With serious alcohol addiction, the body is literally going through a pro-longed poisoning that ultimately destroys the internal organs. However, if addiction can be stopped before that end game is reached, the human body has an amazing ability in healing itself, even from the worst abuse given to it over the years. Here’s what one can expect after years of heavy drinking and finally going sober and stopping the alcohol intake.
The Initial Physical Reactions
Because the body has been attuned to alcohol, it has been in a cycle of regularly reacting with negative side effects when the alcohol subsides, including hormones. So, people drink more to make it go away. However, once an alcohol detox procedure is actually applied and stuck with, the body starts to really react to the loss of alcohol. These reactions are best known as withdrawal symptoms. They range from nausea, sweats, digestion problems, cramping and pain, vomiting, joint and muscle pain, and inability to sleep. This initial phase, with the worst of the reactions, will last up to 72 hours. By the fourth day, most people have made it past the withdrawals.
One Week Out
Believe it or not, once past the immediate physical withdrawal reactions, a patient will actually start to sleep better. Part of it is exhaustion and the body realizing it can finally heal. The part is simply due to the internal system getting back to a normal day and night cycle again.
Two Weeks Out
Internally the liver has been hard at work finally able to get ahead of the alcohol intake. Without the competition, and if the liver is still in working order, it has been working hard at purging out the last remnants of alcohol in the system. The body is also getting rid of calories from drinking and weight loss begins to occur. A patient’s blood pressure may begin to also stabilize and go down to normal levels as well.
The outward signs of healing begin to appear. The person’s skin loses its blotchiness, especially in the face, and begins to look cleaner and healthier. A patient’s energy levels also begin to increase as the body regains strength and deep recovery with regular sleep. This will continue for another three months at least.
One Year Out
The mental struggle of former alcohol addiction will still be a challenge and require work every day. However, a patient with regular therapy and support will be able to get back to a normal life, handle stress successfully, not have anxiety driven by addiction, and will be “socially returned” to a normal state again. Relapse risk prevention takes a lifetime of work and focus, but many patients have been able to accomplish it successfully when they have the right support from medical professionals, family, and friends.
The above is not a perfect path, and everyone’s case is somewhat different. However, once past the withdrawals, most patients realize significant improvements in their health as well as their mental picture after breaking an addiction. And even those who are not addicted can benefit from alcohol-fasting for a bit. The body never complains about a chance to heal and improve.