What Really Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?
Lifestyle - News
By BECKI LEDFORD
The Ugly Detox
Depending on how much you were drinking, the first 48 hours after you stop drinking may feel like a hangover or much worse. The withdrawal symptoms may range from something simple, like a headache, nausea, and sweating, to something a little more intense, like a rise in blood pressure, shakiness or tremors, and insomnia.
The Cravings
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol cravings are to be expected when your drinking behavior changes because the equilibrium your body created to adjust to alcohol in your system will no longer exist. Cravings may last from days to years depending on the amount and regularity of alcohol use prior.
The Hallucinations
It is important for heavy drinkers to detox from alcohol under the supervision of a medical professional, as the onset of 'delirium tremens' may occur somewhere between 48-72 hours. It may lead to sudden confusion paired with hallucinations, shaking, irregular heart rate, an increase in body temperature, and seizures.
Physical Symptoms
Fortunately, hangover and withdrawal symptoms will generally start to subside around 72 hours after the last drink for most people. At this stage, your body creates a new equilibrium that does not include alcohol and its effects.
Other Symptoms
While your body will have adjusted after a week of not drinking, there may be psychological effects — aggression, anxiety, depression, insomnia, decreased libido — that may last longer as alcohol affects neurotransmitters that are implicated in mood. During this time, it's helpful to seek counseling to handle these emotions.