Diagnosis Code K70.1
Information for Patients
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Also called: Alcohol dependence
For most adults, moderate alcohol use is probably not harmful. However, about 18 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder. This means that their drinking causes distress and harm. It includes alcoholism and alcohol abuse.
Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a disease that causes
- Craving - a strong need to drink
- Loss of control - not being able to stop drinking once you've started
- Physical dependence - withdrawal symptoms
- Tolerance - the need to drink more alcohol to feel the same effect
With alcohol abuse, you are not physically dependent, but you still have a serious problem. The drinking may cause problems at home, work, or school. It may cause you to put yourself in dangerous situations, or lead to legal or social problems.
Another common problem is binge drinking. It is drinking about five or more drinks in two hours for men. For women, it is about four or more drinks in two hours.
Too much alcohol is dangerous. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers. It can cause damage to the liver, brain, and other organs. Drinking during pregnancy can harm your baby. Alcohol also increases the risk of death from car crashes, injuries, homicide, and suicide.
If you want to stop drinking, there is help. Start by talking to your health care provider. Treatment may include medicines, counseling, and support groups.
NIH: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- Alcohol use disorder
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Alcoholic ketoacidosis
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Alcoholic neuropathy
- Deciding to quit drinking alcohol
- Health risks of alcohol use
- Helping a loved one with a drinking problem
- When you are drinking too much - tips for cutting back
Also called: Viral hepatitis
Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.
Viruses cause most cases of hepatitis. The type of hepatitis is named for the virus that causes it; for example, hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Drug or alcohol use can also cause hepatitis. In other cases, your body mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the liver.
Some people who have hepatitis have no symptoms. Others may have
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dark-colored urine and pale bowel movements
- Stomach pain
- Jaundice, yellowing of skin and eyes
Some forms of hepatitis are mild, and others can be serious. Some can lead to scarring, called cirrhosis, or to liver cancer.
Sometimes hepatitis goes away by itself. If it does not, it can be treated with drugs. Sometimes hepatitis lasts a lifetime. Vaccines can help prevent some viral forms.
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Drug-induced hepatitis
- Viral Hepatitis: A through E and Beyond - NIH (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)