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Not had beer for 5 days. Having sweats, shakes and extremely short temper. What is causing this?

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Critical Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1992
Answered : 1663 Questions
My husband normally drinks about 120-140 cans of beer every 3 days. due to some unforeseen circumstances, he was unable to purchase any beer, he has now been sober for about 5 days, the first couple he had the sweats, shakes and extremely short temper and anger issues. NOW, he has NO syptoms and is acting like he has never drank at all.. this seems so odd to me, does anyone have a clue what is causing this or what may be happening???
Posted Fri, 12 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Sadiq Mughal 2 hours later

The symptoms your husband developed after not having alcohol for couple of days seems to be related to alcohol withdrawal. He seems to have tremors, irritability, sweating which are common psychological symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms such as his will reach its peak by 24 to 48 hours after stopping alcohol cold XXXXXXX and persist for a week time then subsides completely.

It looks like the symptoms are gradually subsiding which is normal and good. However please continue to watch closely. Some time these symptoms can be severe; he may develop other symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, palpitation, sleeplessness, nervousness and anxiety. Consider seeking medical help if the symptoms worsen.

Hope this answers your question. Let me know if you have any more queries.

Dr Sadiq.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Not had beer for 5 days. Having sweats, shakes and extremely short temper. What is causing this? 5 hours later
is this XXXXXXX to stop cold turkey? he is an alcoholic who consumes huge amounts of alcohol regularly, and I am confident it is taking a toll on his body. he has already dropped 87 lbs and cannot sleep well and has very high BP. he refuses medical intervention. I guess I want to find out what is occurring inside him to help me understand and to prepare for the worst case...... death. he consumes up to 140 cans of beer every 3 days for the last 3 years. and i can see a decline in his mental status and the consumption quantities continue to increase. people are telling me he probably does not have much time left with these quantities. is this true??
Answered by Dr. Sadiq Mughal 12 hours later
Hello thanks for your follow up.

In chronic alcohol addiction cold XXXXXXX can be XXXXXXX if he has some underlying medical disease and medical attention is not sorted during this phase. There are medications available for alcohol withdrawal which helps to ease the symptoms and make experience more bearable.

Yes, drinking heavy amount of alcohol takes toll on the body. He has lost 87 lbs has high blood pressure and cannot sleep, all these are more reasons that he has to say good bye to alcohol but under medical supervision. All the symptoms he has developed, needs urgent medical care.

The first and most commonly involved organ in chronic alcoholism is liver. Chronic alcoholism produces cirrhosis of liver which ultimately leads to liver failure. I would suggest you to consult a physician who may be able to investigate him for damaged cause by chronic alcohol consumption.

Help from alcohol rehabilitation centers can be taken.To begin with he needs urgent liver function tests and ultra sound abdomen to assess the status of his liver, rest investigations and management can then follow depending upon the status of his liver. He may finally need a consultation from hepatoligist.

Hope this answers your question.

Let me know if you have any more queries regarding your husband.

Dr Sadiq.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Not had beer for 5 days. Having sweats, shakes and extremely short temper. What is causing this? 16 hours later
I want to thank you so much for the information you have shared with me. I have been preparing myself for his death and have come to a place of peace about his demise. I work 2 PT jobs, one hospice and in a mortuary, so I am quite familiar with what is going on, it saddens me to know he wants to die and that this is how he has chosen to do it. both his parents died from alcoholism as well. I think I have know most of what you have shared, but I needed to see it in writing to make it feel more real to me I believe.
Again, thank you so much
Answered by Dr. Sadiq Mughal 30 minutes later

Thanks for your follow up.

It saddens me to know that his parents have died of alcoholism, but you should not accept the defeat before fighting the war. Get him investigated at least to know the status of his liver and other organ even if he wants to die in this way. Condition of liver will tell us, is there any chance to save his precious life.
Hope this answers your question.

If you don't have any more queries, close the discussion.

Take care of your husband,
Best Regards.
Dr Sadiq
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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