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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms affect a person who was a heavy drinker of alcohol. These symptoms occur when a heavy drinker suddenly stops drinking or reduces his/her daily intake of alcohol. The alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur after 6 hours in some cases and a few days after the last drink.

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Let us have a look at the alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the following paragraphs.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome will lead to mild or severe symptoms based on the level of alcohol abuse. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are unpleasant. There are two stages of withdrawal symptoms. These include acute withdrawals and post-acute withdrawals. The acute withdrawal symptoms can last for a few weeks after recovery. The post-acute stage can be less severe and may last for up to 2 years.

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Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may occur within several hours to few days after alcohol drinking has been stopped or there is reduction of amount of alcohol consumed.

  • Automatic hyperactivity like sweating or having a pulse rate more than 100 beats/minute
  • Increase in hand tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Development of auditory, visual or tactile hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Grand mal seizures

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Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can lead to a lot of distress in the patient. It leads t impairment of social and occupational functioning of the patient.

Some of the mild to moderate psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal includes:

  • Nervousness or jumpiness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Shakiness
  • Emotionally volatile changes
  • Problems thinking clearly
  • Bad dreams

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The physical symptoms include:

  • Pulsating headache
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Enlarged or dilated pupils
  • Abnormal movements
  • Involuntary movements of eyelids
  • Hand tremors

Severe symptoms of Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • State of confusion
  • Hallucination
  • Delirium tremens
  • Agitation
  • Fever
  • Convulsions

How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

There is no set limit for the alcohol withdrawal symptoms to last. Each person experiences different symptoms of different severity. Thus, one cannot say what is normal duration for alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Proper medical care is important for reducing the discomfort experienced by alcohol withdrawal symptoms. There are specific treatments for those who want to quit alcohol after long-term chronic alcohol abuse.

Whether one tries to quit alcohol on their own or seeks help, they need encouragement and support. It is very easy to fall back on their old habit of drinking, if the person does not receive the right motivation to continue with the abstinence. Thus, seek help from Alcoholics Anonymous or other support groups that guide one to take the right steps in quitting alcohol.

Some may require hospitalization of the symptoms are very severe. The patient may require fluids to be given through their veins to prevent dehydration. Most people recover from alcohol withdrawal symptoms. They continue their lives in a healthy way. However, they may suffer from sleep problems and fatigue for a few months. The sooner one seeks help to quit alcohol the sooner they can overcome alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: March 11, 2016