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Alcohol and Health

How To Stop Shakes and Tremors From Alcohol Withdrawal

July 27, 2023
7 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 27, 2023
7 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 27, 2023
7 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 27, 2023
7 min read
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Reframe Content Team
July 27, 2023
7 min read

Think about a time you felt nervous before a significant event, your hands shaking as you braced for an uncertain outcome. Now envision that same shaking, borne not of anxiety, but of a deeper internal conflict. It's a disquieting picture, isn't it? For many people grappling with alcohol withdrawal, shaking after drinking as well as after stopping is a harsh reality. Their journey is marked by an array of symptoms, including tremors and shakes. 

In this post, we explore why alcohol tremors and hangover shakes occur — and later, we explore some ways to address this problem.

Unraveling Alcohol Withdrawal and Alcohol Tremors

First we must understand what alcohol withdrawal really is. When heavy, prolonged alcohol consumption suddenly stops or is dramatically curtailed, our body responds with a series of symptoms. This condition is called alcohol withdrawal.

A guy holding his shaky hands

At the heart of this response lies our central nervous system, which gets accustomed to a certain level of alcohol. When we reduce our intake, our nervous system goes into a hyperactive state, resulting in symptoms such as tremors. This hyperactivity is a sign of our body trying to adjust to the lack of alcohol.

Knowing why these symptoms occur is a vital first step, but it's not enough. Now let's arm ourselves with strategies to address the discomfort they lead to. (Please note: these methods should serve as a complement to professional medical advice, not a substitute.)

Shaking After Drinking? When To Seek Medical Help

In the battle against the shakes and tremors from alcohol withdrawal, our most potent weapon is medical intervention. Benzodiazepines are often administered to manage these symptoms effectively. This medication calms the nervous system, reducing the hyperactivity that leads to shakes and tremors. (Always seek the guidance of a healthcare professional before starting or altering any medication.) 

Easing Alcohol-Related Shakes and Tremors

Maintain Balanced Nutrition To Curb Hangover Shakes

A balanced diet plays an instrumental role in managing withdrawal symptoms. When we're reducing our alcohol consumption, giving our body the nutrients it needs is crucial. Certain vitamins, such as thiamine, can help manage withdrawal symptoms. We must also ensure we’re getting adequate amounts of macronutrients: complex carbs, healthy fats, and proteins. Meeting our nutritional needs gives our body the fuel required to weather the withdrawal storm and heal. For good options, check out our post on liver-cleansing foods.

Stay Hydrated To Get Rid of Shakes After Drinking

Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on our body, and this dehydration can worsen withdrawal symptoms like tremors. Proper hydration helps reduce the severity of these symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, men should aim to drink 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day and women should aim to drink 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day. You can get creative here — sip on broths, enjoy herbal teas, or even add some fruit to your water to give it extra flavor. Avoid caffeinated beverages, as these can make you dehydrated and worsen withdrawal symptoms.

Practice Mind-Body Techniques

In our arsenal of strategies to combat shakes and tremors, mind-body techniques like yoga and mindfulness meditation hold a significant place. They offer a dual benefit: not only can they help manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal, but they also address the stress associated with changing our relationship with alcohol.

Key Takeaways

The journey through alcohol withdrawal can be challenging, particularly when it's punctuated by shakes and tremors. However, with a clear understanding of why these symptoms occur and proven strategies to combat them, we can face this journey with resilience. And, most importantly, let's remember, it's perfectly okay to ask for help. In fact, reaching out is a sign of strength and an essential step towards healing!

Build Better Drinking Habits With Reframe!

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol. 

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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