Any person can suffer serious liver damage from alcohol, and young people who drink to excess can disrupt the development of their brain. However, the human body is a miraculous thing that can begin recovering with remarkable speed once you give it the chance. While extreme alcohol abuse can cause some lasting damage, almost all effects of alcohol abuse will fade entirely in less than a year. In What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol some ways, your body begins healing within a week of your last drink. This is a rare complication of stopping alcohol use, occurring in only about 5% of people experiencing withdrawal. Symptoms may start hours after a person’s last drink and last up to 7-10 days. It’s important to remember that DTs are a medical emergency and you should seek medical attention right away if you notice symptoms.

What I learned when I quit drinking for a year?

What are the results? A few months in, I experienced improved sleep, increased energy, less spiky blood sugar, better mental health, fewer bouts of anxiety. These days, I have fewer headaches and my whole digestive system, in general, feels less irritated and inflamed, with a growing sense of general wellbeing.

Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle. Around 3-4 weeks into becoming alcohol-free, blood pressure may decrease. As mentioned above, alcohol can raise your blood pressure by narrowing your blood vessels. Without the stress imposed by alcohol, your blood circulation system is able to recover. In addition to directly impairing organs and systems in the body, excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to debilitating health conditions and disease.

Liver relief

Though you can’t tell by looking in a mirror, your risk of cancer, heart disease, liver disease, and kidney disease have all dropped dramatically. Your immune function will have improved, which may have even addressed symptoms of autoimmunity you had before. It’s clear that alcohol, and heavy drinking in particular, can up your chances of several types of cancers, including in your esophagus , mouth, throat, and breast. What’s less clear is if quitting alcohol lowers your chances for cancer and, if so, how long it might take.

  • Esophageal cancer is the 10th most common cancer and the 8th leading cause of death worldwide with more than 80% of deaths in developing countries.
  • Drinking alcohol can change the way your body functions at nearly every level, especially if you drink heavily.
  • Typically, by the fourth week without alcohol, a sober person experiences an additional 5-6 REM sleep cycles per night than they would if they were drinking alcohol every night.
  • An hour after your last drink, your liver starts working overtime.
  • This means more “push” is needed from the heart to pump blood, and the heart’s walls become weaker and thinner.

Excessive alcohol use can also contribute to heart arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms. Research indicates that over time, continued alcohol consumption affects nearly every system in your body. Therefore, when you stop drinking, your body goes through a multitude of changes. By practicing sobriety or moderation, you can reduce the risk of many of the detrimental effects of alcohol.

Better overall health

But even if you don’t notice the change, if you look at the science of what happens when you stop drinking, let’s just say you might have second thoughts about leaning into this habit. Don’t let withdrawal stand in your way of abstaining from alcohol. Once your body goes through the initial adjustment period, you will likely start to feel much better than when you were drinking.

when you stop drinking alcohol what happens to your body

Cut those from your diet—and don’t replace them with desserts or snacks—and you’ll start to drop pounds without much effort. “By ditching the alcohol and upping your water intake, it’s really a win-win for your hydration status and will leave your skin feeling healthier and looking more radiant,” she says. Instead, I found myself naturally reverting to my healthier habits. For the first time since picking up drinking, I woke up for my early morning runs. There were no more morning trips for bagels and coffee to tend to my hangover.