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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can severe alcohol withdrawal occur after abruptly ceasing binge drinking?

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Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1954

Answered : 4232 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 5 Jun 2018 in General Health
Question: I have been drinking quite a bit over the holidays these past couple of weeks. I suppose it would be characterized as binge drinking since I have several drinks every evening. If I were to stop abruptly is there a chance of serious alcohol withdrawal from this type of drinking? I drank a lot for New Year's Eve last night and now I'm extremely nauseous and have vomited several times today, beginning about 12 hours after my last drink. My stomach is cramping and I have some mild diarrhea. I'm not sure if this is a withdrawal symptom, or my stomach is just upset from drinking. Or possibly a stomach virus. I do not have a fever or trembling. My blood pressure is 118 over 71. Pulse 90. I am experiencing some anxiety but I do have an anxiety disorder.
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Answered by Dr. Prof. Kunal Saha 31 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Possible episode of gastroenteritis

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

I have gone carefully through your query and understand your concerns. It is possibly due to an episode of gastroenteritis (can be loosely referred to as stomach virus, although not exactly) and not due to withdrawal symptom. Electrolyte imbalance is a possibility to consider. In such an occasion it is very important to replenish the lost water and salts. Unless that is done, it can lead to to dehydration and fluid electrolyte imbalance. The spinning of head indicates that you are possibly fluid depleted and therefore drinking plenty of water and ORS is the key. If that does not help, visit the ER at the earliest.

In order to relieve yourself, you need to do the following:
* Take plenty of ORS (oral rehydration solution) to replenish the lost fluids and salts.
* Take Prilosec (omeprazole) once daily before breakfast.
* Take some antiemetic like meclizine.
* Take juicy fruits like citrus fruits. They contain plenty of potassium which should help in proper functioning of the muscles and in reduction of the cramps.

Hopefully that should help.

Let me know if I could help further.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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