What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal?

Alcohol withdrawal is characterized by a number of symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, and tremors, which appear when you quit drinking after being dependent on alcohol. While these symptoms tend to appear within 12 hours of your last drink, they can last up to 2 weeks or longer after that time. In order to get through this period safely and effectively, it’s important to know what the symptoms of alcohol detox are and how to control them during this transition from drinking to sobriety.

1) Nausea

In most cases, people experiencing alcohol withdrawal have a reduced appetite and nausea. This is one of those things that can vary from person to person. Some people don’t experience nausea at all, while others say it’s their main symptom. If you do feel nauseous, it may help to eat small meals throughout each day instead of larger ones in a couple sittings.

2) Vomiting

The urge to vomit is one of the most common alcohol withdrawal symptoms, especially in people who are experiencing their first episode. Vomiting can occur at any time during or after a drinking bout, although most episodes generally occur within 24 to 48 hours of cessation. While not everyone who detoxes from alcohol experiences vomiting, if you’re prone to nausea and vomiting after drinking heavily, it’s likely that your body will not forget its dependence on alcohol when you quit cold turkey.

3) Tremors

Over time, alcohol causes severe damage to your brain. The cerebellum—which controls muscle coordination—is extremely sensitive to alcohol’s effects, which is why you might experience shaking or tremors when you try to quit drinking. This condition is known as Alcohol withdrawal syndrome. The shakes will gradually get better over time, but it’s important that you seek medical attention if they get too severe.

4) Sweating

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms generally begin 12 to 24 hours after you quit drinking. Sweating, goosebumps and shakiness are common symptoms. You may also feel clammy or notice that your skin is cold to touch.

5) Shaking

People who abuse alcohol for a long time tend to develop a physical dependency on it, meaning their bodies become dependent on its presence. The first stage of alcohol withdrawal is often characterized by shaking and other convulsions. Another name for these convulsions is tremors. Symptoms usually begin within 10-12 hours after your last drink, but they can appear as early as 4 hours later.

6) Headache

A headache can be one of many alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and it tends to hit within 24-48 hours after your last drink. Headaches tend to worsen over time if they’re not properly treated. Chronic headaches occur in roughly 30% of alcoholics. There are several ways to treat a headache, including pain relievers, hot showers, lying down in a dark room or sleeping for several hours.