Can Alcoholism Cause Weight Loss?

Can Alcoholism Cause Weight Loss?

It is no secret that alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain. But what about weight loss? Can alcoholism cause weight loss?

The answer is yes, alcoholism can cause weight loss. While it is true that alcohol contains calories that can lead to weight gain, it is also a diuretic, which means it causes the body to lose water. This can lead to dehydration, which can in turn cause weight loss.

Alcoholism can also cause malnutrition. When someone is addicted to alcohol, they may not eat as much or as well as they should. This can lead to weight loss and other health problems.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, please reach out for help. There are many resources available to you.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines
alcoholism as a chronic, progressive disease that includes problems
controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to
drink even though it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same
effect (tolerance), or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease
or stop drinking. According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs and symptoms
of alcoholism include being able to drink more than intended, wanting to
cut down or stop drinking but not being able to, drinking alone, feeling
reluctant to admit you have a drinking problem, making certain you keep
alcohol in your home so you always have it on hand, and experiencing
blackouts. If you’re wondering if you might be an alcoholic, it’s important
to be honest with yourself and seek professional help.

So, can alcoholism cause weight loss? The short answer is yes, it can.

Weight loss is a common sign of alcoholism. Since alcohol is a calorie-dense liquid, frequent drinking can lead to a drastic reduction in calorie intake, resulting in weight loss. Additionally, alcoholics are often malnourished because they neglect to eat regular meals or only consume unhealthy foods. This too can contribute to weight loss.

Alcoholism can also lead to liver damage, which can further contribute to weight loss. The liver is responsible for metabolizing fat, so when it’s damaged, the body can’t properly process and store fat. This can lead to malnutrition and weight loss.

If you’re struggling with alcoholism, know that you’re not alone. There are many resources available to help you on your journey to recovery.

When you're ready, we're here to listen.

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Medically Reviewed By:

Robert Gerchalk

Robert is our health care professional reviewer of this website. He worked for many years in mental health and substance abuse facilities in Florida, as well as in home health (medical and psychiatric), and took care of people with medical and addictions problems at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

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