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Complicated Alcohol Abstinence (Delirium Tremens)

Overview

Alcohol withdrawal state refers to a group of symptoms that may occur from suddenly stopping the use of alcohol after chronicor prolonged ingestion.


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Causes

Alcohol withdrawal state occurs in approximately 1 out of 10,000 people, usually adults. It occurs when a person who usesalcohol excessively suddenly stops the alcohol use, usually within 12 to 72 hours after the last drink. Excessive alcohol use isgenerally considered intake equivalent to 7 to 8 pints of beer (or 1 pint of "hard" alcohol) per day for several months or habitualuse of alcohol or alcoholism that has existed for more than 10 years.The symptoms result from nervous system toxicity caused by alcohol and can range from mild to moderate (anxiety, thinkingdifficulty, and muscle tremors) , to severe complicated alcohol abstinence symptoms (delirium tremens, called d.T.s andconvulsions) .


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Signs & Symptoms

feeling of jumpiness or nervousness- feeling of shakiness- anxiety- irritability or easily excited- emotional volatility, rapid emotional changes- depression- fatigue- difficulty with thinking clearly- sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations)- headache, general, pulsating- sweating, especially the palms of the hands or the face- nausea- vomiting- loss of appetite- insomnia, sleeping difficulty- paleness- rapid heart rate- eyes, pupils different size (enlarged, dilated pupils)- skin, clammy- abnormal movement- tremor- rapid and rhythmic tremor- involuntary, abnormal movements of the eyelidsComplicated alcohol abstinence symptoms:- hallucinations (visual)- agitation- fever- convulsions

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Prevention

Minimize or avoid the use of alcohol. In persons with alcoholism, total abstinence from alcohol may be necessary.


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Treatments
Preventive Treatment Modern Medicine

Goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms,prevent compliction and most important to prevent patients life.

Once acute symptoms are relieved patient is put long term preventive treatment

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