Recovering from Alcohol Addiction can be an intimidating and physically taxing process, this fact is only highlighted by the first step of the alcohol withdrawal timeline: detox. Detoxing is the process in which the body cleanses itself from alcohol, and begins to get rid of the physical dependency for the substance. While the mental dependency is still a major hurdle for recovering alcoholics, the removal of a physical dependency is a pivotal moment in the alcohol withdrawal timeline that is punctuated with alcohol withdrawal symptoms and emotional growth.
When you consider seeking help for alcohol addiction and detoxing, it is important to have an understanding of why withdrawals occur. Alcohol withdrawals occur because the human brain works a lot like a spring. Alcohol, a depressant, pushes the spring down as far as it possibly can. Once you stop drinking, there's no longer any weight being pushed down on the spring, and suddenly your brain is out of balance, bouncing and pushing until it can settle down or is pushed down again.
While there are a number of different symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, here is a brief list of the most common symptoms.
It is extremely important that alcoholics seeking help for alcohol addiction use a medically supervised detox facility, as alcohol withdrawals can lead to seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and death. Medically supervised substance abuse treatment can help handle and treat symptoms, as well as create a more comfortable detoxing process through medication.
While it's common knowledge that alcoholism destroys user's liver, many people are not aware of the reasons behind this process. The liver plays a vital role in the body, it filters toxins from blood. This includes filtering alcohol from the blood stream. When an alcoholic drinks excessively, they put a lot of stress onto the liver, and the liver works incredibly hard to keep up with alcohol consumption, until it eventually begins to fail. This is known as alcoholic hepatitis.
There are two very common liver diseases amongst alcoholics, the most common being elevated liver enzymes. This is when your liver begins panicking, overworking, and starts trying to repair itself. This is by far the most common form of liver damage, and it can be detected by doctors through the use of blood tests. If drinking is stopped at this stage, there is potential for liver to recover and reverse some of the damage that has been done.
In addition to elevated enzyme diseases, alcoholics are also regularly afflicted the previously mentioned alcoholic hepatitis. Alcoholic is defined by the major increase in liver fat. While a certain percentage of fat in the liver is normal, as it is the main organ used for fat metabolism in the body, alcoholics will generally find an unhealthy increase in the amount of fat that their liver contains. When your liver starts receiving damage due to alcohol abuse the liver begins to get clogged by fatty deposits. Once fat begins to make up more than five percent of your liver's mass, you can be diagnosed with a fatty liver, or alcoholic hepatitis. Similarly to elevated liver enzymes, fatty livers can be found by blood test, but they can be found using ultrasounds as well. It is important to recognize that fatty livers can lead to cirrhosis if alcohol abuse is continued.