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What Is Wet Brain?

Wet brain syndrome (WBS) is a severe health issue that often goes undiagnosed because its symptoms resemble other health conditions, and many people are unfamiliar with it. Various issues can cause WBS, but it is most often related to long-term alcohol misuse. If you or someone you know struggles with alcohol addiction along with cognitive impairment, loss of muscle coordination, or irregular eye movements, you may have WBS. Consult with a healthcare professional to get a proper diagnosis.

My 5 Palms can help determine if you struggle with WBS and develop a treatment plan to help your brain heal from the effects of alcohol misuse. Call us today at 1.844.675.1022 to discuss our treatment options, including our addiction therapy programs for alcohol use disorder (AUD).

What Is Wet Brain Syndrome?

Wet brain syndrome is often caused by chronic alcohol misuse, which is how it got its name. It is characterized by an inability to function normally because of damaged nerve cells in the brain. 

WBS is sometimes called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) because it consists of both Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s psychosis. Wernicke’s encephalopathy is responsible for mental confusion, loss of muscle coordination, and abnormal eye movements, while Korsakoff’s psychosis impairs one’s ability to learn and recall information.

The root cause of wet brain syndrome is a vitamin B1 or thiamine deficiency. People who drink excessively often have vitamin B deficiencies since alcohol depletes these from your system. However, those with malnutrition or malabsorption issues are also susceptible to thiamine deficiency. 

What Are the Signs of Wet Brain Syndrome?

People struggling with wet brain syndrome may experience changes in behavior and personality. For example, they may:

  • Become more withdrawn and isolated
  • Have difficulty with memory and concentration
  • Struggle with problem-solving
  • Become more impulsive
  • Become more irritable and aggressive
  • Experience increased anxiety or depression
  • Have trouble communicating their thoughts and feelings because they cannot express themselves clearly

These symptoms can seem similar to other health conditions, so it is crucial to get a professional evaluation to determine the cause.

Treatment for Wet Brain Syndrome

There are several treatment methods for addressing wet brain syndrome, although treatment may differ slightly when alcohol use disorder is present. The goal is to minimize and potentially reverse symptoms and prevent them from recurring, requiring abstinence from alcohol. To help you heal from WBS, your treatment plan may include the following.

Thiamine Supplementation

Since low thiamine levels are at the core of this condition, your provider will likely want to implement high-dose thiamine supplementation. This is often done intravenously but could also be provided orally.

Nutritional Intervention

If your treatment team includes a nutrition counselor, you may receive counseling regarding the diet most beneficial for wet brain and alcohol addiction recovery. Adding foods rich in thiamine to your daily diet can help counteract vitamin B1 deficiency. Some of the top sources of thiamine include:

  • Pork
  • Liver
  • Salmon
  • Fortified cereals
  • Black beans
  • Whole grain bread and pasta

Your care team may also recommend taking thiamine supplements to ensure you consume adequate amounts of this essential vitamin.


Medications can help manage symptoms of wet brain syndrome. You may receive a combination of one or more of the following:

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Mood stabilizers

Additionally, you may receive medications to address alcohol cravings and deter alcohol consumption.

Find Treatment for Wet Brain Syndrome and Alcohol Addiction in Florida at My 5 Palms

At My 5 Palms, we believe in a whole-person approach to overcoming alcohol use disorder and its co-occurring health conditions. If you struggle with AUD and symptoms of wet brain syndrome, our addiction therapy programs can address the underlying contributors to self-medication. Contact My 5 Palms today at 1.844.675.1022 to learn more about our AUD treatment in Florida.

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