How Sobriety from Alcohol Changes the Body by Rehab Recovery Centers

During alcohol addiction, you may not notice any physical symptoms of pain or discomfort. However, this does not mean that your body isn’t suffering. Unfortunately, alcoholism has the potential to negatively impact your life in many ways, especially your physical health. Even though alcohol is legal for people over 21, the effects of heavy and frequent drinking may lead to heart, liver, and brain complications, as well as raising your risk for several diseases. Fortunately, choosing to quit drinking alcohol can completely transform your health. Sobriety from alcohol offers many positive impacts on one’s physical and mental health. In fact, there are numerous ways in which sobriety changes your body.

What Happens to Your Body Immediately After You Stop Drinking?

After deciding to quit drinking alcohol, your body will go through an uncomfortable transition. In other words, after becoming physically dependent on alcohol, your body will experience symptoms of withdrawal after a sudden cessation of alcohol intake.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Shaky hands
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

Severe drinking problems will cause more severe symptoms of withdrawal. Some individuals may experience hallucinations between 12 to 24 hours after their last drink. Also, serious alcohol use disorders can cause symptoms of withdrawal such as seizures within the first 2 days after quitting use.

Delirium tremens, or DTs, begin 48 to 72 hours after the last drink consumed. These are classified as severe symptoms that include delusions and vivid hallucinations. Only about 5% of individuals experience delirium tremens.

The additional symptoms of DTs include:

  • Confusion
  • Racing heart
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Heavy sweating

Contact a professional addiction healthcare provider if you or a loved one are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

After Alcohol Detox: 7 Ways Sobriety Changes Your Body

Once you complete detox, you will start participating in an alcohol treatment program while your mind and body recover from the effects of chronic drinking. After the initial weeks of sobriety from alcohol, you will begin to experience an array of positive health effects and changes to your body. Sobriety from alcohol can positively impact not only your mental and emotional health but also your physical health.

1. Improved Sleeping Habits

To begin with, heavy alcohol use is known to cause insomnia and other issues associated with sleep quality. Also, research has shown that poor sleeping habits negatively impact many areas of your health. However, once you get sober from alcohol, you will begin to sleep better. As a result of sleeping better, you will experience more energy, improved mental clarity and brain function, regulated blood sugar, and a brighter mood.

2. Healthier Skin

Heavy alcohol use commonly causes severe dehydration. When you are dehydrated, so is your skin, causing it to appear wrinkled and dry. Fortunately, when you get sober you may notice that your skin has begun healing. As a result, one of the many ways sobriety changes your body is that your skin will appear more clear, hydrated, and healthy.

3. Increased Immune System

Alcohol abuse is known to cause a weakened immune system. In fact, the WHO recently made a statement about the use of alcohol and it’s concerning effects on the immune system, explaining that,

 “Alcohol consumption is associated with a range of communicable and noncommunicable diseases and mental health disorders, which can make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19. In particular, alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes,”

However, once an individual stops abusing alcohol, they can expect to build back a stronger, healthier immune system. As a result, people report experiencing fewer colds or sicknesses as well as feeling stronger overall.

4. Faster Metabolism and Less Calorie Intake

Alcohol abuse is commonly linked to a decrease in one’s metabolism, causing individuals to gain weight. Additionally, individuals who drink large amounts of alcohol typically are unaware of the high-calorie intake they are consuming. The combination of a slowed metabolism and a high-calorie intake often leads to severe weight gain.

However, after an individual gets sober from alcohol, they can expect to fit into their old clothes again. Once the alcohol has been removed from the body, the body is able to heal itself and recuperate from any damage done. As a result, most individuals will regain their normal metabolism and begin to lose weight.

5. Improved Brain Functioning

Another way in which sobriety changes the body is by improved brain functioning. All areas of the brain are impacted when an individual abuses alcohol, including the grey matter. Grey matter is responsible for information processing, making this a crucial part of your brain. While alcohol abuse causes a loss of grey matter in the brain, studies have shown that volume does return in certain regions of the brain after you get sober.

6. Returned Liver Functioning

The liver is known to be impacted severely by alcohol abuse. This is because it is the liver’s responsibility to eliminate alcohol from your bloodstream. Therefore, the more alcohol that is filtered through the liver, the more damage it sustains. While some alcohol-induced liver damage is permanent, such as cirrhosis, mild to moderate liver damage can be reversed after some time of abstinence.

7. Increased Heart Functioning

Lastly, another way sobriety changes and benefits your body is by improved heart functioning. Unfortunately, heavy and frequent drinking causes an increase in triglycerides. To explain, triglycerides are a type of fats that can contribute to heart disease risk. After being sober for several years, the heart has had time to regenerate and heal from the abuse.

Getting Sober: Finding Treatment for Alcoholism

Suffering from the health effects of alcoholism is extremely difficult, especially when you’re dealing with it on your own. However, many of the negative physical health impacts of alcohol abuse can be reversed by long-term sobriety because abstinence allows your body to heal and recover. If you or a loved one would like to experience the endless benefits of sobriety from alcohol or other substances, contact us today.

Get Help Today

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you’re facing. Get in touch with one today.