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Alcohol Withdrawal – The Lowdown

By Yolanda Brunel

Heavy and frequent drinking has many adverse consequences on health, but to suddenly quit also causes a range of ailments in the short term. That’s not to say drinkers shouldn’t quit; facing these symptoms now could in future save a drinker’s life as it gives them a chance to redeem their health and hopefully stop themselves inflicting further massive damage on their bodies. The worst the symptoms, the more urgently the body needs to detox.

The combination of symptoms a drinker experiences is referred to as alcohol withdrawal syndrome. It’s a consequence of a hyper-active nervous system and can have adverse effects if not properly managed. In addition to the symptoms, drinkers will also be craving alcohol as the body initially struggles to adapt to abstinence.

Other symptoms affect the drinker physically. These can include any combination of shaking, nausea and vomiting, disturbed digestive patterns, headaches and even anorexia. The most adverse effects are felt in the liver, where hypoglycaemia often develops. This is caused by the liver’s diminished ability to metabolise sugars, leading to irritable and aggressive behaviour, which can affect the user’s relationships and the way they interact with the world around them. Unaddressed these can cause serious issues in themselves.

If experiencing these symptoms in any combination after consuming alcohol it is imperative to seek medical advice. These symptoms are a way of the body saying that it cannot metabolise alcohol; continuing to consume it in addictive or destructive patterns signals a wider problem that requires addressing, which could be either full-on alcoholism or could be down to regular binge drinking.

Addressing the symptoms is important in learning to deal with cravings, but it is only part of the treatment required to live without alcohol. How long AWS last depends on the length and extend of the drinking, but as millions of recovering alcoholics worldwide prove, it can be overcome.

Get help today with alcohol withdrawal symptoms

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Brunel, Yolanda "Alcohol Withdrawal – The Lowdown." Alcohol Withdrawal – The Lowdown. 26 Jun. 2010. 8 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Brunel, Y (2010, June 26). Alcohol Withdrawal – The Lowdown. Retrieved August 8, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Brunel, Yolanda "Alcohol Withdrawal – The Lowdown"

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