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Physical Symptoms of the Final Stages of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a disease with three stages: early, middle and end. The early and middle stages are generally characterised by certain physical changes which are most frequently able to be concealed by the alcoholic (like increased tolerance). The end stage of alcoholism has unique characteristics.

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The end stage is often referred to as the deteriorative stage since it is largely characterised by symptoms caused by alcohol's damaging and toxic effects on the body of the alcoholic.

Psychological Symptoms

End-stage alcoholics are often confused, irrational and delusional. Another part of the psychology of end-stage alcoholism includes denial.


Alcoholics experience denial very strongly and it is a driving force of addiction. If an alcoholic were to face the problem, she would seek help when faced with the additional health problems associated with the disease.

Medical Symptoms

Organ damage caused by alcohol abuse causes decreased immunity to illness and medical conditions like fatty liver, cirrhosis, hepatitis, respiratory infections, heart failure, pancreatitis and brain damage.


Malnutrition affects every alcoholic since large quantities of alcohol interferes with the body's digestion and nutrient absorption.

Additional Information

In the end stage, the alcoholic is very focused on drinking and it is apparent to those surrounding the alcoholic that there is a problem. If the alcoholic continues drinking alcohol, he will likely die either from health complications, injury or suicide.

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About the Author

Caryn Anderson combines extensive behind-the-scenes writing experience with her passion for all things food, fashion, garden and travel. Bitten by the travel bug at the age of 15 after a trip to Europe, Anderson fostered her love of style and fashion while living in New York City and earning her degree at New York University.

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