Getting Through Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Once they stop drinking, alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms that men and women who have had an alcohol abuse issue for weeks, months or years may experience. Men and women who only drink once in a while rarely have withdrawal symptoms. People that have experienced withdrawal in the past are actually much more likely to have withdrawal signs and symptoms each time they stopped alcohol consumption. What are the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome?

Signs and symptoms could be extreme or moderate, and could include:

Shakiness Perspiring Anxiousness Irritability Tiredness Melancholy Headaches Insomnia Nightmares Reduced appetite

More extreme withdrawal symptoms could also include fever, convulsions and delirium tremens (also called DTs). People who have DTs may experience mental confusion, nervousness and even hallucinations (hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not actually there). DTs can be profoundly serious if they aren't treated by a medical professional.

Do individuals going through withdrawal need to see a doctor?

Yes. Your medical professional should know you're going through withdrawal so he or she can make sure it does not trigger more serious health-related problems. Your signs and symptoms may worsen each time if you go through withdrawal a number of times without getting the appropriate treatment. So even if your withdrawal symptoms don't seem that bad, it's essential to see your physician. This is especially true for individuals that have had bad withdrawal symptoms before and individuals who have other health-related problems, like infections, heart disease, lung disease or a record of seizures.

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

How can my doctor assist me if I'm in withdrawal?

Your doctor can provide the support you need to be successful in your attempts to stop consuming alcohol. He or she can monitor your withdrawal symptoms to help prevent more serious health problems.

Your doctor can also prescribe medications to manage the trembling, nervousness and confusion that can come with alcohol withdrawal. They could keep your signs and symptoms from getting worse if you take these medicines at an early stage of the withdrawal.

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

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

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Signs?

what happens when you stop drinking

More severe withdrawal symptoms may also include fever, convulsions and delirium tremens (also called DTs). If you go through withdrawal a number of times without getting the appropriate treatment, your symptoms could get more severe each time. Even if your withdrawal signs and symptoms don't appear to be that harmful, it's essential to see your physician. After withdrawal symptoms go away, it's essential to join a treatment or sobriety program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (see contact information under "Other Organizations").

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