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5 Symptoms of Wet Brain You Shouldn’t Ignore

Are you familiar with the term “wet brain”? Wet brain syndrome is the lay term for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a severe medical condition that is sometimes caused by age, poor diet, and other medical issues. Abusing ethanol or common drinking alcohol is also a factor seen in wet brain syndrome. 

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a combination of two different disease processes, Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff, which eventually lead to wet brain syndrome, a combined list of neurological symptoms sometimes associated with alcohol abuse. 

No matter which name you call it, the problems associated with this grave condition can be debilitating even before they become deadly. For instance, ingesting excess amounts of alcohol leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies from lack of nutrition over time and poor absorption. In this instance, the lack of thiamine, or vitamin B1, leads to mental and physical ailments that can quickly take a toll. Here are five wet brain symptoms you shouldn’t ignore. 

1. Unusual Eye Movements

The eyes sometimes develop drooping lids in the first stages of wet brain syndrome. Vision is possibly affected by problems such as diplopia or double vision, which occurs when viewing a single object as two distinct images. This can affect either one or both eyes but is typically bilateral. 

2. Clumsiness

Being excessively clumsy sometimes indicates that something neurologically is very wrong. Also known as ataxia, it is a neurological sign that appears to be off balance and causes a lack of coordination. Often, someone with ataxia will have difficulty with an unsteady gait, tripping, or falling. For some, problems with fine motor skills, such as eating or dressing, become problematic. 

3. Confusion

Someone with wet brain symptoms could suffer from confusion, making life difficult. Slurring or incoherent speech is a common symptom of confusion, as is the inability to follow along with or converse with others. Confusion often comes along with personality changes and odd behaviors. Sudden mood swings are common.   People with this disorder frequently fill their memory gaps with seemingly plausible stories to make sense of their world. 

4. Cardiac Symptoms

Frequently, cardiac issues are associated with wet brain symptoms. Thiamine or vitamin B1 deficiency affects the cardiac and circulatory systems. Chest pain, blood pressure issues, and changes in heart rate are common symptoms. Fatigue and drowsiness are often reported symptoms of cardiac problems spurred on by alcohol-related illnesses.

5. Irregular Body Temperature  

Your autonomic nervous system regulates body temperature by coordinating signals between your body and brain. Damage by nutritional deficiencies due to alcoholism contributes to wet brain syndrome, including the inability to maintain average body temperature, sometimes resulting in hypothermia. 

Often Confused Symptoms

The symptoms of wet brain syndrome are common to many neurologically based illnesses. Due to the commonality of the indicators, confusion, weakness, and memory loss are often attributed to other diseases. Professionals in the medical and rehabilitation community are trained to recognize wet brain symptoms and rapidly begin treatment with alcohol cessation and nutritional support.  

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