announcement

Share some useful wellness tips.

Duration of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Duration of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Quitting alcohol leads to certain withdrawal symptoms like tremors and hallucinations. These symptoms can last anytime between 2-3 days, while the more severe ones could even go up to a week. Let us review these symptoms and their duration in this following article.
Rujuta Borkar
Last Updated: May 19, 2018
Alcohol has a sedating effect on the brain because our bodies are not designed to digest alcohol. The brain copes with this by producing enzymes like serotonin and norepinephrine in large quantities which balance the chemistry of the brain and help the brain in dealing with the ill-effects of the same. A heavy drinker who suddenly stops the intake of alcohol experiences certain withdrawal symptoms that range from the mild to the severe depending on how heavy a drinker the person is. These symptoms come about because when the alcohol is suddenly discontinued, the brain does not stop the production of these enzymes and it is these enzymes that are responsible for leading to the varied withdrawal symptoms.
The most common symptoms include seizures, tremors, hallucinations, irregular breathing and heavy sweating, along with a more dangerous one - delirium tremens. The duration of these symptoms will depend on each individual person. The longer a person has been consuming alcoholic drinks, the symptoms will tend to be that much more severe and last longer. Let us review the same in the following section.
2-3 Days
Tremors in the Body
One of the most common symptoms that comes about as a result of alcohol withdrawal is the tremors and shakes that start throughout the body. These shakes are most commonly felt in the hands.

Time it Starts
The first symptoms of tremors and shakes will make way in the time duration of 5 - 10 hours of the last drink that was consumed.

Accompanied Symptoms
The symptoms will not merely stop at experiencing tremors but will go on to include a number of other symptoms as a part of the earliest reactions that come about. These include irritability, restlessness, rapid heartbeat, rapid pulse, increase in blood pressure, fast breathing, vomiting, nausea, profuse sweating, anxiety, insomnia, nightmares and a highly alert state.

Duration
All these symptoms will continue to grow in intensity for over 2 days and reach their peak then. The duration of these tremors can be drawn at 2 days, after which the body will start adjusting to the non-alcohol and begin to heal.
Hallucinations
One of the most common withdrawal symptoms is hallucinating about several things that may include sounds, smells and objects. The most common hallucinations that have been reported are seeing moving and crawling objects, experiencing the feeling that one is falling from a height and a general feeling of falling coins. The hallucinations can be very, very vivid, thus making a person completely disillusioned.

Time it Starts
The hallucinations might make way within 12 to 24 hours of having the last drink.

Accompanied Symptoms
Hallucinations cause a confused state of mind in a person and affect his ability of cognitive reasoning. Incidents of bad dreams have also been reported.

Duration
The duration of these hallucinations is usually seen to last for 2 days.
Seizures
Seizures is another important symptom that develops as a part of alcohol withdrawal. There might be a presence of a single seizure or many at once.

Time it Starts
These usually begin 6 - 48 hours after the last drink has been consumed.

Accompanied Symptoms
Convulsions and an increase in body temperature.

Duration
The seizures will last till 2 days after the onset.
5-7 Days
Delirium Tremens
This is one of the more severe symptoms that alcohol withdrawal leads to. This condition is known to lead to a dangerous rising and dropping of body temperature, accelerating and dropping of breathing and irregular blood circulation. Along with that, it also leads to a dramatic rise in blood pressure, brings about a racing of the heart and causes dehydration.

Time it Starts
Delirium tremens will begin within 2 - 3 days of the last drink.

Accompanied Symptoms
This condition also brings about anger, nervousness, hallucinations, sleep problems, profuse sweating, irrational beliefs, loss of concentration, confusion, reduction of blood flow to the brain and disorientation.

Duration
These symptoms will last for as long as 5 days. In their severe state they may even last over a week.
The most severe of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms will last for a maximum of 7 days, but if the condition is really bad then it can even prolong to more than a week. When a person begins to experience alcohol withdrawal, there needs to be immediate treatment undertaken so that the discomfort and pain can be eased and dealt with effectively.