Alcohol consumption is one of the many leisure activities that various people across the globe, undertake to get wind off from a busy working day, or just on holiday vacations.
Moderation in drinking of alcohol is however sensitized, by various watch groups, health activists and medical practitioners, as over drinking, abuse or dependence presents a major health risk for individuals.
The scope of problems towards alcohol dependence varies depending, on the alcoholic history of the person. Alcoholism in addition, presents high prevalence’s of mortality and morbidity particularly when it generates, to become chronic.
Moreover, alcoholics are twice more likely to visit their primary care providers in contrast to non-alcoholic’s, for problems or complications emanating from use of alcohol.
Problems caused by alcohol have the potential to disrupt an individual’s life in areas such as financial, health, social, emotional, school or wok environments’. Health problems in alcohol intake can be illustrated in both short-term effects and long term effects. Short term effects will generally encompass stomach upsets, headaches, diarrhoea, and lack of judgement, vomiting and insomnia.
Long term effects are caused by abuse or dependent of alcohol, and the situation can be severe even leading to death. Consequences of abuse can comprise of heart disease problems such as irregular heartbeat, cancer, liver problems, infections, malnutrition, mental disorders, and instances of impotence for men.
The situation can be problematic for women and especially, those who are pregnant because it can result to the likelihood of miscarriages or babies born with low birth weight.
Despite the health problems caused by alcoholism it also a primary contributor to violent behaviour and risks of accidents. Alcoholism is a social problem and therefore requires the community, social support groups and medical practitioners, to help individuals struggling with alcohol addiction to live a better life and transform from dependence to independence.
The aim of this study is to discuss health and alcoholic problems, through a case study of an individual having abdominal pains with an alcoholic background, and how through assessments the patient can be advised on his diagnosed problem.
Justin is a forty year old white male Caucasian, who is married and has two children who are both in middle school. His wife Anna is a sales representative for a design corporation while he works as a construction engineer in the local town.
Both earn a decent living which has enabled them to buy their own home, and support their children education. English is the primary language spoken at home as they help their two sons in school work and assignments.
The children have been able to integrate into the local community, making friends both at home and school. Reports by their teachers indicate that they are performing exceptionally well.
Justin plays a major role in the town by ensuring that buildings are constructed, in accordance to all regulations and his work has seen through development of the town’s infrastructure.
Moreover, he is a respected man in the community with individuals’ enquiring for his advice of construction matters. However, things have been always smooth in his relationship with Anna. She is constantly out of town for business, and when she returns there are usually domestic arguments.
This rocky relationship has pushed Justin back to his old lifestyle of drinking alcohol which started, when he was in college. He had abstained temporarily but with the recent trends, he went back to drinking consuming six to ten beers several times in a week (Kleber, 2007 p.225).
Consequently, this has affected his working performance and relationships with people. Anna has become concerned with Justin’s change of attitude, and is willing to make things work out. Justin reported to his primary doctor after experiencing abdominal pains, which were constant when he consumed alcohol worried about his health condition.
Abdominal pains in most cases are common with aspects of indigestion, cramps or food poisoning and can be regarded inconsequential, and treated with over the counter drugs from a local drugs store. However, persistent, severe and acute abdominal pains are usually a sign of an underlying major problem such as an intra-abdominal disease (Rosito, 2007 p.482).
In such cases like Justin’s, pathophysiology of the pain needs immediate attention from a nurse, in the primary health centre. History of the present illness would aid in the diagnosis of the particular pain location, other associated symptoms and concomitant symptoms like nausea, diarrhoea or vomiting.
Evaluation of Justin’s past medical history in assessments would help the nurse ascertain, the cause of abdominal pains he is experiencing. Consequently, with the nurses’ evaluation with the history of current illness Justin reported that the onset of the symptoms began three days ago, with the abdominal pain emanating from the middle abdomen.
More so the pain is sharp like a knife which radiates through his back, with the pain persisting on a scale of ten, causing great pain and discomfort (Sandholzer, 2006 p.35).
Asked whether he experiences concomitant symptoms, he responds with instances of vomiting and nausea. Additionally, more evaluation comes back where there is no blood observed in stool, with alleviating factors lying on the side coupled with drinking and eating aggravating factors. Justin admitted consuming six to ten beers severally in a week, and also having a past attack of pancreatitis a year ago from booze, but did not take any medication.
With Justin’s history evaluated, a physical exam was essential to determine the suspicions of a pancreatic case. In this respect, the nurse listened over his abdomen with a stethoscope where sound was decreased, palpitation of the abdomen in determining the complaints of middle abdomen pain, rectal examination and rebound tenderness from his abdomen that was noticeable.
A computed tomography (CT) scan to the pelvis and abdomen would detail the patient’s pain suspicion for chronic pancreatitis (Casas, 2004 p.570).
The conclusion from the past history illness assessment, physical and psycho-social assessment, would entail the nurse to adopt a supportive role and communication in presenting the results to Justin, and show care for his general discomfort and pain. Consequently, the elicited rebound tenderness of Justin’s abdomen indicates a sign of pancreatitis, which has been draping him.
Diagnosis from the physical findings indicates a case of complicated pancreatitis, where the alcohol assessment for Justin’s history indicates that it has been a risk factor, leading to his present ailments.
Moreover, from the work up through CT scans, blood work, and hospital admissions lead to the prognosis that Justin is suffering from a serious condition of pancreatitis. Given his high blood pressure and heart close to 115 beats per minute and high temperature, a general view of pancreatitis can be drawn from these deductions.