Alcohol impacts the function of the brain and body in a number of ways. Some people may have alcohol shakes, which occur when a person who is dependent on alcohol struggles with withdrawal. Does that mean that a person who is experiencing alcohol tremors like this is facing addiction? In most cases, that is an indication. It is also likely that a person needs to work through alcohol detox in order to get through what they’re experiencing. Here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Alcohol Shakes?
When a person becomes dependent on alcohol, their body and brain tend to rely on its presence to function normally. When they stop using it, they enter alcohol withdrawal. That can be a significant change for the brain, and as such, the brain reacts in various ways. In some situations, alcohol shakes occur because the area of your brain that controls muscle movement is trying to work through the need for alcohol that it does not have. This can lead to shaking or tremors.
To understand what causes alcohol shakes, you have to understand how alcohol impacts the brain itself. When you drink alcohol, you are taking in a depressant. Alcohol works to calm the function of the central nervous system, slowing it down. Alcohol affects the Neurotransmitter GABA. This is responsible for creating the calmness you feel. In addition to this, alcohol interacts with the neurotransmitter glutamate. This is what creates excitability, therefore causing this neurotransmitter not to work as it usually does.
When you drink a significant amount of alcohol or consume it on a consistent basis for a period of time, the body becomes used to these changes. Over time, it does not produce as much GABA or glutamate. What happens when you stop using alcohol then? When that happens, those transmitters are no longer being controlled by alcohol. However, the body is still producing more glutamate and not producing as much GABA as it normally does. The result of this is that the brain is hyperexcited. For those who have alcohol shakes, that typically means the area of the brain that controls movement is being impacted.
How Long Do Alcohol Shakes Last?
Alcohol tremors like this are a normal part of alcohol withdrawal, a process your body goes through as it tries to readjust to the lack of presence of alcohol. How long it lasts depends on how much you drink, how long you have used alcohol like this, and even your body’s natural metabolism and processes. Most people will experience shakes starting within 5 to 12 hours after their last drink. It may start out slow and get more noticeable over a short period of time.
Most people will see these tremors peak around 24 to 48 hours. Once that happens, they are likely to slow down until they eventually stop. Most of the time, people experience other types of withdrawal effects from alcohol during this period. That may include:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Inability to sleep
How long do alcohol shakes last like this? Most people will find that within a few days of no longer using alcohol, they will be completely gone. However, that does not mean that you are cured of your addiction.
How to Stop Alcohol Shakes?
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to stop alcohol shakes. Your body needs to work through this withdrawal process, which often requires no longer using alcohol at all.
Do not take alcohol shakes lightly. They are a clear indication that you are going through alcohol withdrawal. As a result, you want to make sure that you are in a safe place where you can get help if you need it to overcome the way you feel. Some people can have serious side effects from the withdrawal process. In a treatment center, including an alcohol detox location, you can be sure that you are getting ample care to meet your needs. Professional management of these symptoms is essential.
How to Get Help for Your Alcohol Addiction
It’s not wise to try and stop using alcohol on your own if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Rather, it is best to work with a treatment center that can help monitor what is occurring to you and provide you with medications or holistic care that may help you through the process.
Looking for more information? Contact our admissions team now or give us a call at (866) 971-5531 to learn more about medical detox programs that can help you.