Alcohol misuse can make you more vulnerable to various physical and mental health conditions. Wet brain syndrome (WBS) is associated with long-term heavy drinking, although people can develop this condition even if they do not drink. WBS is caused by thiamine deficiency, which is common in people who drink excessively. How do you know if you struggle with WBS? Learn more about the symptoms to recognize WBS and get the help you need.
At Promises Brazos Valley, we believe in a whole-person approach to mental health and addiction treatment. When you enroll in treatment at our facility, you can be sure to receive a thorough assessment and comprehensive treatment plan to care for your mind, body, and spirit. Call us today at 979.426.0086 to learn how we can help you overcome alcohol use disorder (AUD) and address wet brain symptoms.
What Causes Wet Brain Syndrome?
Wet brain syndrome is a condition that results from thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1, an essential vitamin you must get through your diet. It is found in foods such as:
- Whole grains
- Fortified cereals
Thiamine plays a vital role in brain function by helping the body convert glucose into energy, which is necessary for mental functioning and overall health.
If you do not consume adequate thiamine in your diet, you are at a higher risk for WBS. You may also be more susceptible to thiamine deficiency if you have a medical condition that causes malnutrition or malabsorption. People who misuse alcohol are at a significantly higher risk of this condition since alcohol depletes the body of B vitamins and often correlates with malnutrition and malabsorption.
Common Signs of Wet Brain Syndrome
Recognizing the symptoms and signs of wet brain syndrome early on is crucial to prevent this condition from worsening. The earlier you catch it and get treatment, the more likely you can halt its progress and prevent symptoms from becoming permanent. Here are a few symptoms of wet brain to watch out for as you live your daily life.
Neuropathy is a disease of the nerves that causes pain and numbness in your extremities. It can also cause muscle weakness or paralysis if left untreated.
WBS can leave your brain swollen and inflamed. This can put pressure on your brain tissue, leading to many additional complications. In severe cases, brain inflammation—called encephalitis—can lead to coma or death.
Impaired Sense of Smell
Smell disturbance is a common symptom of WBS. It is also often one of the first signs of this condition.
Mental confusion, an inability to concentrate, and a lack of focus are the most noticeable symptoms of WBS since cognitive impairment is the primary component.
Tremors and Abnormal Eye Movements
Tremors, or rhythmic shaking of the hands, is another symptom of WBS. In addition, you may exhibit abnormal eye movements that include involuntary side-to-side or up-and-down movements.
Muscle Weakness or Paralysis
WBS can involve neuromuscular symptoms that affect the muscles, nerves, and brain. This can include weakness, paralysis, or muscle twitching. You may also experience a loss of coordination, making it more challenging to walk steadily.
Can Wet Brain Syndrome Be Reversed?
When wet brain syndrome first develops, the symptoms may be temporary. But time is of the essence when it comes to reversing this condition. When you notice WBS symptoms, getting a medical evaluation can help you address them early on. If you get treatment early enough, it is possible to reverse WBS.