Facts about delirium tremens

Facts about delirium tremens

Withdrawal symptoms are common when patients are undergoing rehabilitation for any kind of  addiction. While some withdrawals are manageable, others are more uncomfortable. In the case of alcohol withdrawal, delirium tremens (DT) is an unpleasant side effect of withdrawal. The risk of experiencing DT increases for heavy drinkers. Despite the reduction in mortality rate due to DT from 35 percent in the past to a current ten percent, DT is still treated as a medical emergency.

Alcohol addiction is one of the most common addictions across the world. Apart from it being a legal substance almost everywhere, alcohol has also become an intrinsic part of culture in many nations including the United States.

Causes of DT

The continuous and heavy intake of alcohol alters the brain chemistry. Alcohol affects the neurotransmitters in the brain and eventually the way the brain works. GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and GABA-like drugs are used to suppress spasms. Alcohol is believed to mimic GABA’s effect in the brain, binding to GABA receptors and inhibiting neuronal signaling.

Symptoms of DT

DT is characterized by symptoms such as confusion, rapid heartbeat and fever. The symptoms of the withdrawal become apparent within 72 hours after quitting alcohol. People who are able to complete withdrawal without any complications do not develop DT. Other DT symptoms include:

  • Seizures: These are one of the common symptoms and occur without any history of epilepsy. During DT seizures, the body tends to shake noticeably. The risk of experiencing seizures is highest between six and 48 hours into withdrawal.
  • Confusion: Foggy thinking is common with people experiencing withdrawal symptoms. In the event of DT, this tends to become severe affecting the thinking ability of a person.
  • Hallucinations: As DT impacts the functioning of the brain, many people in withdrawal experience hallucinations. The range of hallucinations varies greatly and seem very real to the person experiencing them.
  • Other symptoms: Many people experience  agitation,  increased excitement,  elevated pulse, blood pressure and temperature.

Treating DT

There are several ways to treat DT such as supportive care, medication with benzodiazepines, and therapies. However, considering the risks and harm that can be caused due to DT, it is advisable to seek treatment for alcohol addiction at a certified rehab center. Medically supervised detox programs help a patient complete withdrawal with minimal discomfort. Detox programs are structured based on the needs of a patient and the type of addiction.

If you or a loved one has alcoholism, get in touch with the alcohol rehab centers in California. You may call our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online to enquire about the best alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California. Our representatives will help you get in touch with the best alcohol addiction treatment center in California.

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