November 8, 2007
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms And Why You Need Medical Help
Most people who give up alcohol suddenly end up experiencing mild to moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms as a result of the body reacting to the sudden withdrawal of something that it was used to or dependent on. The term alcohol withdrawal syndrome is used for describing the whole group of symptoms that occur as a result of sudden withdrawal from alcohol after a prolonged period of consumption.
Almost everybody who stops drinking after a long period of alcohol consumption or those who are heavy or frequent drinkers of alcohol will experience some or the entire varied group of alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Types of Symptoms
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from the mild and the moderate to the extreme and the severe. Therefore, it is generally advised that you consult a medical practitioner before giving up alcohol all of a sudden. This is because while you might get away with just a few mild and easily controllable symptoms, you might also end up suffering from severe ones, and nobody can predict how exactly an individual’s body will react to sudden withdrawal.
In case you are planning to or have already given up alcohol, then you might find yourself experiencing some mild or moderate physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Some of the moderate physical alcohol withdrawal symptoms are nausea, vomiting and headache, clammy or sweaty palms, a loss of appetite and sleep, palpitations or an increased heart rate, paleness, enlarged or dilated pupils, involuntary movement of the eyes and eyelids, shaking or shivering hands and excessive sweating.
Apart from these, a person giving up alcohol consumption also experiences a number of mild to moderate mental or psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Some of the most common alcohol withdrawal symptoms in this regard are states of nervousness or anxiety, mood swings, irritability and emotional volatility, feelings of fatigue, shakiness, depression, an inability to think clearly and cohesively and a series of nightmares or bad dreams.
Most of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms that are mentioned above can be easily treated with outpatient monitoring and medication. However, there are a number of severe withdrawal symptoms that require that the patient is admitted to a health facility and monitored and treated round the clock.
Some of the most common severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms are hallucinations, fevers, convulsions and constant agitation. A very severe symptom, known as delirium tremens is a state where a person keeps getting regular hallucinations and is in a confused state of mind. Some people also suffer from black outs, or periods of memory loss, where they are unable to recall about what happened during a certain period of time, especially when this relates to a drinking episode.
Most of the people suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, especially mild and moderate ones can be treated as outpatients, but there is a small percentage of people, especially those who suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms, who need to be treated in special alcohol rehab centers or hospitals. This is because they would require round the clock observation and attention because of the severity of their symptoms.
In case you or someone else close to you is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, then it is advised that you consult a medical practitioner as soon as possible. The practitioner will let you know about the severity of your alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and treat you accordingly. Most probably, you can be treated with some prescribed medication that you can take on your own, but in case the symptoms are severe then you would need to be admitted to a medical facility for treatment. Most people turn back to alcohol because they cannot bear the withdrawal symptoms; therefore it is imperative that a patient takes medical help with respect to his or her withdrawal symptoms so as not to fall back into the abyss of alcoholism.