The Seriousness of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol withdrawal is a serious medical condition that occurs when people stop drinking alcohol suddenly.
Alcohol withdrawals can happen within the first few days of stopping, or they might not be noticeable until much later on.
Even though you may think that you can simply shake off a hangover, an evening out, or a few beers as soon as enough alcohol no longer affects you, this is not the case with alcohol withdrawal.
People who drink heavily are more likely to experience difficulties with alcohol withdrawal because their bodies process and detoxify alcohol more slowly than those who do not drink heavily.
What to Look For and When to See a Doctor
When you stop drinking suddenly, it can have a significant impact on your body’s ability to process and eliminate alcohol from your system.
In addition, abruptly stopping drinking also removes the pleasurable effects that it has had over time; therefore, it can cause psychological withdrawal symptoms too.
The severity of these symptoms depends on your level of dependence on alcohol as well as how long you have been drinking before stopping.
The following article explores what you need to know about what happens when you abruptly quit drinking and how to manage any potential alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
What is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome (AWS)?
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) is the general term used to describe the symptoms that can occur when someone stops drinking alcohol. Individuals might experience a variety of different symptoms, such as aggression, mood swings, headache, severe vomiting and hallucinations. The following article discusses what can happen to your body when you stop drinking alcohol and how to manage these symptoms if they arise.
Causes of Alcohol Withdrawal
The most common cause of alcohol withdrawal is when people stop drinking after consuming large amounts.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms typically begin with a headache, and they can progress to a variety of other symptoms that vary depending on the person’s level of dependence on alcohol.
Oddly, and unfortunately, most symptoms are relieved by drinking more alcohol or taking medications for them such as anti-convulsants.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be classified into two types: physical and psychological.
Physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include irregular heart rate; sweating; anxiety; nausea; insomnia; tremors, shaking, or twitches of the limbs; hallucinations, hearing sounds that are not there; and seizures.
Psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include delirium tremens (DT’s), hyperactivity, aggression, psychosis, and depression. It is important to note that these psychological symptoms may not occur for a few days after stopping drinking.
Treatments for Alcohol Withdrawal
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol withdrawal is a serious medical condition. It can be treated with a variety of medications, such as benzodiazepines or opioid painkillers.
Additionally, people experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms may find relief from using gabapentin and other anticonvulsant drugs.
Risk Factors for DT’s and Seizures
If you’re going to stop drinking, then it’s important to know what the risks are.
Some risk factors for DT’s and seizures include:
– Heavy drinkers who have not been drinking for a long time
– A person with a pre-existing health condition
– A person with a history of alcohol use disorder
– A person who has been drinking heavily but have not yet experienced DT’s or seizures