Many different thoughts may flood into their mind, and a person may not know where their thoughts are coming from. Here are 5 simple and practical ways to get your brain back on track during recovery. Mild symptoms may appear similar to a hangover, but they last longer than 24 hours. „I feel great. To all those that are ready to give up because of withdrawals, hang in there! It does get better.” „I still feel really anxious and panicky and confused sometimes, especially in public.” „By day five, I started exercising, and by day seven, I cranked the intensity up from there. My skin and eyes look better, and the bloated stomach is starting to recede.”

brain fog after quitting drinking

If you or someone else is planning to stop drinking after heavy, long-term use, it’s crucial to seek medical supervision. A healthcare provider can create a safe and effective withdrawal plan and provide appropriate treatment, such as medication to manage symptoms and prevent complications. Berman’s research has also found that the effects of alcohol abuse (and subsequent abstinence) differ between men and women. In a recent cross-sectional study, she and other researchers studied the brains of 60 individuals who’d been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder and abstained from drinking for at least four weeks. Clinical assessments revealed that women had higher mood scores than their male counterparts during early sobriety. If you are experiencing brain fog after quitting drinking, you may wonder if it will go away on its own.

Duration of Alcohol Withdrawal

They weren’t completely inaccessible, but my ability to think clearly was severely impaired. Brain fog is a term used to describe difficulty with thinking and concentration. When I got sober, I often felt confused and had immense trouble organizing my thoughts. Individuals should be prepared to be uncomfortable during this period and have medical help available if needed.

  • Inpatient treatment, or staying at a hospital or care facility, may be necessary for someone with moderate to severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
  • These resources can all be great tools for treating alcohol addiction and brain fog.
  • Brain fog or mental fog is a term used to describe the feeling of mental confusion or cloudiness.

After two weeks of total abstinence from alcohol, the most common symptom reported is insomnia, but that could be attributed to other factors, as well. „Symptoms are reducing daily, and I have had the best two night’s sleep in a very long time. Just loving waking up without counting the hours to the next drink.” „The recent nine months’ sobriety [has] done great good for my body. That said, I hope never to forget how much damage I felt in four days of drink.”

Go easy on the caffeine and alcohol

Intense cravings and irritability are commonly reported after day 12. „My mind has never felt sharper. I have started swimming and going to the gym.” „My worst withdrawal symptom is that my brain does not seem to work very well. Lots of spelling errors and poor fine-motor skills. I will not even go into the insomnia.” „Physically, I feel fine now, but I still crave alcohol like crazy. That’s going to be the worst part.”

  • „They become much more likely to seek alcohol and to rely on it to cope with negative feelings,” said Ray.
  • They then develop healthy thought patterns that help them cope with stress and refuse alcohol.
  • Depending on the severity of the brain fog and other related symptoms, a healthcare provider may recommend medication, therapy, or other interventions to support recovery.
  • If you or someone you know shows signs of delirium tremens, go to the emergency room immediately.
  • Cut yourself off from caffeine by six hours before bedtime, and drink plenty of water and other hydrating beverages.
  • The symptoms of brain fog from alcohol can vary depending on the individual.

The most common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, problems with language, and difficulty with planning and decision-making. Suppose you are struggling to manage your stress levels and alcohol consumption. This is because dehydration can lead to symptoms like fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Common hormonal imbalances that can cause brain fog include low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism) and high cortisol levels (adrenal fatigue). According to research, when cirrhosis of the liver is treated, some of the brain damage it might cause begins to reverse. Thiamine deficiency in alcoholics can be quickly reversed with supplemental doses, but frequent shortages can cause irreversible damage.

Reducing stress

For many, it’s very difficult to get past the third day of unrelenting shakes and sweats without picking up a drink. „Spent day in ER, heart rate of 160, dehydrated, and generally just sick. Shaking so bad I couldn’t walk. Anxiety attack that convinced me I was having a stroke.” „I think I’ve seriously damaged my brain. Maybe a seizure. alcohol brain fog Sudden sharp pains in the head. Visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations. Confusion. Couldn’t walk right.” „Thankfully, I’m able to sleep, and the shakes come and go, but the anxiety and the dark places are tough.” „Shaking so bad I can hardly type, can barely stand up, can’t eat or sleep. Might be time for a trip to the ER.”

brain fog after quitting drinking

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin to ease for some and just begin to get intense for others. Some have the same symptoms as on day one and ask, „How long does this last?” The urge to relieve those withdrawal symptoms with a drink can be overwhelming. „Most of my withdrawal symptoms are gone, but I still have sharp pains in my head, can’t sleep, and get night sweats.”

„You build up a tolerance, and after a while, you don’t feel as good as you once did with the same amounts of alcohol.” The brain’s hippocampus region—which helps create new memories—is also affected by alcohol, which contributes to blackouts and short-term memory lapses while drinking. According to a 2020 review in the journal Alcohol Research, men and women experience alcohol-induced blackouts at equal rates, even though women tend to drink less often and less heavily than men. Alcohol also lowers inhibitions and clouds judgment, which could lead a person to engage in risky behaviors like having unprotected sex or driving a car while drunk. And if a person has an underlying mental health disorder, like depression or bipolar disorder, alcohol can exacerbate symptoms and increase mood swings. „For starters, alcohol slows down the neurotransmitter GABA, and that’s what drives the sluggish movement, slurred speech, and slower reaction time in someone who’s intoxicated,” said Pagano.

Inpatient treatment, or staying at a hospital or care facility, may be necessary for someone with moderate to severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Inpatient treatment allows healthcare professionals to monitor you for DT or hallucinations, monitor your vitals, and administer fluids or medicine intravenously if needed. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be greatly reduced or even eliminated with proper medical care. There are specific treatments available for anyone who wants to stop drinking—even after long-term, chronic alcohol use. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal delirium include withdrawal seizures that can occur between 8 and 28 hours after your last drink. Signs of an impending seizure include tremors, increased blood pressure, overactive reflexes, and high temperature and pulse.