Alcohol Tremors, Hangover Shakes, and Shivering
Many binge drinkers are familiar with the tremors that follow a big night out. Some people feel them all over, while others report that only their fingers or hands are affected. The more often you imbibe, the more likely you are to experience these effects. If you’re shaking after drinking, you’ve probably Googled “how to get rid of hangover shakes” or “alcohol tremors.” Today, we’ll discuss this symptom, as well as whether it is a sign of addiction.
What Causes Shaking After Drinking?
Shaking after drinking is a separate concern from alcohol withdrawal. However, the same nervous system changes that cause delirium tremens may also be responsible for short-term alcohol tremors. Here’s why they happen.
Consuming alcohol causes GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors to lose sensitivity and decrease in number. At the same time, glutamate receptors multiply and gain sensitivity. Ideally, this allows the body to overcome alcohol’s sedative effects.
After someone has fully processed all alcohol, the entire nervous system stays unbalanced. This results in:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shaking and tremors
When Will The Alcohol Shakes Go Away?
Remember that everyone experiences shaking after drinking in a different way. For this reason, it’s challenging to predict exactly how long it will take to get rid of your tremors. Certain factors, like low blood sugar, can worsen the shakes. Most professionals estimate that symptoms should cease within a day (or two at the most). If your shakes are a result of alcohol withdrawal, you may have developed a problem requiring clinical care.
Shaking After Drinking: A Sign of Alcohol Withdrawal
Ongoing alcohol abuse causes the body to acclimate to a specific level of this substance. When a person tries to stop drinking, their body will react with a series of symptoms. These are a sign that a true chemical dependency has begun. People in this position often experience anxiety, cravings, insomnia, nausea, heart palpitations, sudden mood shifts, and tremors.
The most severe form of alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens, often shortened as the DTs. They include:
- Agitation and irritation
- Disorientation and confusion
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things)
- Increased body temperature (fever)
- Severe tremors
How to Quit Drinking
Here is a quiz about alcohol use disorder for your reference. If any of these items feel familiar to you, it’s time to get help.
In the past year, have you…
- Spent a lot of time drinking or recovering from a night of drinking?
- Given up activities you loved to drink more often?
- Tried to cut down, or wanted to, but couldn’t?
- Ended up drinking more than you meant to?
- Had to drink increasingly more alcohol to feel the effects?
- Kept drinking, even if it caused conflict with your friends and family?
- Found that your alcohol use has interfered with your life or responsibilities?
- Felt a strong craving for a drink?
- Done something dangerous while under the influence, like driving?
- Kept drinking even though it negatively affected your mental health?
- Experienced withdrawal symptoms as alcohol wore off?
We all need a wakeup call sometimes. For many people, this is it. If you regret drinking so much that you have become shaky, it may be time to seek professional help for alcoholism. Managing withdrawal on your own can be uncomfortable at best and life-threatening at worst. That is why governing organizations recommend recovering from alcohol use disorder while under medical supervision.
Help for Alcoholism in Washington State
Addiction wreaks havoc on every aspect of your life. Over a long enough timeline, you’ll notice that it has harmed your physical health, relationships, and finances. Fortunately, with evidence-based care, it is possible to overcome alcohol use disorder.
Lakeside-Milam offers proven, accredited addiction treatment in Washington State. Our highly trained staff members have helped over 100,000 people to find recovery. As the largest treatment provider in the Pacific Northwest, we have fully dedicated ourselves to the resolution of substance use disorders. To learn more about our residential and outpatient programs, contact the Lakeside-Milam admissions team.