Is alcohol addiction hereditary?
Scientists have found out that alcohol addiction or addictive behavior in general is actually hereditary to a certain degree. It is said that there is a gene that is particularly related to alcoholism. This is the CRHR1 gene.
There is a mutation of this gene in some people in the population, which means that although alcohol is not consumed more often, the amount is much higher when people resort to alcohol. This means, for example, that one person drinks 1 bottle of beer and the other person drinks 2 or 3 bottles of beer at the same time. Most importantly, the gene is related to stress and how people cope with stress. People who carry the mutation in them need more alcohol, or alcohol in general, to cope with stress better.
The most important symptom is undoubtedly the fact that your whole life revolves around alcohol. Because of this symptom many other areas of life are severely neglected. Above all, social contacts can be maintained less and less.
Numerous organic damages can become noticeable, but often only after years. These are mainly liver damage, but the pancreas is also often affected. Many types of cancer also occur and cardiovascular diseases can occur.
If people drink too much alcohol over a very long period of their lives, they often suffer mental damage. External characteristics that indicate alcohol abuse are, for example, the weight loss that many alcohol addicts experience. In addition, the skin gets worse and worse and trembles and excessive sweating.
Many of those affected also complain of gastrointestinal complaints. These people often become downright lapsed, because with increasing consumption they are often no longer able to ensure adequate personal hygiene. In the social sphere, alcoholics are increasingly losing touch with friends and family, and hardly ever pursue any hobbies or contacts.
The trend is more and more towards isolation. In addition, there are often separations from the partner and loss of employment. These are factors which certainly intensify the illness.
It is also noticeable that alcohol addicts usually tolerate much more than everyone else. They also tend not to recognise their problem and to trivialise the situation. In addition to all these symptoms, there are also psychological symptoms such as depression or personality disorders, etc. The disease is characterized by mental suffering.
An alcoholic person is not always immediately recognizable. Some people, especially women, can hide their illness very well. Nevertheless, many people smell the familiar “flag” – the characteristic bad breath – of alcohol.
In addition, the skin usually gets worse and worse and people often lose a lot of weight. You may not really notice the organic damage until later or even never. They are also often very restless and sweat easily.
They also change socially and in terms of behaviour. Alcoholics often withdraw more and more and lose contact with their social environment. Life revolves around alcohol.
You can always find something alcoholic to drink near them. If you try to communicate your concerns, they react sensitively and trivialize the situation. In addition, the threshold of irritation is often very low.