Stopping Alcohol Intake Abruptly


Good morning Doctor,

I am 66 and have been drinking heavily since I was 18. I lately have started hand tremors and decided to stop totally. I have not drank for the last 2 nights and already feel reduced tremors. Is it safe to stop abruptly?
And I feel better.


Well done on giving up the booze! The first  month is pretty hairy. The most scary complication is delirium tremens. This typically happens around the 3rd day after the last drink, but can occur up to day 10. The symptoms are sudden confusion, seizures, fever and high blood pressure.

This is a medical emergency and you have to warn your loved ones to immediately take you to the nearest emergency unit. If you escape this, general supportive guidelines often suffice. Keep yourself well hydrated and well fed. Your body is used to lots of sugar so give in to the sugar cravings, as long as you are not diabetic. Try to avoid stressful situations and be gentle on yourself.

Hope this helps. Good Luck.

Dr Judy


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