Starting to Detox
Alcohol withdrawal typically starts 6 – 12 hours after the last drink. Usually it is minor. Withdrawal may last 3 to 7 days. If you are one of the lucky people and only have minor symptoms watch for behavior changes such as irritability, agitation or hostility; sleep disturbances like insomnia; or impaired cognitive function such as inability to concentrate or poor memory. You may also experience gastrointestinal problems and may have no appetite or have diarrhea. Muscular symptoms may include cramps, or trembling; autonomic imbalances may occur such as tachycardia or rapid heartbeat. You could experience fever or sweating. And I repeat, this is if you are lucky.
Acute Alcohol Withdrawal
If you are not so lucky and experience acute alcohol withdrawal you should not be left untreated. Withdrawal could be lethal in certain people. In acute withdrawal there could be signs of body and hand tremors, elevated blood pressure, tachycardia, dilated pupils, increased body temperature, seizures, restlessness, hyperactivity, and agitation. Mental symptoms include anxiety, panic attacks, depression, paranoid delusions, illusions, disorientation, and visual hallucinations, inability to focus, OCD behavior. It is a scary thing.
First Hurdle to Sobriety
I think everyone at some time or other has experienced alcohol withdrawal. It is the first hurdle you need to cross when getting sober. In fact some people won’t stop drinking because they don’t want to go through the withdrawal phase. Many people just get too sick and they have to put alcohol back in their body. I have seen a friend who had to drink a glass of vodka first thing in the morning to stop shaking and he could hardly get the glass to his mouth. That was only 6 or 8 hours without alcohol. I have seen a friend go through the torment of withdrawal and nearly die; only to start drinking a few weeks later and have his liver fail. I, myself was left untreated during a withdrawal period and had a seizure.
Making Withdrawal Easier
There are ways to go through withdrawal that are much easier on the mind and body. At DebbietheCoach we provide our clients with clear choices and expert advice. Some clients may want to gradually stop drinking alcohol and avoid withdrawal altogether. This gradual method is possible using anti craving medications. Other clients want to stop drinking immediately and we assist them in either getting medical assistance or we can help with megavitamin therapy. Nutrient deficiencies are responsible for many of the withdrawal symptoms. For e.g. Magnesium deficiency is a major problem associated with symptoms of anxiety, depression, muscle spasm, chronic pain and tremors. The B vitamins are also depleted, especially B3 or Niacin.
People with an alcohol addiction are usually surprised when I tell them that they are probably malnourished. They don’t realize that the alcohol they drink stops the nutrients from being absorbed in the body. Often the pancreas is inflamed and food digestion is affected. They usually have sporadic meals and decreased appetites.
Each vitamin and mineral performs various functions in the body. Deficiencies affect your health and neither the body nor the mind functions properly. If you are afraid to stop drinking because of withdrawal symptoms, get medical help or get a plan in place where you can safely withdraw from alcohol. Don’t wait until your body is too damaged to recover.