What is a common alcohol detox symptom that someone will experience when detoxing from alcohol? There are a couple of symptoms to watch out for and some of them are not so serious and others are big warning signs. Let’s take a look at what you can expect. A little disclaimer first though: try to get to a treatment center if you can, because alcohol detox is dangerous and can actually be fatal.
First of all there are headaches. These are extremely common during alcohol withdrawal and just about everyone will experience this. You can take Tylenol or Ibuprofen for this as directed by your doctor. Also, make sure you are getting plenty of water and fluids during the detox process, which might help reduce headaches.
Second of all there are tremors. If you hold your hands out and spread the fingers, you can observe the level of tremor that is occurring. Another way to observe this is to have the patient stick their tongue out. The tongue will tremor as well. Now this is an important symptom to watch for and if the tremor gets bad at all then you should probably seek medical treatment. If you can’t get to a treatment center or a drug detox then you should even go to the emergency room. Increasing tremors are sometimes followed up with by seizures. Most people who go through alcohol detox will not have seizures, but enough people do that it is a real threat that you need to take seriously.
Third there is nausea and vomiting. Most people will not have this but it can happen. They might also get the sweats and start sweating visibly.
Now the rest of the symptoms here are what I would call serious red flags. If any of the following start to occur and increase in intensity, then it might be time to seek medical treatment. We are talking about hallucinations, including visual, audio, and tactile. Tactile means feelings or sensations, such as feeling like bugs are crawling on or under the skin. Obviously the others are seeing or hearing things that you know are not there.
Now in most cases, the patient will have minor sensations like these and know that they are not real. This is probably not cause for alarm, yet. But if the person believes the hallucinations to be real, and becomes disoriented, then it is time to seek professional help. The likelihood of a seizure is probably increased greatly at this point too. If they become delusional, get them to a treatment center or an ER.
When in doubt, seek professional help for alcohol withdrawal. It can be fatal if it is severe enough and you do not seek medical attention. Believe it or not, it is safer for some alcoholics to continue to drink than it is for them to go cold turkey through withdrawal with no medical supervision. If you display any of these symptoms while quitting drinking, you should probably consider seeking a professional detox unit.