Delirium tremens (& how it relates to you?)

This guide sheds light on the condition of Delirium tremens, including aspects of how it affects different people, the symptoms and at-risk populations.

It also brings forward different techniques that can reduce the symptoms of people who are affected by delirium tremens. 

Delirium tremens is a condition that is synonymous with alcohol withdrawal.

This condition refers to a collection of extreme symptoms that are classified in individuals who are in the process of alcohol reduction or have left alcohol altogether.

Severe physical and mental symptoms usually characterize it. 

How it affects you?

According to psychology, there are 5 types of drunk. People who are affected with Delirium tremens are usually heavy drinkers.

A sudden reduction in the amount of alcohol consumption could cause them to develop hallucinations as well as vomiting, sluggishness and a variety of other symptoms.

The severity of these symptoms often depends on the level of addiction that the person has with alcohol as well as whether they are simply reducing alcohol consumption or leaving it altogether. 

The reason for these reactions, is similar to those experienced by people who are in the process of rehabilitation to drug addiction.

Drugs such as alcohol have a substantial effect on the nervous system. It usually causes the brains responses to ‘slow down’.

This is why you may become ‘drunk’ after consuming alcohol.

In addition to this, alcohol may create a type of dependency that has to do with the production of certain chemicals in the brain.

Although not all drinkers are addicted to alcohol, there is a certain level of addiction that everyone experiences, depending on how often they drink.

When you ‘feel’ in the mood to have a drink, it’s usually an effect of the way alcohol acts on the brains system.

You can relate this to the same way that some people get ‘sugar cravings’. 

Why withdraw from alcohol? 

There are many reasons why someone may want to withdraw from alcohol. In most cases, it is done in terms of rehabilitation.

If you are a heavy drinker, you may experience situations where you cannot stop drinking.

You may experience a strange restlessness if you have not consumed alcohol for a few hours. This is usually a sign of alcohol addiction. 

People may have economic reasons for withdrawing from alcohol.

Heavy drinkers may get into other bad habits such as squandering their wealth or gambling to drink.

As such, their financial position may suffer. That’s why we often see alcohol addicts on the street. 

However, in most cases, the main reason for alcohol withdrawal is to maintain healthy social relations.

People who are addicted to alcohol often have weak social relationships as they have to stay away from their family while they are drunk.

When people are intoxicated, they may do certain things that they may regret afterwards.

This could range from domestic abuse to brawling in public. 

Some people may need to withdraw from alcohol as part of a treatment for an illness.

Your doctor may advise you to stop drinking if you are diagnosed with liver problems or another such disease.

This usually means that the patient will have to withdraw completely as alcohol could prevent the medication from taking effect.

If your doctor has advised you against alcohol consumption, you should do it immediately. 

Causes of Delirium tremens

Delirium tremens is caused due to a sudden reduction of alcohol.

Your body may not be able to adapt to the shock that it receives as a result of this. However, you should note that this disorder only affects people who have a history of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.

Excessive alcohol is defined as being equal to 15 drinks a week. 

Delirium tremens is usually caused following a sudden withdrawal.

If your body has become accustomed to drinking 15 glasses of beer a week, and you suddenly reduce it to just 3, you may experience symptoms of Delirium tremens delirium tremens. 

Another cause of Delirium tremens is that you do not consume enough food after reducing your alcohol consumption.

This causes a sudden drop in energy, which may cause withdrawal symptoms.

People who are dependent on alcohol for a majority of their energy consumption are more likely to get Delirium tremens. 

Another cause of Delirium tremens may be the presence of an illness that makes the symptoms more prominent.

If you are affected with fever or some other illness, you may experience symptoms more prominently.

Think about it like this: When you have a fever, even a normal sound may cause a ringing in your ears.

However, never resume alcohol consumption, even if you are experiencing such symptoms.

This is because alcohol can significantly reduce the effect of certain medications.

Symptoms

There are many possible symptoms of Delirium tremens.

You should begin to notice these symptoms within one week of reducing alcohol from your diet.

Symptoms of Delirium tremens include: 

  • Anxiety or stress- This is one of the most common symptoms of Delirium tremens. You may feel a sense of urgency, even though you have nothing to do. In addition to this, you may feel worried for no particular reason. 
  • Delirium- Although anxiety is one of the defining symptoms of Delirium tremens, a more advanced form of mental stress may appear. You may show signs of confusion, and in some cases, patients lose a sense of their surroundings. 
  • Fever- This is another common side effect of alcohol withdrawal. 
  • Hallucinations- This symptom is usually seen after alcohol consumption. However, Delirium tremens could cause you to see things even though that does not exist. 
  • Vomiting- This is yet another symptom that is caused by alcohol consumption as well as alcohol withdrawal. 
  • Nightmares- Have you ever heard someone say that they get nightmares if they don’t drink before bed? Delirium tremens usually causes one to experience nightmares, and this is as a result of the mental anxiety that the brain experiences due to a lack of depressants. 
  • Loss of appetite: Another significant symptom of Delirium tremens is that you may not feel like eating at all. However, not eating enough food may cause these symptoms to increase. 
  • Mood swings- Lastly, Delirium tremens may cause you to become moody, and you may feel generally unwell for a few weeks. These mood swings may highly undermine the overall quality of life for sufferers. 

These symptoms are present in many other illnesses.

However, many of them may appear collectively in Delirium tremens.

Therefore, it’s best to visit your doctor for advice if you notice any of these alcohol withdrawal symptoms. 

It is also essential to understand that these symptoms are progressive. In the first day, you may only feel a small headache.

However, by the 5th day, you may experience hallucinations and other severe symptoms.

There’s no reason to worry, however. Most of these symptoms will decrease after a week, and you’ll return to normal health again. 

Possible Treatment Options

Your treatment began as soon as you choose to reduce your alcohol consumption!

However, Delirium tremens can be life-threatening, and you should consider visiting a rehabilitation centre or hospital for a week or two so that the symptoms can be managed effectively.

Doctors may monitor you closely and respond at the first instance of a reaction.

All these treatments are administered separately according to the nature of the symptoms that the patient experiences. 

Doctors may recommend medication for fevers, seizures or vomiting. For psychological symptoms, you may consider therapy as well as medication.

If the symptoms are manageable, your doctor will usually conduct therapy to help you deal with the stress.

However, antidepressants are effective in extreme cases. 

Never take any treatment without first consulting your doctor.

Delirium tremens can cause severe symptoms which could result in death if not treated properly.

Therefore, always consult a physician who will review your history, allergies and other factors before deciding on a treatment method. 

Some helpful resources

  1. If you are looking to understand these symptoms more deeply and would like to know more about Delirium tremens, then “The management of alcohol withdrawal and delirium tremens: A good practice statement” is perfect for you. 
  1. Get motivation on withdrawing alcohol from your diet through the novel “Delirium Tremens”.
  1. More motivation can be found in the award-winning the book “Delirium Tremens: The Successful Story of Brewery Huyghe”. This story will make you rethink the way you view alcohol consumption in your daily life. 
  1. Replace alcohol with other nutritious beverages. This recipe book will help you make drinks that are guaranteed to replace alcohol in your diet. “Nutribullet Recipe Book”. 
  1. If you are willing to understand more about how alcohol can affect your health and relationships, you should consider reading: “This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life”. 

Conclusion

Alcohol is a depressant that works like a drug. You should avoid excessive drinking.

However, if you are willing to reduce your alcohol consumption, you may be affected by Delirium tremens.

Typical withdrawal symptoms characterize this condition.

If you experience such symptoms, it is better to take advice from your doctor regarding various treatment options.

Always remember that you have taken the first step towards rehabilitation and that these symptoms may only last for a few days.

FAQS

What happens during delirium tremens?

During delirium tremens, you may experience symptoms such as hallucinations, fever, lack of appetite and other such symptoms.

This is due to your body’s reaction as a result of removing alcohol from your system. 

How long can delirium tremens last?

Delirium tremens usually lasts for a week or two.

The symptoms may peak around the 5th or 6th day and will slowly become less severe afterwards. 

How long do the shakes last?

The shakes may last for at least 24 hours after you consume your last drink.

However, they may only stop after two days. 

What does tremens mean?

Tremens is used to refer to a range of symptoms that occur due to a breakdown of the central nervous system.

These include symptoms such as hallucinations, sweating, anxiety or fear.

What is the first sign of delirium?

The first sign that you may be affected with delirium is that you may lose track of time.

In many cases, patients may also lose track of their physical location and confusion sets in.

You may ask people the time after every hour. Some people may not be aware of whether it is day or night.

Does delirium tremens go away?

Yes. Although these symptoms are progressive, many of them go away after a week or two.

You should keep in mind that these symptoms are temporary and that your goal of quitting alcohol might be better for your health in the long run.

References

  1. Delirium Tremens Overview
  2. Delirium Tremens Treatment
  3. Who’s at greatest risk of delirium tremens?
  4. Alcohol withdrawal
  5. All about delirium tremens

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