Definition of Alcohol Intoxication
Alcohol intoxication is a condition in which the alcohol consumed by a person leads to physical and behavioral abnormalities. This may also lead to impairment of physical and mental ability of a person.
The symptoms of alcohol intoxication vary depending on the quantity of alcohol consumed. High level of alcohol intoxication is also known as 'poisoning' due to alcohol's damaging impact on a person.
Causes of Alcohol Intoxication
The chemical name for the alcohol that is consumed, is ethyl alcohol which is also referred to as 'ethanol'. Ethanol is a type of alcohol produced by fermentation of grapes, barley, etc. Ethanol causes intoxication due to depressive effects on the brain which results into mental and physical impairment as the quantity of alcohol increases.
Higher levels of alcohol intoxication may be caused by binge drinking. The alcohol gets absorbed in the body too quickly and it takes longer time to metabolize.
Symptoms of Alcohol Intoxication
The symptoms of alcohol intoxication vary from person to person. For accurate diagnosis, it is suggested to seek medical help. These symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breathing slowing down
- Breathing irregularly
- Being in a confused state of mind
- Pale skin
- Unconsciousness and having blackouts
- Mood swings
- Loss of memory
Diagnosis of Alcohol Intoxication
The doctor will examine the person to determine the diagnosis of alcohol intoxication. The doctor may conduct blood and urine tests to check the level of alcohol present in the person's blood and assess other signs such as toxicity due to alcohol and low blood sugar.
With the help of family and friends, the doctor may also get the information about the person's medical life and recent events in his life.
Treatment of Alcohol Intoxication
Although there is no specific treatment for alcohol intoxication, it involves caring for and supporting the person. These treatments include:
- Monitoring the person carefully
- Preventing the problems of breathing and choking
- Preventing dehydration by supplying fluids to the body
- Oxygen therapy
- Preventing complications by using vitamins and glucose
In some cases, a person may need hemodialysis to remove the alcohol toxins from the bloodstream.