It’s pretty common to have had one bad night of drinking in your life. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, night sweats, thirst, dizziness, dry mouth and diarrhoea are pretty common symptoms of a hangover.
What’s not as common is someone having symptoms beyond the usual flu-like ones. Some symptoms can be neurological and involve involuntary movements or spasms in the body. In other words, you likely have hangover shakes.
Why Do I Get The Shakes After Drinking Alcohol?
Uncontrollable tremors and shaking in the extremities, particularly the arms and hands, can be seen in some people experiencing a hangover. After drinking too much for the body to handle, there can be symptoms like these that may seem frightening and cause for concern.
It’s important to note before looking at what the tremors are that if you notice the tremors are not lessening over time, or if you feel like something is not right, seek immediate medical help. These could be a sign of serious medical problems and need to be addressed right away.
Causes Of Hangover Shakes
One of the common factors in the tremors is that they happen after drinking a lot or from drinking for an extended period of time. There are a few different possible causes for them, although they all often will look the same to the observer. They should all be taken as a warning sign that there is or was too much alcohol in the body. It’s struggling to adapt to the changing alcohol levels in the system.
The severity of the symptoms is almost always based on a few different factors. The main ones are how much has the person been drinking and how long have they been drinking. The more you drink, or the longer you have been drinking, the worse the symptoms will be. Other factors like overall health, sleep deprivation, smoking, genetics, weight, and gender will play a role in severity as well.
How Long Do Alcohol Shakes Last?
Symptom length will also vary based on those same factors. Hangovers will typically last a day or two before a person feels like they are back to their average level of functioning. However, more intense withdrawal symptoms can last longer. On average, a person can expect to be through most severe withdrawal symptoms in a week, but this will vary from person to person and depend on how much alcohol they have consumed.
What are we feeling when we’re hungover?
As the alcohol leaves the system, tremors can happen as a result of the effect that alcohol has on the brain. It is a depressant and will slow or delay responses in the nervous system. It also affects the area of the brain that controls movement and coordination. While sobering up may help some get their balance back, for others as they go through withdrawal or have a hangover, the brain is still trying to get back to normal. It’s firing signals incorrectly to the body and tremors may be one of the consequences of this.
How Does Alcohol Affect The Brain & The Nervous System?
Another possible cause of alcohol shakes is also due to neurology and the effect of alcohol on it. As the effects of alcohol wear off, the nervous system becomes more active, and a lot of information and stimulation is suddenly going through it. The shakes may be a result of the body trying to cope with being flooded with neurological activity. It may not have got back to a stable state yet, and shaking will be a result of that effect. Drowsiness and impaired cognitive functioning are the two dominant features of alcohol hangover.
Anxiety And Hangover Shakes
Anxiety after drinking is also another possible cause of tremors. Hangovers or withdrawal are a shock to the system, especially for people who have been drinking for a long time. This can cause the body to release stress hormones and have an elastic effect on people with anxiety disorders. They may drink to calm themselves down, but when they sober up, at first anyway, they will experience very intense anxiety. This, like other symptoms in withdrawal, are temporary and will pass, but it will be unpleasant for a time.
What Are Delirium Tremors?
One of the more severe forms of tremors is seen in people who have severe or long-standing alcohol addictions. It’s often called the DT’s or delirium tremens. These are tremors in people who are withdrawing from alcohol after they have been drinking for an extended period. This is not seen in people with hangovers and is a warning sign of both the severity of the addiction, as well as the state of the body. When people experience these tremors when they stop drinking usually means they need help to quit. They may even need medical detox to wean themselves off alcohol, so they can do it safely and have their condition monitored closely.
Alcohol Shakes & Blood Sugar Levels
Alcohol stops the body’s ability to maintain tight control on the blood sugar levels. The result of this is a low blood sugar concentration, which is the leading cause of tiredness and weariness, and even tremors experienced during a hangover. These symptoms of a hangover are persistent after a night of drinking.
Hypoglycemia indicates an unusually low level of sugar or glucose in the blood. As sugar is the primary source of energy in the body, an alarmingly low level would make the following symptoms emerge:
- heart palpitations
- perhaps seizures
Hypoglycemia develops when the liver can not release glucose into the bloodstream because it must instead process alcohol. If this is untreated, the imbalance in the blood sugar levels can become a severe health issue, possibly leading to tremors which are uncontrollable.
How To Get Rid Of Shakes From A Hangover
If you or someone you love are experiencing tremors or shakes, it may be a sign that you need help. If these do not go away over time, or if you get them after you try to stop drinking when you have been drinking for a while, seek immediate medical attention. Otherwise, there is no quick fix to make them, or hangovers go away. While there may be many cures offered, they don’t do much to make the symptoms go away. Keep taking in fluids, especially sports drinks or those with electrolytes, this may relieve dehydration-associated symptoms such as thirst, dizziness, dry mouth, and headache.
Also, it’s essential to remember that if you are hungover, there is a likelihood that your blood alcohol levels are still too high to be able to drive safely. Even if your blood alcohol level has returned to normal when your concentration is affected you should avoid driving, work and other tasks that could be dangerous if you are still suffering from a hangover.
Treatment For Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol shakes are withdrawal on a much smaller scale. Some people who go through withdrawal will experience uncontrolled shakes or tremors, and while scary, they are not always medically dangerous. Drinking for long periods and stopping can cause tremors as well, and is a cause for serious concern.
Either way, your body is telling you that it was pushed past what it can do and needs to stop. Consider shakes and tremors your body’s way of warning you that it’s time to cut back or quit. If you are struggling to give up alcohol on your own, help is available to you, and you can overcome this before it gets to dangerous levels.