Delirium syndrome, delirium or white fever is not a disorder that can be called an idiopathic mental illness. It makes itself felt only when there are other somatic diseases, psychoactive drugs are discontinued or poisoning with this type of substances occurs, and when alcohol is interrupted and alcohol abuse occurs. Delirium should not be taken lightly, because this set of disturbances of consciousness sometimes causes death and is extremely dangerous to humans. When exactly does it occur, how does it manifest itself and is it possible to cure alcohol delirium?
Delirium (delirium tremens, alcoholic delirium, white alcoholic fever) is the disturbance of consciousness accompanying abrupt withdrawal from alcohol. When can we speak of delirium tremens? What are the symptoms of alcohol delirium and how to deal with them?
Effect of long-term alcohol abuse on brain function
Already over 37% of people addicted to alcohol suffer from severe mental disorders, which include not only depression or anxiety, but also disorders caused by brain damage. Alcohol is not only toxic to the liver or pancreas, it also has a huge impact on the proper functioning of the brain and the entire nervous system. Its prolonged and excessive abuse leads to irreversible neurological changes. These disorders also progress as a result of deficiencies in important nutrients that have been flushed out by alcohol.
What is delirium?
Alcoholic delirium is a clinical condition characterized by sudden changes in your mental state. This is the most severe type of withdrawal syndrome. Alcohol delirium occurs as a result of the sudden withdrawal of alcohol, i.e. interruption of the so-called alcoholic thrust.
Chronic alcohol abuse causes the body to get used to its presence in the body quickly. Sudden withdrawal from alcohol leads to dysregulation in the nervous system. This, in turn, contributes to the development of white fever.
Who is at risk of alcohol delirium?
Delirium occurs when an alcoholic withdraws alcohol after being intoxicated for several days. Research shows that delirium does not occur in all those struggling with alcoholism. It is estimated that white fever occurs in 20% of alcohol abusers.” – Cornerstone of Southern California
Alcohol delirium occurs after alcohol abuse for at least several years and is most common in people over the age of 25. This form of withdrawal syndrome is much more common in men than in women.
Who is particularly at risk of developing alcoholic delirium?
- Addicted people who have recently completely stopped drinking alcohol
- People who have already experienced delirium tremens
- People with serious systemic diseases
Symptoms of delirium tremens
Alcohol delirium (delirium tremens) refers to people addicted to alcohol who have started the fight against alcoholism. Symptoms that accompany delirium are primarily the state of disturbed consciousness and disorders of allopsychic orientation (lack of orientation in place and time). The patient is not able to identify the place where he is, or to give the date or time. Sometimes he is also unable to recognize himself or say what his name is.
In the event of a sudden withdrawal of alcohol, delirium, tremors, as well as psychomotor agitation and increased heart rate can be observed. White alcohol fever is also characterized by mental disorders – visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations or mood swings. These ailments are very unpleasant because they cause hallucinations and delusions, and the hearing of non-existent sounds.
Further symptoms of delirium are increased sensitivity to external stimuli and difficult contact with the outside world. The patient has poor concentration and sluggish thinking. He also has difficulties in building logical sentences and is unable to answer simple questions.
The characteristic symptoms of white alcoholic fever also include: aggression, increase in body temperature, increased sweating and blood pressure.
How alcohol delirium proceeds
The first symptoms of delirium tremens appear about 2-3 days after stopping drinking. They are most often preceded by the intensification of withdrawal symptoms. On the second day in the evening or on the third day, problems with falling asleep may appear, while the next day delirium develops completely. The patient begins to be very irritable and may behave irrationally – to run away from a danger known only to him, attack people from his immediate vicinity or mutilate himself. There are also hallucinations and auditory hallucinations.
What to do when symptoms appear?
“A patient who has symptoms of white fever may, over time, be a threat not only to himself, but also to his immediate surroundings. It is very important in such a situation to provide the patient with appropriate care and to contact a doctor who will advise what steps should be taken.” – NP Addiction Clinic
It is important to ensure that the person with symptoms of delirium regularly consumes water, as dehydration may worsen the symptoms of alcoholic delirium.
How to treat delirium tremens
Symptoms of alcoholic delirium are very often associated with a life-threatening condition, and therefore alcoholic delirium requires treatment in a hospital. It is important to carry out laboratory tests to determine if glucose levels have dropped and if electrolyte deficiencies need to be corrected. The next step in the treatment of white fever is the implementation of appropriate pharmacological treatment, which consists in relieving the symptoms. People who have developed delirka are advised to provide electrolytes and essential minerals and supplement the level of B vitamins.
The best way to overcome delirium and fight alcoholism is to take advantage of comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment, which, by means of an alcohol detox, will allow you to cope with abrupt withdrawal from alcohol and help you maintain permanent abstinence.
Article Submitted By Community Writer