can vary from person to person.

Changes in Daily Behavior: This occurs when the person begins to neglect important life-issues such as work, family and personal hygiene.

Increased Use: This occurs when the person is drinking more and drinking for longer (in hours) than before.

Decreased Self-Will: This occurs when the person wants to slow down or stop but is not able to do so. They often feel out of control.

Continued Consumption: This occurs when the person continues to drink even though he or she knows that it will lead to problems. These problems might be with spouses, co-workers, employers, etc. This is one of the more devastating affects of alcoholism.

Increased Drinking Related Episodes: Persons with a problem will spend more time in activities related to drinking.

Onset of Withdrawal Signs: Persons with a dependency problem will experience withdrawal signs if they do not have a drink within a particular period of time. The amount of time needed between drinks will vary with the person, but most will experience a sense of panic or anxiety, tremors in the hands, the feeling of nausea, and often will experience profuse sweating for no reason.

Increased Tolerance: This occurs when the person needs to have more consumption in order to get the same level of high that they once did.


If a person has two or more of the above, then professional help is advisable. While the affects of alcoholism are often hard to identify, the sooner professional guidance is offered, the better.

Medical professionals and mental health professionals are often in the best position to diagnose alcoholism physical symptoms.

More alcoholism physical symptoms on our main alcoholism signs page

Alcoholism home page

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 

I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LPC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More