Alcohol-induced tremors, often colloquially referred to as "the shakes," are a distressing symptom experienced by many individuals grappling with alcohol use disorder.
Counsellor explains causes of tremors after viral video
Counsellor Chris Kimaru explains causes of alcohol-induced tremors after a video went viral showing a man experiencing the same
According to addiction recovery Chris Kimaru an addiction counselor the involuntary trembling of hands, and sometimes other parts of the body, is a manifestation of physiological and neurological changes resulting from chronic alcohol consumption.
He has given his take on a viral video from Kirinyaga county, in which a man was filmed experiencing the shakes at a bar.
In the video, the man eagerly imbibes the alcohol he was served and soon after the tremors stop.
Chris explained that one of the primary triggers for alcohol-induced tremors is withdrawal.
When individuals dependent on alcohol abruptly reduce or cease their intake, the body responds with a range of withdrawal symptoms, and tremors are among the most common.
This phenomenon, known as alcohol withdrawal tremors, typically manifests within 6 to 48 hours after the last drink.
Chris recalled that during his past life as an alcoholic the shakes were a common phenomenon among his drinking buddies.
"The waiters would not dare serve our drinks in glasses in the morning due to the possibility of dropping them because of the tremors. he said.
Chronic alcohol consumption depresses the central nervous system (CNS), which is why those affect have trouble walking, moving or speaking.
When alcohol is suddenly removed, the CNS becomes hyperactive, leading to disruptions in the normal coordination of muscle movements.
This hyperactivity contributes significantly to the development of tremors during withdrawal.
Kimaru also said the man could also have been experiencing delirium tremens. DT is a severe and potentially life-threatening manifestation of alcohol withdrawal.
It is characterized by a rapid onset of severe confusion, tremors, hallucinations, and autonomic nervous system dysfunction.
Delirium tremens typically occurs in individuals with a history of heavy, prolonged alcohol use who suddenly reduce or cease their alcohol intake.
Delirium tremens is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Its potential for severe complications, including cardiovascular collapse and death, necessitates hospitalization in an intensive care setting.
The addiction counselor also added that tremors can a manifestation of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) is a neurological disorder resulting from a severe deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1), often associated with chronic alcohol abuse. It is actually a combination of two conditions.
Thiamine is essential for the proper functioning of brain cells, and its deficiency disrupts cellular energy metabolism.
Chronic alcohol use can lead to poor dietary intake, impaired thiamine absorption, and decreased storage of thiamine in the liver.
If left untreated, it can lead to permanent brain damage or death.
Kimaru recalled that during a past crackdown on illicit brew by the government, one of his drinking buddies died after lacking access to alcohol.
Alcohol-induced tremors are a complex manifestation of the interplay between physiological, neurological, and psychological factors.
Understanding the various reasons behind these tremors is essential for developing effective treatment strategies.
From addressing withdrawal symptoms to mitigating the impact of nutritional deficiencies, a holistic approach is necessary for supporting individuals on their journey towards recovery from alcohol use disorder.
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