June 4, 2010
Dealing With Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol withdrawal typically occurs when a person who has been drinking for a long duration or a person who drinks frequently or drinks heavily suddenly stops drinking. Not all who stop drinking suffer from alcohol withdrawal and some may even get away with mild and moderate symptoms that can be overcome with a healthy diet and sufficient doses of vitamins. It is the people who suffer from severe symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal who may require medical attention and sometimes hospitalization.
A frequent heavy drinker will suffer from withdrawal symptoms in about 6-10 hours post the last consumption of alcohol. These symptoms peak within 2 to 3 days of alcohol withdrawal and last for more than a week. Symptoms may also become aggravated if the person suffers from other medical disorders.
Mild to moderate symptoms include nervousness, anxiety, shakiness, fluctuations in emotions, lack of clarity in though, bad dreams, sweating, nausea sometimes accompanied with vomiting, insomnia and abnormality in the movement of eyes. The most common symptom of people suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal is DT or Delirium tremens where the person?s mental state is in chaos and confusion and the person also suffers from hallucinations. Other symptoms of severe alcohol withdrawal include seizures or convulsions and high body temperature.
If any of your acquaintances is a heavy drinker and has decided to go cold turkey, immediately bring it to the notice of his or her regular medical practitioner. Sometimes severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can lead to other medical conditions that can even become life threatening. By bringing in the doctor, one can ensure there are no other complications. A person who has admitted to the hospital post alcohol withdrawal may have to stay for a few days under observation.
The doctor may observe the patient for any alarming changes in his or her blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, body temperature and fluid levels. Sometimes, based on the physical conditions of the person suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, medications are also given intravenously. The person is also thoroughly examined for diseases and disorders associated with consumption of alcohol such as liver, blood clots, heart, brain and nerve damage. There are many cases where the person suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms is not necessarily hospitalized but may be prescribed moderate doses of sedatives.
Apart from all the above physiological and psychological symptoms, the person suffering from alcohol withdrawal may also suffer from “cravings” for alcohol. This is normal as the body has been so accustomed to the consumption of alcohol, it demands more. It is finally the will and determination of the person and the support of the person?s family and friends that can strengthen his or her fight with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.