Effects of Alcohol: What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

Your liver detoxifies and removes alcohol from your blood through a process known as oxidation. When your liver finishes that process, alcohol gets turned into water and carbon dioxide. Dr. Sengupta shares some of the not-so-obvious effects that alcohol has on your body. Withdrawal is different for everyone; there really is no “normal” and it can be hard to predict an individual person’s experience.

what happens when you stop drinking alcohol

Like ultraviolet radiation, asbestos and tobacco, alcohol is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 1 carcinogen—the highest-risk group. Keep in mind, though, that research on whether alcohol is a risk factor for weight gain is mixed. You might not have any issues after your short-term withdrawal goes away. But sometimes uncomfortable symptoms stick around for months or years. Withdrawal happens because your brain gets used to the depressive effects of alcohol. These chemical changes affect how your nerve cells talk to each other.

It May Reduce Cancer Risk

Exploring, in writing, what you find difficult and when you most want to drink can help you notice patterns that offer more insight into your alcohol use. Comparing the emotions that come up when you have a drink with the feelings you experience when abstaining also helps you recognize when drinking doesn’t fix the problems you’re trying to manage. By avoiding alcohol, you’re taking a big step toward improving physical health.

Excessive drinking can lead to the build-up of toxic, highly cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds that contribute to inflammation in your body, especially in your liver. One of the most profound ways that alcohol affects you is through what it does to your body. After you drink alcohol, Volpicelli explains that the small molecules inside it get absorbed by your gut.

Mental clarity

In fact, alcohol use can make you more susceptible to pneumonia, for example, and predispose chronic drinkers to things like infections and even poor wound healing. “There are people who have learned to practice very reasonable alcohol consumption that contributes to psychosocial well-being in a way that does not impair their health,” Kumar noted. Depending on the person, Kumar said she sometimes suggests cutting back on alcohol to lose weight. For anyone concerned about heart health, Dasgupta recommended decreasing alcohol intake and increasing physical activity, which also raises good cholesterol.

He previously served as the primary care director and the medical director of HIV primary care at Olive View—UCLA Medical. He is the co-chair of the LA County Department of Health Services HIV Best Practices Committee and member of the LA County Department of Health Services Substance Use Disorder work group. Dr. Belani is currently a member of the Society of General Internal Medicine and American Academy of HIV Medicine. McMahon says quitting alcohol might cause some sleep disturbances or insomnia initially, but sleep quality and quantity will improve with continued abstinence.

You May Have Trouble Sleeping

Or if you’re just thinking about taking a break from alcohol, for your own reasons or as part of a challenge, you will be joining millions of others. Quitting cold turkey may not be your best option if you find yourself drinking too much, too often and are showing signs of dependency. So, if you’re trying to crush some weight-loss goals, cutting out the alcohol may help you achieve them faster. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, with one person dying every 37 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

what happens when you stop drinking alcohol

After three days, you will likely start to feel more like yourself. However, individuals who have been drinking heavily for long periods of time may still experience some symptoms of withdrawal and may even have hallucinations or delirium tremens (DTs) and seizures. If you are thinking about quitting drinking, talk to your healthcare provider.

If you need a break from alcohol, going alcohol-free for a month or more can bring about many physical and mental health benefits. There are many benefits to giving up alcohol, both short-term and long-term. https://ecosoberhouse.com/ If you’re considering quitting drinking, these benefits may be just what you need to help you decide. Of course, giving up alcohol is not always easy, and there may be some challenges along the way.

  • Although the liver may heal with time, It won’t necessarily happen overnight.
  • Most people never have to worry about being addicted to alcohol, the dangers connected to overuse, or the benefits of not drinking anymore.
  • If you or someone you know shows signs of delirium tremens, go to the emergency room immediately.
  • Alcohol causes a “steady depletion of the vitamins and minerals that our body needs to feel our best,” explains Brooke Scheller, DCN, CNS, doctor of clinical nutrition.






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