The term ‘withdrawal symptoms’ is used to refer to a number of symptoms that appear when an alcoholic stop consuming alcohol. They can appear as soon as the system runs out of alcohol. The addicts may experience a number of unpleasant symptoms throughout detoxification process.
Withdrawal symptoms can be mental as well as physical. They can be so uncomfortable that the addict sometimes ends up going back to alcohol to avoid pain. As alcohol alters brain structure, it is no more able to function normally in the absence of drug.
Some of the common symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal include:
- Frequent headaches
- Involuntary tremors
- Nausea/ vomiting
- Excessive mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive sweating
Apart from these common symptoms, some patients may experience a number of rare withdrawal symptoms termed as ‘delirium tremens’. These symptoms only occur in the users who were heavy drinkers with a history of long term abuse spanning over 10 years or more.
Delirium tremens symptoms may include:
- Altered brain functions
- Deep and excessive sleep
- Sudden changes in mood
Although the above mentioned symptoms appear in most of the patients, their severity may vary greatly. Some users may experience a particularly difficult withdrawal depending upon a number of factors such as:
- Duration of alcohol abuse
- Amount of alcohol consumed
- Genetic makeup
- Polydrug abuse
- Addiction to other substances
- Gender, weight and age
If the symptoms become excessively painful, it is important to consult a specialist to avoid harmful consequences.