Person worried about wet brain symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Wet Brain?

While wet brain symptoms mimic simple intoxication, web brain syndrome (WBS) can lead to irreversible neural damage and even death if not treated in time. The fundamental way to distinguish WBS, formally called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, from ordinary intoxication is to look for symptoms even when sober. If you or a loved one might be contending with this severe condition, get help immediately. For more information on alcohol detox in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, contact Recovery Ranch PA. We’re available at 717.969.9126 or online and look forward to connecting with you.

What Are the Signs of Wet Brain Syndrome? 

Wet brain syndrome results from a vitamin B1 or thiamine deficit. The body doesn’t produce this essential micronutrient, so people must consume it in food. It’s possible to develop WBS in other ways than alcohol abuse, but prolonged heavy drinking is the most common underlying cause. Those who drink heavily often neglect their diet and thus fail to consume sufficient vitamin B1. Alcohol likewise toxifies the gastrointestinal (GI) tract making the intestines less effective at absorbing vital nutrients such as B1. It also makes it more difficult for the body to use thiamine effectively and causes too much of the vitamin to be expelled in urine. 

WBS is a composite of two conditions: Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Krosakoff’s psychosis. 

Wernicke’s Encephalopathy Symptoms

Here are a few symptoms to look for in identifying Wernicke’s encephalopathy:

  • Reduced muscular coordination, which may include leg tremors
  • Confusion and reduced mental activity 
  • Disordered eye movement or vision issues like drooping eyelids or double vision
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

This condition is a temporary neurological disorder caused by swelling in the brain. 

Krosakoff’s Psychosis Symptoms

If Krosakoff’s syndrome has also developed, symptoms include: 

  • Difficulty making new memories
  • Memory loss, which may be very severe
  • Confabulation, or making up stories to account for gaps in memory
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations 
  • Mood or behavior changes like increased frustration, resistance, or lying 

This condition resembles dementia and often follows or co-occurs with Wernicke’s encephalopathy. Sadly, when this latter portion of WBS is present, full recovery becomes much less likely. This is because Krosakoff’s psychosis results from damage to the thalamus and hypothalamus, brain regions strongly related to memory.  

How Does Wet Brain Syndrome Treatment Work? 

Doctors will first prescribe intensive vitamin B1 supplementation to treat wet brain syndrome. The vitamin is often injected into a vein in the hand for easy uptake by the body. Creating a healthy and balanced diet going forward is likewise essential to ensure the patient receives adequate B1 in the future. 

In cases where wet brain symptoms were brought on by heavy drinking, it’s also essential for patients to receive alcohol detox and treatment. Patients must remain sober following this as well for optimal recovery outcomes. A formal treatment program, whether inpatient or outpatient, may be necessary for patients with wet brain syndrome to achieve lasting sobriety. 

In this context, they can benefit from several vital interventions. First, they’ll receive medically monitored detox. Here, a doctor will consistently track their vitals and pain levels throughout the withdrawal process. This is important because alcohol withdrawal can be painful or even dangerous when a severe physical addiction occurs. The benefit of a doctor’s care is thus a game-changer for many in treatment. 

Following detox, patients typically receive individual counseling. This helps them address the root causes of their substance abuse, identify any underlying mental illness, and learn coping skills for managing their triggers. Group therapy, such as 12-Step programs or other formats providing peer support and accountability, is also essential for many patients. 

Find Wet Brain Syndrome Treatment at Recovery Ranch PA 

If you or your loved one is living with wet brain symptoms, don’t wait another minute to get help. The sooner professionals can diagnose this disease, the better your recovery outcomes. Suppose you have questions about the signs of wet brain syndrome or want to discuss other issues related to substance abuse and mental health treatment in Wrightsville, PA. For cases like this, contact Recovery Ranch PA today at 717.969.9126 or reach out online to learn more about what our caring and compassionate staff can do to help you or your loved one.

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