Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline: Symptoms and What to Expect

For those with alcohol use disorder, withdrawal is just the first (but very important) step on a long journey to recovery. These first few weeks are critical, because they are when the risk of relapse is highest. Prior to withdrawal, it’s important to have a plan of how you will abstain from alcohol during this time. The consumption of alcohol leads to an interference with neurotransmitters and negatively affects overall brain health, causing what we know as alcohol brain fog.

  • Rehabilitation is a long-term treatment plan intended to help treat alcohol addiction.
  • This is because alcohol can interfere with the absorption of nutrients and lead to poor dietary habits.
  • This is the period in which delirium tremens is most likely to occur, which requires immediate medical attention.
  • “If drinking allows you to engage in behavior you wouldn’t engage in otherwise, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it,” said Pagano.

“Most of my withdrawal symptoms are gone, but I still have sharp pains in my head, can’t sleep, and get night sweats.” “Tried again today, but it was severe this time—bad shaking, sweating, alcohol brain fog rapid heartbeat. Instead of going to the hospital or doctor, I tried to wean and reduce for a few days.” Get emergency medical help if you think you’re experiencing symptoms of AWD.

How is Alcohol Misuse Connected to Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome?

The severity of alcohol withdrawal is categorized into three stages. Not all people progress through all of the stages of alcohol withdrawal. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal relate proportionately to the level of alcohol intake and the duration of the person’s recent drinking habit.

brain fog alcohol withdrawal

If you begin to experience severe symptoms, seek emergency help right away. It is rare, but some people will experience a very serious syndrome during alcohol withdrawal, called delirium tremens. Not always, but typically, the level of dependency on alcohol will correlate to the severity of symptoms. Over time, however, the body builds a tolerance to alcohol, and a person may have to drink more and more to get the same feeling.

Learn more about withdrawal from specific substances

“I feel great! A few cravings every day, but I tell myself how bad it was to detox cold turkey, and how good I feel now. I am actually getting things done in my life that I was putting off because I was always drunk.” “Lightheaded, dizzy, no sleep, pale, weak, and it feels like electric shocks shoot through my body every so often. Crazy anxiety.” “The more time that goes by, the clearer the picture becomes. I see my triggers, and I work through them. I’m always thirsty and drink a lot of water. I’m still not sleeping through the night.”

If your brain fog and lightheadedness are caused by a more serious condition, such as Meniere’s disease or a brain tumor, you may need to take medication to help relieve the symptoms. CBT helps you identify and change the thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to your dizziness and brain fog. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can help you manage your dizziness and brain fog. If you’re interested in trying an herbal supplement to combat brain fog, make sure to speak with your doctor first.

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