Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant. If a person going through withdrawal isn’t monitored, the effects can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. There are at least three alcohol withdrawal symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored, let’s look at the process and these symptoms a bit closer.
What Are Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?
These symptoms occur in people who have been abusing alcohol for a prolonged period of time and who suddenly quit or drastically cut back on their consumption of alcohol. People can start to feel withdrawal symptoms only a few hours after taking their last alcoholic beverage. The symptoms might seem mild at first, but any woman who feels that she might be going into alcohol withdrawal should see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Some of the alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening, three of them in particular:
- Irregular heartbeat
These are three of the symptoms of delirium tremens, which are also known as DTs. Alcohol is unusual because it can easily cross the blood/brain barrier and interact with neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters send signals within the nervous system.
Alcohol attaches to the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors and reduces anxiety” and also blocks the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, which also suppress nerve activity. Alcohol stimulates the body to release serotonin and dopamine, chemicals that make the drinker feel good. When alcohol is suddenly withdrawn, the neurotransmitters react by overcompensating. So, instead of feeling relaxed and happy, the person feels anxious and irritable and begins to suffer from physical discomfort as well. She’s more at risk for these alcohol withdrawal symptoms if she’s experienced them before or if she has a pre-existing medical or psychiatric condition, liver disease, or is older.
If a person is going to suffer from the DTs, she’ll usually start to experience them between two and three days after she’s had her last drink. In addition to the three alcohol withdrawal symptoms listed above, she may also suffer from fever, hypertension, sweating, and confusion.
A person experiencing DTs needs to be treated right away. This may mean that she is checked into a medical detox center to ease her symptoms and avoid complications. She may be prescribed a variety of medications or therapies to help her feel more comfortable during the withdrawal process. While alcohol is quickly removed from the system, the effects can take several days or even a week to work through the human body. When she is able to, a woman who has been through withdrawal should begin alcohol abuse treatment to help her safely abstain from alcohol for the long term.
If you or a woman you love is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, chemical dependency or alcohol problems, a substance abuse treatment program for women may be the answer. Remember that recovery from addiction and alcohol abuse treatment means learning how to cope with intensely emotional situations, and identifying when you need help and support. Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service addiction and women’s health treatment facility in Florida for women who suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health issues.