Explain Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a group of symptoms that individuals that have had an alcohol abuse problem for weeks, months or years could experience after they quit drinking. Individuals who only drink once in a while rarely have withdrawal signs and symptoms. Men and women who have experienced withdrawal in the past are actually much more likely to get withdrawal symptoms every time they stopped alcohol consumption. What are the signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome?

Symptoms might be extreme or mild, and may include:

Shakiness

Sweats

Anxiousness

Irritability

Fatigue

Melancholy

Headaches

Sleep loss

Nightmares

Lowered appetite

More severe withdrawal symptoms may also include high temperature, convulsions and delirium tremens (also called DTs). Individuals that have DTs may suffer from confusion, anxiousness and even hallucinations (seeing, feeling, or hearing things that aren't truly there). DTs can be extremely dangerous if they are not cared for by a medical professional.

Do individuals experiencing withdrawal should see a physician?

Yes. Your physician should know you're going through withdrawal so he or she can make certain it doesn't cause more serious health-related issues. If you experience withdrawal a number of times without getting the proper treatment, your symptoms may get worse each time. Even if your withdrawal symptoms don't seem that harmful, it's essential to see your medical professional. This is especially true for men and women that have had bad withdrawal symptoms before and people that have other health-related problems, like infections, cardiovascular disease, lung disease or a past history of seizures.

Individuals who quit using other drugs (like tobacco, injected drugs or cocaine) at the same time they stop drinking alcohol might have severe withdrawal problems. They should see a medical professional before they quit.

How can my physician help me if I'm in withdrawal?

Your medical professional can supply the encouragement you need to succeed in your efforts to stop drinking. She or he can monitor your withdrawal symptoms to help prevent more dangerous health problems.

Your physician can also prescribe medicines to manage the shakiness, anxiousness and confusion that can accompany alcohol withdrawal. If you take these medications at an early stage of the withdrawal, they could keep your symptoms from worsening.

What can my family and friends do to help me if I'm experiencing withdrawal?

The impulse to drink again during withdrawal can be extremely powerful. Encouragement from friends and family can help you resist that compulsion. After withdrawal signs and symptoms go away, it's important to join a treatment or sobriety program, such as alcoholics Anonymous (see contact information under "Other Organizations"). These programs can dispense the encouragement you should avoid relapse.

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Signs?

More extreme withdrawal signs and symptoms could also include fever, seizures and delirium tremens (also called DTs). If you go through withdrawal a number of times without getting the right treatment, your symptoms could get more severe each time. Even if your withdrawal symptoms don't seem that injurious, it's essential to see your physician. After withdrawal symptoms go away, it's important to join a treatment or sobriety program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

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