When you decide to give up alcohol for a month or longer, you will move through various stages. It is crucial to note that everyone's body responds differently to abstaining from alcohol, and that our timeline should be used as merely a reference to determine what may happen to your body after you stop drinking. So, what happens when you stop drinking?
UP TO 24 HOURS AFTER ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL
In the first twenty-four hours after you stop drinking alcohol, withdrawal symptoms are likely to manifest. Depending on the individual and how frequently they consume alcohol, the symptoms may begin as early as two hours after an individual’s last drink. If you consume alcohol every day, you may have more severe withdrawal symptoms than someone who just drinks on weekends.
Early signs and symptoms may be mild. These symptoms might include hand tremors anxiety, perspiration, shakes and headaches. With time, alcohol cravings may intensify, and fatigue and depression may set in.
12-72 HOURS AFTER ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL
After 12 to 24 hours, some people may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. In extremely uncommon and severe instances, you may develop delirium tremens (DTs). Symptoms may include convulsions, hallucinations, and a significant rise in heart rate and blood pressure. This is a risky period for anyone who has stopped drinking and is experiencing withdrawal.
48-72 HOURS AFTER ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL
At this stage, the majority of withdrawal symptoms will begin to subside, enabling you to operate more normally and better manage your symptoms. Some people may continue to experience symptoms of DTs, including a sense of disorientation and delusions alongside other severe withdrawal symptoms like heavy sweating and high blood pressure.
BETWEEN 3 AND 7 DAYS AFTER ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL
After a few days of abstinence, most individuals may anticipate their withdrawal symptoms to subside. For others impacted more profoundly, DTs and severe withdrawal symptoms may persist. When you stop drinking alcohol, medical monitoring is essential for these individuals.
WEEK 1 OF ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL
After one week of abstaining from alcohol, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease will start to decrease. You may also experience better sleeping patterns and improved hydration, which is in turn beneficial for your brain, your mood and concentration.
WEEK 2 OF ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL
After two weeks of abstinence from alcohol, you will continue to benefit from improved sleep and hydration. As alcohol is an irritant to the stomach lining, you will also see a decrease in symptoms such as acid reflux (when stomach acid burns the throat). You are furthermore likely to begin losing weight due to the absence of alcohol's empty calories.
WEEK 3 OF ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL
After three weeks of abstinence, individuals have effectively lowered their risk of cardiovascular illness, including stroke, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Blood pressure may have returned to normal in individuals who drink more regularly, by the 3rd or 4th week.
ONE MONTH OF ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL
Giving up alcohol will have a positive effect on your skin owing to your improved hydration levels. As more water will have been absorbed as opposed to lost, your skin will likely seem more hydrated, and you will have less dandruff and eczema. In addition to improving liver function, a four-week abstinence from alcohol will cause the liver to begin shedding extra fat. If alcohol has not severely impaired liver function, the liver may recover in 4 to 8 weeks. You provide your body a greater chance of eliminating toxins, processing dietary nutrients, and storing minerals and vitamins, since the liver is involved in more than 500 essential functions.
There are several arguments against drinking. Whether it is temporary or permanent, you may begin an alcohol-free lifestyle today.