Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome [AWS] is the synonym which has been given to the symptoms that can occur when an individual who is consuming heavy quantities of alcohol decide to stop or reduces his or her alcohol intake in a significant manner. With AWS, you are likely to experience a combination of physical and emotional symptoms, which can range from mild anxiety, fatigue and nausea. But some symptoms may be as serious as hallucinations and seizures. Serious danger may be posed to the life of the fellow by severe AWS.
Anywhere between 6 hours and some days since you last consumed an alcoholic beverage, the side effects of AWS may show up.
These symptoms can last for up to several weeks and are usually at their most acute a few days after they first show up. The effects may become more visible when you don't have alcohol in your system. The severest type among the withdrawal symptoms is known as delirium tremens [DT].
Severe AWS illness calls for urgent medical measures. Take yourself to the hospital or contact someone when these side effects appear. You should seek for assistance against cases of heart unrest, hallucinations and high fever.
The nervous system is both irritated and excited by heavy drinking. Your body will become heavily reliant on alcohol if you drink every day. Your central nervous system will fail to adjust to the lack of control in your body because of this.
AWS can occur at this point if you reduce your alcohol intake by a large amount or stop drinking all together.
Those who will find it difficult to slowly reduce their volume of alcohol intake because they consume a huge volume of alcohol or are constant in their alcohol use. Despite AWS having made its mark as being common among adult's children and teenagers that begin to drink excessively is also susceptible to the symptoms. If you have been detoxified in the past or have previously experienced withdrawal symptoms, then your risk of getting AWS is high.
The volume of drinks mapped as excessive drinking by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is 8 per week for women and 15 per week for men.
The most prevalent type of intense drinking is Binge drinking. Four or more drinks in a single sitting is the definition for women. Having more than four drinks at once is considered binge drinking for men.
A physical examination, a review of your medical history and a few questions are all part of the diagnostic process.
The doctor may also decide to perform a toxicology screen. Toxicological screening is done to check on the level of alcohol.
A line-up of questions employed in measuring AWS is termed the Clinical Institute withdrawal assessment of alcohol (CIWA-Ar).
AWS may be diagnosed with the aid of this test. The level of seriousness of the symptoms could be ascertained with this test too.
Treatment - The seriousness of the symptoms will determine the treatment for AWS. To lower the risk of seizures and other life threatening issues, some people will have to be treated under constant medical supervision but some can receive treatment while still living at home.
The primary goal of the treatment is to make you comfortable by managing your symptoms efficiently. Another vital therapy objective is alcohol addiction advising. Quitting alcohol consumption in a non risky way and immediately is something that your physician will want you to do.
Treatment provided within the home is adequate for people who are suffering from mild symptoms of AWS. The treatment must be inspected by a friend or relative. The person monitoring you has one main function and that is to call for help in case your symptoms become much worse. You may also find it easier to attend counselling sessions or visit your doctor for tests with the help of such a person. Tests that can reveal medical issues that may be caused by alcohol may also be required.
The environment at home is never considered suitable for staying sober, and therefore, you should be having a discussion with your doctor. You can be linked with a sober living home by your physician, where individuals getting better from alcohol dependency can live.
You may require hospitalization if the side effects are serious. The reason for this is to allow your doctor to have a close look at you and to handle any escalations in your condition. Prescription drugs that assist in minimizing your side effects and fluids inserted in your veins that prevent excessive water loss may be required.
Benzodiazepines is a sedative that is usually administered in order to treat the side effects of AWS.
To boost your vitamin levels which may be low due to alcohol use, vitamin supplements may also be provided. Prolonged heavy use of alcohol can cause other complications and also result in malnutrition and therefore, other medications/supplements may be provided after the detox period.
A recovery from AWS is definitely possible, and most people achieve success in the treatment provided. The look of a recovered patient is usually perfect; when you quit drinking after going for a therapy. But you may also experience fatigue, irritation and lack of sound sleep for a few months.
AWS can lead to death if it reaches the point of delirium tremens. If you begin to experience severe symptoms of AWS, it is essential for you to seek immediate medical attention. You will have more chances of overcoming fatal complications if you start the treatment on time.
AWS can be curbed easily by withdrawing from excess alcohol dosage, acting as the prevention. Medical advice and recommendations is paramount for those addicted already. You will be able to get back to living a healthy life if you can safely reduce your dependence on alcohol.