Alcohol Withdrawal Signs
Alcohol withdrawal is a potential dangerous situation that requires medical supervision in order to prevent life-threatening complications. During alcohol detox, many of the alcohol withdrawal signs that an addict will begin to exhibit can alert a professional as to whether the detoxification will be potentially hazardous and whether it will require medical intervention and treatment. Understanding the signs of alcohol withdrawal and what to lookout for can help you better understand when it’s time to seek professional help.
The symptoms that occur following the abrupt cessation of alcohol consumption or the abrupt reduction of alcohol consumption are called withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can persist for a period of days, weeks or even months following the alcoholic’s decision to quit and may pose serious health threats if left untreated. Consistent drinking can lead to a number of alcohol withdrawal signs when the user decides to quit and some of these signs of withdrawal can be dangerous.
The most common alcohol withdrawal signs include:
- Anxiety: Anxiety can cause adverse reactions to normal stress and may make comfortable living a challenge for the recovering addict. Anxiety can increase stress, fear and phobia while increasing blood pressure, elevating the heart rate and may lead to other complications or irrational behaviors.
- Depression: Alcohol withdrawal is difficult to deal with and the challenges that come with the withdrawal process often lead to depression as the user feels that he or she can’t remain abstinent from drinking, cannot control his or her habit and will not make it through detox.
- Fatigue: This is one of the more common signs of alcohol withdrawal and it tends to persist for many weeks following a chronic alcoholic’s decision to quit drinking. Fatigue can make even daily routines a challenge for the recovering addict.
- Irritability: When a user is addicted to a substance, such as alcohol, there is often an increase in irritability and mood swings when the decision comes about to quit.
- Shakiness and Tremors: Alcoholism causes the user to feel shaky and may lead to tremors. During alcohol withdrawal, tremors and shakiness can persist for many weeks.
- Nausea & Vomiting: These two signs of alcohol withdrawal are most prevalent during the early days of withdrawal and may closely resemble a hangover.
- Rapid Heart Rate: An increase in the heart rate can be dangerous to the recovering alcoholic and it is not easily noticed without proper medical treatment which is why it is so important to seek medical care when undergoing alcohol detox.
- Excessive sweating: Early alcohol withdrawal will often lead to excessive perspiration or sweating. Although sweating alone is not a dangerous symptom, excessively sweating and vomiting can lead to dehydration which does pose serious health threats.
- Seizures: Severe alcohol withdrawal signs include seizures which can cause coma, permanent brain damage, other injuries or death.
- Fever: Like sweating, fever alone is not a danger unless the fever spikes out of control. However, fever paired with sweating and other alcohol withdrawal signs can lead to dehydration and serious consequences for the recovering addict.