What Happens To Your Body After Quitting Drinking
There are many reasons to stop drinking alcohol. For some people, life has changed and they can’t be partying every other night. Hangovers may have gotten worse. It could also be a beer belly that’s prompting you to quit. A deeper issue like a health problem might also be at play. But, regardless of your reasons to stop drinking, certain things happen to your body after you quit alcohol.
Alcohol is a harmful toxin. Once it gets into the bloodstream, it affects every organ. It can even take a toll on some processes in the body. For this reason, the body may not get back to a normal position within hours. The recovery process can take days. Here are some of the things that happen to your body after you quit drinking alcohol.
If you’ve been drinking heavily, your body will notice that you have stopped consuming alcohol. This might not feel very well. In most cases, individuals experience delirium tremens between 48 and 72 hours of quitting. Delirium tremens refer to sudden confusion that can be paired with shaking, hallucinations, increased body temperature, and irregular heartbeat. These can even cause seizures.
It is such withdrawal symptoms that prompt some people to call an addiction hotline https://addictionresource.com/addiction-and-rehab-hotlines/ seeking emergency help. Therefore, if you’ve been drinking heavily, you should undergo detoxification under medical professional’s supervision. That’s because you can even die from the withdrawal of quitting alcohol cold turkey.
You most likely expected this before deciding to quit. Regular consumption of alcohol means the body notices its absence when you quit drinking. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes that cravings should be expected once a person changes their drinking behavior.
The body creates an equilibrium to adjust to the presence of alcohol in its system. When you stop drinking, this equilibrium ceases to exist. Therefore, the first day your body goes without alcohol, especially if your body is used to having it every day, will be full of cravings. And, these cravings can last even for years depending on the regularity and amount of alcohol you have been drinking.
Improved Immune System
Heavy drinking is associated with immune-related health problems. The susceptibility to respiratory disorders like pneumonia is higher for heavy drinkers. Heavy drinkers also have a higher possibility of poor healing of wounds after surgery and getting complications. The risk of certain cancers and sepsis is also higher for heavy drinkers. But, you don’t have to wait until you have these problems to call rehab. You can give up alcohol to strengthen the immune system.
When you quit drinking, your immune system improves. Your body gets an easier time fighting off infections. Essentially, alcohol overexerts the immune pathways. In turn, this decreases the ability of the body to defend itself against adverse invaders. Every time you drink alcohol, therefore, your body experiences overexertion on its immune system.
The good news is that if you quit drinking, the response of your immune system will buck up. However, it’s not known the duration it will take your immune system to strengthen after you quit drinking.
Improved Body Weight
When you quit drinking, you eat with intention. Research has shown that drunken munchies could be caused by the heightening of the senses by alcohol. This study established that when a person gets about 2 drinks of intravenous infusion of alcohol, they eat 30% more food than people that get a saline solution. Researchers concluded that brain activity increases in the hypothalamus even with mild intoxication. This makes a person more sensitive to food smell and this prompts them to eat more.
What’s more, alcohol has empty calories that are no longer supplied to the body when you quit drinking. It’s, therefore, not surprising that some people lose weight when they stop drinking. If you don’t like your body weight and look, eliminate weekend binges and nightly cocktails to shed some pounds.
Even a single or two drinking sessions per week can affect your sleep schedule negatively. When you stop drinking, you notice that your weekends become more restful and productive. That’s because you enjoy restorative sleep. Some people call a rehab number when they need help with sleep. If you drink more often, you may eventually struggle to sleep at night.
At first, alcohol can make you sleepy. But, it’s not a useful sleep aid. Moderate drinking diminishes sleep quality. That’s because it reduces melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that prompts the body to fall asleep and wake up. Adenosine, which is another chemical that plays a role in sleep regulation, is also increased by the presence of alcohol in the body.
What’s more, alcohol consumption forces the brain to operate in alpha waves. These are resting or meditative waves that a person experiences when awake. With these chemicals, hormones, and brain waves at work, waking up at night or requiring a nap during the day becomes normal. Additionally, restorative sleep becomes elusive. When you quit drinking, you start to enjoy a sound sleep at night.
Health problems like liver disease prompt some people to call the addiction help hotline. The major role of the liver is to cleanse the body of harmful toxins. Alcohol is one of these toxins. When you stop drinking, the liver is spared from dealing with ethanol metabolism. Thus, your liver can focus on dealing with the metabolism of the other toxin the body encounters naturally.
What’s more, heavy drinking can lead to the development of fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, inflammation, and liver failure. In some cases, the interaction of alcohol with medicines can cause liver damage. The presence of alcohol in the body can increase the production of gastric acid. This can irritate your stomach. Drinking alcohol can, therefore, damage the GI tract lining. Thus, alcohol can damage the cells responsible for digesting food. Eventually, ulcers can develop in the gastrointestinal tract. When you stop drinking, you eliminate the risk of these health problems.
You don’t have to wait until you have health problems to call an addiction help hotline number. If alcohol is already affecting you and your loved ones negatively, make this move now to start enjoying the benefits of a sober life.