Women health

 How to regain memory after drinking

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause memory loss whether it occurs over a single night or over a period of years. This could involve having trouble remembering recent experiences or even a whole night. Dementia, often known as dementia, can result from it.

Alcohol impacts the brain and memory in a number of different ways, according to doctors. Both short-range and long memory loss can occur in alcohol abusers and binge drinkers.

According to a 2013 study, the brains of 78 percent of those with AUD are thought to alter.

Continue reading to find out how and why drinking alcohol can impact both short- and long-term memory.

Memory loss and alcohol

A person's memory can be impacted by alcohol in a number of different ways, according to doctors. Among them are the bellows:

Bad memory

Whenever they consume excessive amounts of alcohol, some people have what medical professionals refer to as a blackout, which causes them to forget important details.

These occurrences can be minor—like forgetting where you put your keys—or major—like forgetting what happened last night. So according to Duke University, the inability to recall anything from a night out typically happens after a person has consumed five or more drinks.

Alcohol impairs short-term memory by sluggishly neuronal communication in the hippocampus, a region of the brain.

When it comes to creating and keeping memories, the hippocampus is crucial. Short-term memory loss can happen when regular nerve activity slows down.

Loss of long-term memory

Excessive alcohol consumption can harm the hippocampus as well as slow it down. Nerve cells can be ruined by alcohol. Both short-term and long-term memory issues resulting from this.

Additionally, excessive alcohol consumers frequently lack vitamin B-1, sometimes known as thiamine. This vitamin is essential for giving brain and nerve cells energy.

The body utilizes thiamine less effectively when you drink alcohol. Additionally, thiamine may be impacted in the following areas:

People who drink may not consume a balanced diet and may be deficient in important nutrients.

Alcohol consumption that is too high might irritate the stomach lining, which has an impact on how well nutrients are absorbed.

Vomiting from excessive alcohol use might prevent the stomach and intestines from absorbing nutrients.

Dementia is a chronic and persistent kind of memory loss that is brought on by thiamine shortage.

Elderly people

These same short- and long-term impacts of alcohol usage on the brain are more pronounced in older people.

Alcohol increases a person's sensitivity as they get older. Additionally, because of a slowed metabolism, alcohol lingers in the body for longer.

Progressive degradation of the hippocampus's cells is another common occurrence in the elderly. Typically, it doesn't get bad enough to trigger dementia symptoms. However, memory loss can become very significant when the effects of heavy alcohol consumption are added.

A form of dementia called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) is connected to severe alcohol consumption. Memory lapses are caused by this disorder. In order to stop this illness from getting worse, a person must typically quit drinking and increase their food intake.

According to Massachusetts General Hospital, the symptoms of long-term memory loss are often linked to consuming at least 21 beers per week for at least 4 years.

In addition to improvements, older individuals typically consume more prescription drugs than younger individuals. Alcohol and certain drugs could interact, making symptoms worse.

Due to the change in eyesight, spatial awareness, and bone health, older persons are also more susceptible to injuries from falls. Since alcohol can impair judgment and perception, it can increase the likelihood of their falling. A fall could hurt them and have an impact on their memory.


Several of alcohol's effects on memory are obvious; for example, you can wake up after a night of drinking with a bruise that you don't remember obtaining or with no memory of the preceding events of the night. Some impacts are less obvious.

You could be suffering from short-term memory loss brought on by heavy drinking if you can relate to any of the following signs:

  1. You were allegedly involved in a recent conversation regarding an event, but you can't place the dialogue in your memory.
  2. You feel constantly lost or puzzled about your location.
  3. You have difficulties focusing.
  4. People frequently recount actions you took while drinking that you cannot remember.
  5. While intoxicated, you've run into difficulty with family members or the police but don't entirely recall what happened.
  6. This can be challenging to determine whether a loved one has a drinking issue. You can wonder if their symptoms are related to being older if they are older.
  7. People may exhibit the following signs of alcohol-related long-term memory loss:
  8. They fabricate short tales to fill in memory gaps, a condition is known as confabulation. Some persons with illnesses like WKS might act in this manner.
  9. There are observable personality changes happening to them. This could involve appearing more reclusive, impatient, or even angry.
  10. They typically ask the same thing repeatedly without giving any indication that they remember asking it before.
  11. They have trouble picking up new skills, like playing games. This may indicate recent memory issues.

Once you're concerned that a loved one's drinking is harming their health, it can be difficult to know how to respond to them. Consider speaking with their healthcare physician or using the tools provided below if you are unsure about where to start.


There isn't much you could do to remember an incident from the previous night if you have trouble recalling it. There are instances when a certain odor, phrase, or image may come to mind, but you cannot make a memory come back.

People whose alcohol consumption impairs their memory and framework that meets, however, can receive treatment. These consist of:

thiamine intravenously (IV) or as a dietary supplement. According to a reliable source, taking thiamine supplements can help with the symptoms of WKS, which are brought on by a thiamine deficit.

getting help for an alcohol consumption disorder. A person experiencing alcohol withdrawal may experience symptoms that range from minor, like nausea and vomiting, to severe and potentially fatal, including a racing heart, confusion, and extremely high body temperature. You are more likely to have potentially fatal repercussions the more times you have abstained from drinking. To safely withdraw, you might need hospital treatment.

taking particular drugs. suggests that memantine, a drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease, may also be effective in treating other forms of dementia, like dementia brought on by alcohol.

Eliminating alcohol from the equation will prevent short-term memory loss. Avoiding alcohol can help slow the progression of dementia.

Changes in lifestyle

It's crucial to note that most academics and medical professionals have discovered that alcohol ingested in moderation — one to 2 drinks for men and one for women — usually has no negative effects on memory.

Regular alcohol usage, which is classified as one to two drinks a few days a week, did not increase the risk of dementia, according to a large-scale study that tracked people for 27 years.

This study reveals that drinking in balance is the best course of action to safeguard your memory (that is if you choose to drink).

There isn't always a safe or reasonable amount of alcohol ingested by daily heavy drinkers.

  1. If you have been told to stop drinking by your doctor
  2. fully, it's critical to heed their guidance. In addition, they
  3. suggest a program to assist you with quitting.

The following are some strategies to keep alcohol out of your house:

  1. Alcohol-containing products, such as cough syrups, should all be thrown away.
  2. Inform your loved ones' friends and family that they shouldn't bring or buy alcohol for you or them.
  3. Request that delivery services or supermarket stores do not bring alcohol into your house.

If they want to satisfy their alcohol cravings, some people may discover that they can drink nonalcoholic wine or beer.

How to seek help

There is assistance available if you or a loved one is abusing alcohol to the point where it is impairing your memory and general health. Start with the following:

  1. Consult your family physician. If you drink frequently, you might require medical assistance when you chose to stop drinking in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms that could be very uncomfortable. Your doctor might advise that you get assistance by being admitted to a hospital or alcohol treatment center.
  2. Locate an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in your area. Numerous people have stayed sober thanks to these free meetings.
  3. If you think you need assistance, talk to your friends or family and let them know. Their assistance can enable you to survive.

Never ever be embarrassed or scared to ask for assistance. These actions may help you live.

The conclusion

Excessive alcohol use can impair memory. People who take it frequently over an extended period of time run the risk of developing several memory-related health issues.

Consult a doctor or dial the SAMHSA National Helpline if you or a loved one regularly binge drinks or has an alcohol addiction.

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