Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome refers to symptoms that may occur when a person who has been drinking too much alcohol every day suddenly stops drinking alcohol. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a set of symptoms people have when they suddenly stop drinking after using alcohol for a long time.

Some people have mild shakiness and sweats. Some people hear and see things that do not exist. The most serious form of withdrawal is called delirium tremens, which can be life-threatening if not treated by a doctor.

Withdrawal symptoms rarely occur in people who drink only once in a while. Symptoms usually occur in people who have been drinking heavily for weeks or months and then suddenly stop drinking. Symptoms start within several hours to a few days after the last drink.

Your doctor needs to know you are going through withdrawal so he or she can make sure it does not lead to more serious health problems. Medicines can control the shakiness, anxiety and confusion that come with alcohol withdrawal.

After withdrawal symptoms go away, it is important for the person to join a treatment or sobriety program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.