Author: Charles Frank

6 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Stop Drinking

what happens when you stop drinking alcohol

Even if you don’t drink a lot, the end of an alcohol-free month is a good time to reflect on your relationship with alcohol. Tools on the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website can help calculate how many calories you drink each week and how much money you spend on alcohol over the course of a week, month, or year. Here’s a timeline of how your body might react after you stop drinking alcohol. Support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, offer an outlet to discuss treatment goals and challenges with other people who are in alcohol recovery.

Plus, it disrupts the important REM stage of sleep and may interfere with your breathing. Try skipping alcohol, especially in the late afternoon and evening, for more restful shut-eye. Alcoholics Anonymous (Anonyymit Alkoholistit), or AA, is a peer association for men and women to share experiences about alcoholism and to help each other recover. AA groups meet in many different municipalities, and the largest cities also have English-speaking groups.

  1. On the other hand, if you drink in moderation, alcohol doesn’t affect LDL and instead increases good cholesterol (HDL).
  2. This phase is less common and is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).
  3. Alcohol can cause psychological dependence, so if you’re finding it hard to manage the emotional element of quitting, reach out for help, says McMahon.
  4. Your immune system should be firing more effectively now, too, which can mean less chance of sickness, inflammation, and infection.
  5. Some of the AddictionLink services are also available in Swedish, English and Russian.
  6. But if you drink alone, or down multiple drinks a day, it could turn into an unhealthy habit.

But even moderate drinking, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as two or fewer drinks for men per day and one or fewer drinks for women, comes with health risks. Alcohol use disorder frequently occurs alongside other mental health conditions. Pre-existing mental health conditions can sometimes lead people to turn to alcohol to cope with their symptoms. In other cases, long-term alcohol exposure can increase a person’s risk of developing a psychiatric illness. Research from 2018 showed that a month-long break from alcohol was enough for moderate-heavy drinkers to see improvements in insulin resistance, blood pressure, body weight, and cancer-related growth factors.

Decrease the risk of heart disease

Drinking alcohol can contribute to a variety of cognitive issues, including poor memory, slow reaction time, impaired impulse control, and poor concentration. Over time, drinking can also damage nerve cells and contribute to a loss of brain volume. 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. “A short-term break from alcohol will allow the liver cells to recover from the persistent toxic injury from the alcohol,” Larson said. If you stop drinking for a week, you might notice some positive changes in your gastrointestinal system. The digestive tract heals quickly after someone cuts out alcohol, according to Debbie Petitpain, MBA, RDN, a registered dietitian based in Charleston.

what happens when you stop drinking alcohol

Submit your number and receive a free call today from a treatment provider. Alcohol rehab counselors provide support during the highs and lows of alcohol withdrawal. Counselors also look to see if there are underlying factors that may have influenced an alcohol addiction and coach patients on how to work through various matters.

Better Sleep

So, giving up alcohol can help your skin to look more hydrated and glowing. This may be more pronounced if you often use alcohol as a way to manage existing sleep problems. Unfortunately, while alcohol may make it seem like you are falling asleep quicker, it can also lead to worse sleep quality.

what happens when you stop drinking alcohol

One of the most common side effects of giving up alcohol is insomnia.This is because alcohol acts as a sedative, so when it’s no longer in your system, you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. It is potentially life-threatening, so it is essential to seek medical attention immediately if you experience such symptoms. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers.

What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Dr. Dasgupta said for social and moderate drinkers, participating in a month break won’t make much difference to their bodies. However, for people who exceed recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, he said staying away from alcohol for a month can reap changes. Over time, heavy drinking can cloud your perception of distances and volumes, or slow and impair your motor skills.

If you use more than that, cutting back or quitting may lower your blood pressure, levels of fat called triglycerides, and chances of heart failure. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, tremors, sweating, and nausea. If you’re a heavy drinker, you might notice symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as soon as eight hours after going sober. Treatment providers are available 24/7 to answer your questions about rehab, whether it’s for you or a loved one.

This is because alcohol can cause depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Quitting alcohol for one month seems like a short time, but a 2015 study found that many people who participate in Dry January continue to drink less six months later. Alcohol is also linked to poor sleep quality, so you might feel more energized after a week without alcohol, she added. Reach out to a treatment provider for free today for immediate assistance. “Quitting alcohol isn’t just about physical health; it’s a profound transformation for mental well-being too,” says Dr. Kellogg. “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.

Improved Liver Health

By reducing withdrawal symptoms, you will be able to focus on recovery and getting better. In addition to uncomfortable side effects, alcohol withdrawal syndrome can trigger life-threatening health complications. Whether you’ve been drinking for weeks, months, or years, it’s possible to experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Professional care from a specialized alcohol rehab facility is highly recommended for those attempting to quit drinking as withdrawal can be extremely dangerous.

Although alcohol withdrawal can be a dangerous and painful process, it is a necessary step on the road to recovery. When conducted under the supervision of medical professionals, alcohol withdrawal is a much safer and easier process. Contact a treatment provider today to find out what options are available to you. If you’re a heavy drinker, you’re at an increased risk of developing certain diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

If you want to level up your health, cutting back significantly on alcohol yields several physical and mental health perks. Like a downhill skier picking up speed, the momentum—and benefits—really start to build after a month. Liver enzyme levels and blood pressure have normalized, reducing the risk of cirrhosis and heart disease. Cardiovascular levels are also improved, which may also contribute to weight loss and visible changes in your physique. You might think that a regular glass of red wine or other alcoholic beverages might be good for your heart. But that may not be true, or true only for light sippers (less than one drink a day).