What to Expect from Your Body When You Quit Drinking Alcohol
After living with an active alcohol addiction and deciding that is time to stop drinking alcohol, many wonder what effects it will have on your body when you stop engaging in alcohol consumption. In the initial stages, individuals will often go through a period of alcohol withdrawal that can produce varying levels of severity in withdrawal symptoms. After your body has gone through the alcohol withdrawal phase, you will begin to feel the health benefits of quitting alcohol within your physical, emotional, and mental health.
The Early Stage: Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
Each person has their own unique history with alcohol addiction and the same will be reflected within your alcohol withdrawal symptoms. If you are someone that engages in heavy drinking or have been drinking in excess for longer periods of time, your alcohol withdrawal symptoms will often present more severe than someone who has recently begun their alcohol consumption or engages in mild to moderate drinking.
Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms for someone engaging mild to moderate alcohol consumption are:
- Pale skin
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Fatigue or extreme exhaustion
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Confusion or inability to think clearly
If you have been drinking in excess, your alcohol withdrawal symptoms can become severe and, in some cases, have the potential to become life threatening and dangerous if they are not monitored by medical professionals within a medical alcohol detox program. Symptoms of alcoholism that present when someone has been participating in heavy drinking can present as delirium tremens which can produce the following symptoms and side effects:
- Extreme irritability or agitation
- Confusion or delirium
- Hallucinations including visual, auditory, or tactile
- High blood pressure
How Quitting Drinking Benefits Your Body
After you have stopped drinking and overcome your alcohol withdrawal and detox process, you will begin to feel a shift in your daily body functioning within your physical and mental health. Here’s what happens when you give up drinking alcohol and the differences you will see and feel within yourself while living in sobriety.
It is common knowledge that alcohol consumption has a significant impact on your liver and is functioning. Long term heavy drinking or binge drinking behaviors can cause liver damage such as fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, or cirrhosis. After you have stopped drinking, your liver will be able to repair some damage that has been done especially for those that have experienced fatty liver disease. With long term sobriety, the liver is able to repair some of the long-term damage within the liver.
Alcohol consumption can significantly impact an individual’s body weight by causing weight gain. Alcoholic drinks are essentially empty calories that provide no nutrition or sustenance due to the high levels of sugars and carbohydrates within the different alcoholic drinks. Once you have stopped drinking and eliminate the consumption of alcoholic drinks, your body will no longer consume empty calories which often leads to weight loss.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
Studies have been completed that have shown that alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing certain cancers including head or neck, breast, esophageal, and colorectal. Eliminating your use of alcohol will help to decrease your chances of developing cancer by reducing the number of carcinogens entering your body.
As your liver begins to heal from alcohol abuse once you have stopped drinking, it will allow for proper, healthy liver function that will help to process and break down the toxins entering your body. This will result in clearer, healthier skin. Alcohol consumption will often dehydrate your body which can lead to poor skin conditions. After quitting alcohol, your levels of hydration will increase, therefore, improving your skin appearance and condition.
Quitting alcohol allows your body to become properly hydrated, increase your awareness of healthy nutrition and physical activity which can support in increasing your energy levels once you are sober. People that have stopped drinking are often experiencing regular, healthy sleeping patterns which will ultimately help to increase your energy and productivity within your day to day functioning.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant which means that when you first begin consuming alcohol, you may feel tired or slowed energy. This often leads individuals to falsely believe that alcohol is able to help you have a full night’s sleep. However, as you sleep on the alcohol wears off, your body’s energy levels will increase causing you to have interrupted sleep patterns throughout the night. Once you stop drinking alcohol, your body will be able to have a sound, uninterrupted quality of sleep.
Alcohol consumption will impact the amount of microbiome within your gut which is responsible for regulating stomach and other bodily functioning. When your gut microbiome is out of balance, it can cause digestive concerns such as stomach aches, bloating, gas, or abdominal pain or cramps. Once you have eliminated alcohol from your body and stop drinking, your gut microbiome will be able to regulate and have healthy bodily functioning.
Alcohol acts as a diuretic and will cause your body to expel more water than it is consuming. Specifically, it impacts your antidiuretic hormone (ADH) within your kidneys which leads to your body dispelling more urine than water which can lead to dehydration. Once you are able to stop drinking, your body will be able to have healthy, balanced levels of ADH allowing you to remain hydrated.
Alcohol consumption impacts the brain’s functioning and will alter the amount of serotonin and neurotransmitter within the brain that will impact your mood and ability to feel happiness or joy. This often increases the risk of someone’s anxiety becoming heightened. Quitting alcohol will allow your brain to adjust and produce healthy, balanced levels of serotonin resulting in a reduction of anxiety symptoms.
Get Help Quitting Drinking
TruPath understands the individual nature of alcohol addiction and the impacts it can have within a person’s life including the physical and mental health functioning. That is why we offer all of our patients individualized care and treatment plans that will support you in healing from the destruction of alcohol addiction. Through our comprehensive approaches to addiction treatment, patients will have the option of participating in a multitude of evidence based therapy methods that will focus on healing from alcohol addiction and entering into a life of sober living with the support of our compassionate team who is dedicated to supporting you every step of the way in your addiction recovery. Contact our team at (251) 501-4357 today to hear more about the addiction treatment methods offered to support you in overcoming your alcohol addiction today.