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What really happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol?

0 Views August 21, 2017
What really happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol?

There are plenty of reasons to quit drinking alcohol. Perhaps you can’t party as hard as you once did, and the hangovers are getting worse. Maybe you’ve developed a beer belly. Possibly, there’s a deeper issue at play and you don’t want your drinking to get out of hand before it’s a problem—unless it already is and you just don’t realize it. Whatever your circumstances are, you’re here, and you’re ready to kick the sauce. Let’s breakdown what happens to your body once you quit drinking.

The first 48 hours after you stop drinking may be the biggest detox hurdle. Depending how much you were drinking, this may feel like a hangover or it may be more than that. Withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, a rise in blood pressure, shakiness or tremors, and insomnia as well as the usual hangover symptoms like headache and nausea.

You probably saw that one coming. If you’ve been drinking alcohol regularly, your body is going to take note when it’s gone. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, cravings are to be expected when your drinking behavior changes. The equilibrium your body created to adjust to alcohol in your system will no longer exist. That first day you go without a drink, especially if you’ve been drinking every day, is likely going to be filled with cravings for alcohol. For some, cravings can last weeks, months, or years depend on the moment and regularity of alcohol use prior to quitting.

If you are a heavy drinker, you may not be out of the woods after 48 hours. Between 48-72 hours is generally when the onset of ‘delirium tremens’ occurs for some. Delirium tremens is sudden confusion that may be paired with hallucinations, shaking, irregular heart rate, and an increase in body temperature so high that it can sometimes lead to seizures. If you are a heavy drinker, it is important to detox from alcohol under the supervision of a medical professional as the withdrawal from quitting cold turkey can lead to death.

While hangover and withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, and at times dangerous, the good news is that after peaking at around 72 hours after the last drink, the last of these symptoms will generally start to subside. At this stage your body begins to create a new equilibrium that does not include alcohol and its effects.

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