alcohol

Oesophageal Varices

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Develop secondary to portal hypertension.
  • Found in 50% of patients with cirrhosis.
  • One-third of patients with varices develop upper gastrointestinal bleeding. 
  • Diagnosis established by upper endoscopy.

General Considerations

Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome

The Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is an uncommon brain disorder, almost always related to malnutrition, that occurs in chronic alcohol dependence. It may also occasionally occur in cancer.

Causes

Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome results from a deficiency of thiamine (Vitamin B1), which affects the brain and nervous system.

Alcohol Related Disorders

Alcohol-related disorders are a wide variety of physical and mental disorders associated with heavy, prolonged consumption of alcohol.

High alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, tongue, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice-box), and oesophagus (gullet), especially if combined with smoking. Incidence of liver diseases, such as liver cancer, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis, is higher in alcohol-dependent persons. High consumption of alcohol increases the risk of cardiomyopathy (disease of heart muscle), hypertension (high blood pressure), and stroke.

Alcohol

After caffeine, ethanol is the most commonly used recreational drug worldwide. Alcohol is synonymous with ethanol, and drinking often describes the consumption of beverages containing ethanol. In the United Kingdom (UK), a unit of alcohol (standard alcoholic drink; Table 1) contains 8 g of ethanol (ethyl alcohol). The Department of Health, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), and several of the medical Royal Colleges in the UK have recommended sensible limits for alcohol intake based on these units of alcohol.

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