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Essential Things to Know About Alcohol Withdrawal

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better.

Essential Things to Know About Alcohol Withdrawal

Long-term heavy alcohol consumption causes your brain to adapt to the effects of alcohol. It is important to note that if you overindulge occasionally, you are unlikely to experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome. However, if you consume more than the recommended amount for weeks, months, or even years, withdrawal symptoms are more likely. Why? When you abruptly stop drinking, your nervous system goes into overdrive to compensate, resulting in withdrawal symptoms.

Mild Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Mild symptoms can last between 24 and 48 hours. If they do not make any progress during this time, the worst may be over. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

1. Anxiety

Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness are commonly the first symptoms to emerge. Women with alcohol use disorder consistently report more anxiety symptoms than men in the early stages of withdrawal. Withdrawal anxiety can feed the addiction cycle, driving you to seek out the next drink.

2. Loss of appetite

This can happen when alcohol causes stomach lining inflammation, which reduces hunger signals. Alcoholic hepatitis, a dangerous liver inflammation, can occur in some drinkers and can cause a loss of appetite.

3. Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of detoxification. You might also experience dry heaving without vomiting. If you are severely vomiting, you may require IV fluids to avoid dehydration.

4. Headaches

Headaches may occur in the early stages as a result of sensitization in certain neurons and cell receptors, as well as the release of chemicals associated with head pain. While there are no current treatments for alcohol withdrawal-related headaches, targeting these brain cell receptors could be a future treatment option.

5. Sweating

Because alcohol affects your central nervous system, circulatory system, and pretty much every other part of your body, it's no surprise that withdrawal can cause problems. Your autonomic nervous system, which controls your bodily functions involuntarily, can become overly excited, resulting in symptoms such as excessive sweating.

6. Rapid heart rate

A hyperactive autonomic system may cause heart palpitations in addition to sweating. A heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute is characterized as this.

7. Tremors

Another autonomic nervous system reaction to alcohol withdrawal. Tremors are most commonly felt in the hands, but they can occur anywhere in the body.

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8. Insomnia

Sleep disturbances are extremely common in the early stages of alcohol withdrawal and can last for several months, even if alcohol is not consumed.

Moderate to Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

hey may take some time to appear, but If you develop moderate or severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms these can include:

Seizures and hallucinations

Seizures can occur 6 to 48 hours after drinking is reduced or stopped, while hallucinations can occur 12 to 48 hours later. When a seizure lasts more than five minutes, or you have more than one seizure in a five-minute period and do not regain normal consciousness between episodes, about 3% of people develop status epileptics. This is a medical emergency because it can result in permanent brain damage.

Delirium tremens

Approximately half of all people who have a seizure while detoxing from alcohol will develop delirium tremens, a medical emergency that affects 3 to 5% of people with a history of alcohol abuse. Delirium tremens appear even later, between 48 and 96 hours after reducing alcohol consumption.


Quitting cold turkey is not the best option for heavy drinkers. If you or someone you know wants to quit drinking, it's best to do so under the supervision of a doctor. Inpatient treatment, which requires staying overnight at a facility, might be the safest option for those who are at risk of experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms can be treated in outpatient settings, which allow you to stay at home while visiting a treatment facility on a regular basis.

It is critical to weigh the pros and cons of the type of treatment with your family members and at the primary care clinic, particularly the costs and insurance coverage. If you do not have insurance, your doctor can help you find a facility or treatment program that provides financial aid, financing, or a sliding scale payment system in which you pay what you can based on your income.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Amelia Grant

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