5 Ways Quitting Drinking Affects Your Brain

How fast you’d potentially lose weight ultimately depends on how much you were drinking beforehand. When you stop drinking, it can also reverse the negative effects alcohol has had on your cognitive functions like problem-solving, memory, and attention. One study found that around 70% of participants had sleep problems when they were admitted for alcohol treatment. That number dropped to 50% when the participants went home, and many reported that their sleep quality got better after treatment. Quitting alcohol won’t just protect your physical health—it can also improve your mental well-being. 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.

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Fortunately, reducing your alcohol use can help improve your sleep over time, although you might experience more sleep disturbances for some time after you quit. There are many benefits to your health if you cut out alcohol completely. The good news is that your liver can often heal and regenerate when you stop drinking.

When to See a Doctor

Your risk of developing cancer will decrease, and your liver function will have greatly improved. If you have decided that it is time to stop or reduce your alcohol consumption, knowing what happens to your body when you stop drinking can give you a better idea of what to expect. When you stop drinking, various things happen to your mind and body. However, the nature and intensity of these effects can vary depending on how much and how frequently you drink. While occasional social drinking may not result in significant changes when you decide to quit, you may experience more significant effects if you have been drinking heavily for an extended time. Stopping drinking could make your life feel brighter in all kinds of ways, as well as helping your long-term health.

  • Medically supervised detoxification can help manage these symptoms and ensure a safe and successful recovery.
  • “If you are drinking less, you are at a lower risk to incur some of those damages,” Mintz says.
  • And as a central nervous system depressant, alcohol can worsen mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and panic disorder, says McMahon.
  • While alcohol is high in calories, and wine, beer, and mixed drinks add sugar to one’s diet, Kumar said that simply cutting it out may not always help you lose weight.

„It’s entirely possible that when you stop drinking and hang out with your friends, there may be some resistance,“ says Leon. „You have to be very firm, and tell them what you’re doing… Most of the time, if your friends are cool, they’ll get the point and back off.“ It can be helpful to write down your reasons for quitting and the difficulty of withdrawal while it is fresh in your mind. Individuals should be prepared to be uncomfortable during this period and have medical help available if needed. This is the period in which delirium tremens is most likely to occur, which requires immediate medical attention. This process temporarily restores homeostasis, or chemical balance, in an effort to counteract the impact of long-term alcohol use on the brain.

What Happens to Your Liver When You Stop Drinking?

Heavy drinking can actually cause the part of the brain that’s critical to memory and learning (hippocampus), to shrink. When you stop drinking, your skin gets more elastic and the what happens when i stop drinking alcohol redness and discoloration on your face will slowly fade. Neurotransmitters can rebound beyond their usual activity levels, which can leave you feeling anxious and irritable.

If your symptoms are more severe, you may need to stay in the hospital. This is so your doctor can monitor your condition and manage any complications. You may need to get fluids intravenously, or through your veins, to prevent https://ecosoberhouse.com/ dehydration and medications to help ease your symptoms. Some people can be treated at home, but others may need supervised care in a hospital setting to avoid potentially dangerous complications such as seizures.

Blood Alcohol Concentration: What to Know About Alcohol Levels

Take our free, 5-minute alcohol misuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with alcohol misuse. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of an alcohol use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.

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