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Tips For Relieving Diarrhea During Alcohol Withdrawal & Detox

Published on June 24, 2021
Tips For Relieving Diarrhea During Alcohol Withdrawal & Detox

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system (CNS). If you develop an alcohol dependence, you may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including diarrhea, when you stop drinking. 

When experienced alongside other serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms, diarrhea can cause a number of issues to the body. To make the detox process more manageable, consider some tips for relieving diarrhea during withdrawal. 

Diarrhea Relief Tips

For those struggling with diarrhea associated with alcohol withdrawal, it’s important to remember the following tips:

  • drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated
  • replenish your electrolytes
  • ​eat bland foods such as bread or white rice
  • take vitamins and probiotics
  • avoid foods that can irritate your stomach such as salsa and other spicy foods
  • consider over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medications

If you believe you’re suffering from alcohol withdrawal, seek medical advice from your doctor as soon as possible. While you may believe you have mild symptoms, they can quickly become life-threatening if left untreated. 

Additional Symptoms Of Alcohol Withdrawal 

Diarrhea is not the only symptom of alcohol withdrawal. In fact, other common symptoms may occur such as:

  • mood swings
  • ​irritability
  • headache
  • gastrointestinal issues
  • heart palpitations
  • anxiety
  • loss of appetite
  • nightmares
  • fatigue
  • trouble sleeping
  • depression
  • sweating

Those suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms may experience:

Medical Emergencies Associated With Alcohol Withdrawal 

A serious form of alcohol withdrawal known as delirium tremens may occur. With it, you may experience acute alcohol withdrawal which can cause more life-threatening side effects.  

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome may also occur, which is a condition you might develop if you stop drinking abruptly after a prolonged pattern of drinking alcohol in large quantities. 

Those experiencing delirium tremens or alcohol withdrawal syndrome may need medical care right away. If necessary, call 9-11 or contact your healthcare provider for immediate medical attention.

Detox Support For Alcohol Withdrawal

Once you’ve realized that you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to make note of when you had your last drink. 

This can help your healthcare provider keep track of your medical history and form a correct withdrawal timeline in order to make the detoxification process as easy as possible for you.

Medical Monitoring

As you receive medical attention for your alcohol withdrawal and diarrhea symptoms, professionals will likely observe and monitor you to determine if you’re experiencing issues such as:

  • rise in body temperature
  • withdrawal seizures
  • ​high blood pressure
  • ​abnormal heart rate
  • rapid breathing
  • shaky hands

These exams will hopefully help doctors determine how severe your alcohol use disorder has become. 

Diarrhea Relief

As doctors help you through detox, they may help ease your diarrhea by:

  • providing carbohydrates for you to eat
  • giving you plenty of fluids to drink
  • increasing your electrolyte intake
  • managing any gastrointestinal issues you have
  • providing sedatives such as benzodiazepines 

Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one suffers from substance abuse, alcohol abuse, or alcohol addiction, professional help is available for long-term recovery. Addiction treatment programs likely start with alcohol detox and then help you stop your alcohol consumption for good.

Following detox, you can begin an inpatient and outpatient program. These rehab programs include support groups, behavioral therapy, and a range of evidence-based services. 

To learn about our treatment options, contact our helpline to speak to one of our specialists today.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Alcohol & Substance Misuse
Industrial Psychiatry Journal - Clinical Management of Alcohol Withdrawal: A Review
Journal of International Medical Research - Acute Diarrhea-Induced Shock During Alcohol Withdrawal: A Case Study
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Alcohol Dependence, Withdrawal, and Relapse
National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Alcohol Withdrawal
National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Delirium Tremens

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