Physical Exam for Alcohol Use Problems
During a physical exam, your doctor will check you for signs of
alcohol use problems. Your doctor will:
- Check your blood pressure.
- Listen to
- Examine your belly for an enlarged or tender
- Check to see whether your hands shake when you hold them out
in front of you.
- Check your skin for changes that might be related
to alcohol use over time, such as redness in your palms, tiny red dots from
which small blood vessels radiate (spider veins), or a skin condition similar
to acne (rosacea).
If your doctor thinks that you are under the influence of alcohol
during the exam, he or she will:
- Smell your breath to see whether it smells like
alcohol. Your doctor might test your breath for alcohol (breath
- Check your balance by asking you to stand with your eyes
closed and walk placing your heels directly in front of your
- Check your thinking and problem-solving ability by asking
questions or having you solve math problems.
- Draw a sample of your
blood for certain laboratory tests (such as liver function).
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction|
|Last Revised||January 18, 2012|