Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

Why Alcoholics Are Never Hungry

In the U.S., more than 14 million adults suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Excluding accidents, over 35,000 people a year die from alcohol abuse.  

Do you have a loved one who abuses alcohol? You may notice he’s underweight or malnourished and is never hungry.  

Have you asked yourself, “why do alcoholics stop eating?” It’s an easy question with a complex answer.  

Symptoms of AUD vary depending on what stage of the disease a person is in. Read on for information about why some alcoholics stop eating.  

What Is AUD? 

AUD is any type of drinking that puts one’s health at risk. Some early symptoms of alcoholism or AUD include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Strong cravings or urges for alcohol 
  • Inability to stop drinking after one drink 
  • Withdrawal symptoms when the person hasn’t had a drink in a while 
  • Tolerance to alcohol that results in drinking higher amounts for the same effect 

Withdrawal symptoms include nausea, excessive sweating, and shakiness. If any of these symptoms apply to you, it’s possible you’ve got an alcohol abuse problem.  

If you or someone you know has AUD, check out the best rehab centers for drug and alcohol treatment.  

AUD, Appetite, and Nutrition 

Some people like a cocktail when they get home from work. But if the cocktail turns into two or more drinks, that’s turning into a problem. Some alcoholics suffer malnourishment because they prefer to drink instead of eating.  

Alcohol impairs nutrient absorption because it damages cells lining the stomach and intestines. The nutrients that do get absorbed can’t be fully used by the body. Alcohol also decreases digestive enzymes secreting from the pancreas.  

Over time, excessive alcohol intake causes vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These deficiencies lead to problems like night blindness and neurological damage.  

In addition to these problems, alcohol suppresses the appetite, which could be why many alcoholics suffer malnourishment.  

Alcohol and Calories 

Do you substitute alcohol for carbohydrates? If the answer is “yes,” then you’ll lose weight. That’s because alcohol has fewer calories, and the body burns alcohol calories faster than carb calories. 

The vitamin and nutrient deficiencies combined with less food consumption equals malnutrition.  

A person with AUD who’s also malnourished may have a sudden decrease in blood sugar when he ingests alcohol. This can cause serious and even fatal injuries.  

Many medical complications can result from the toxic combination of AUD and malnutrition. Liver disease, pancreatitis, and brain damage are a few.  

Were You Wondering “Why Do Alcoholics Stop Eating?” 

Were you wondering, “why do alcoholics stop eating?” Now you know – the answer is complex. 

Many alcoholics stop eating because they prefer drinking. Others become malnourished because excessive alcohol causes nutrient deficiencies.  

Some alcoholics stop eating because alcohol acts as an appetite suppressant. No matter why a person with AUD becomes malnourished, it’s important she stops consuming alcohol.  

It’s a rare alcoholic that can decrease consumption. Most alcoholics need total abstinence from alcohol to regain good mental and physical health.  

Interested in learning about more mental health resources? Keep reading our website. 

Mandy X

Photo by Suvir Singh on Unsplash