Physiological Effects of Alcohol
What happens after alcohol stops being consumed? What happens to my appetite?
What can I expect to happen in the first few days, physiologically?
And so the first thing I want to say is… please understand that all addiction is 95% psychological.
So what that can mean and what that can look like is because we are caught psychologically in the trap of alcohol, we can start coming up with reasons and concerns about our Physiology in terms of what might happen.
Is it going to be OK? What’s going to happen to me physically? And actually that’s the mind fearing the change, so and that is a psychological influence, so be mindful that that can happen.
And so don’t let that be an excuse. Don’t let that be anything that stands in your way, because it can actually manifest in a form of self sabotage where that fear is there and it’s psychological, it is not physical. So let me answer the question about the Physiology.
So the first question I’ve been asked is…
How does it affect appetite?
And sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the answer. It doesn’t necessarily. There is not necessarily any link between psychologically breaking free from the trap of alcohol and then eating anymore or different.
What I do say is that there’s a lot of chemical changes going on in the body when alcohol consumption stops, and so therefore to really look after yourself, look after yourself psychologically, as in be kind to yourself.
As in, to be super compassionate to yourself, because that soothes everything in its own in its own right.
Drink plenty of water. The body is getting back into balance, homeostasis. You hear me talking about in in the programmes and in in training. The body wants to be in balance and so.
It is seeking to do that. It’s always seeking to do it without you being aware of it. It’s every time an alcohol drink is consumed the body is desperately trying to get back in balance because it’s recognising that there’s toxins in the system and various other things that I’ll come onto in a minute. So it wants to get back in balance, so look after it.
And know that it’s temporary.
So appetite may change. There’s a lot of sugar in alcohol and so that there’s some reporting that while I’ve stopped drinking and I’m consuming a lot of sugar.
What you do about that, I think, is really up to you. Alcohol is highly addictive and it’s psychoactive, which means that it screws up everything.
Scuse the word, but it just came to me. It screws up everything. It screws us up mentally. It screws us up psychologically.
And so the inner critic is raging and we lose control over that. Alcohol leads us to feeling powerless, so quite frankly, if you’re having a bar of chocolate and you’re not drinking a bottle of wine, for a while I would suggest that that’s OK.
There are others who may think, well, actually, I want to be a pure healthy being. OK, but let’s fight one battle at a time.
When free of the chains, because it is chains of the anxiety and the shame and the guilt.
Breath. Then we can find some space, and then we can look at the other issues that we want to improve in life.
Separate them out is always, always my suggestion and my recommendation. So that’s the first thing is that appetite may change. I wouldn’t worry about that.
If your goal is to be free from this hellhole of drinking because it can literally become a hellhole.
It may be subtle, it might be just being niggle and subtle feelings. If I really need to take a break and I really need to cut down and I really need, need, need, need, need, need on repeat, that’s OK too. So look after yourself in terms of what you’re eating.
The more vitamins, green vegetables, protein, all of that good stuff. We know what that is. If you’re not sure, then, and I’m not a nutritionist and maybe one in this group who’s happy to comment what eat well because that replenishes us at a cellular level, and then the body can recover from the toxins of alcohol more quickly.
So all of that, the normal stuff that I’m sure you know about, just lots of fresh ingredients and you can dive into that and really enjoy that. As well as you celebrate the fact that you’re taking a break, breaking free, whatever, whatever it is that you want.
If the concept of breaking free is just too frightening and it’s just too much for you right now, I completely get that. So take that pressure off as well.
Just intend to figure this all out by giving yourself some space and just taking a break and if it’s done in the right way, if it’s done in a way that actually releases the chains of alcohol. And I mean the unravelling.
I kind of think of it at times like an array of cobwebs that we can’t quite always see.
But they’re there, we just need to cut through them and then alcohol and you is separated and then you can actually see it for what it is.
It’s an elusive and very infiltrating sort of spy in the camp, really. It’s very, very clever the way the whole alcohol trap ingratiates itself with us.
So look after yourself in terms of what you eat and if appetite changes, that’s OK. If appetite doesn’t change, then that’s OK as well.
If in any dDoubt about the physiological effects, then consult a doctor, a medical professional. I have to say that, it’s law that I say that, because I’m not a doctor, I’m not a medical doctor. And so.
The other thing is as well that that stopping drinking fills us with a lot of fear about what might happen physically.
All of my clients have stopped drinking without any significant physical effects at all. And I’m talking about people who drink a bottle, maybe 2 bottles, sometimes 3 bottles of wine, Prosecco a day.
So that’s borne out in reality.
That that it is like an irritable flu like thing.
For the vast majority, do consult the doctor. I have said that I’ve now said it twice, so if you’re in doubt.
So what happens then, physiologically, when we stop drinking?
Again a lot of it is governed by the psychology. Because if we are genuinely feeling peaceful about the decision, calm, happy, we are feeling creative, curious, we’re full of gratitude.
And self compassion. And we know that we’ve stepped into our power.
That’s the kind of fundamentals of the Social Secret and where we come from.
Then any physiological effects are dealt with really easily. It’s almost like a smooth ride because we know that we’re breaking free every hour of every minute of every second, that there’s distance between you and that last drink.
Then there’s a feeling of liberation, and that carries it all a long way.
If you think about the opposite of that, which is where we’re just gung hoing on willpower and determination, and then we’re on the hyper vigilant lookout for things going wrong.
And we will find them, because what we seek, we will find that is inevitable. That is part of being human. That is what we learn as we unravel the Social Secret.
And so when coming from that we notice anything that’s discomfort, that is discomfort. We notice anything which causes any problems.
And so, you know, the Physiology is changed by the mind, by what we think and what we choose to believe and our unconscious conditioning.
It takes around 7 to 12 days for the body to get back into balance. Remember that homeostasis.
After the last drink has been consumed, and so they’re not there often, then the question is, what can I expect within those 7 to 12 days?
Also just for your kind of learning and awareness that if you in the past have stopped drinking first, let’s say 5 days and you think.
Well, I can do it. I know I’ve done it. Now I’m going to have another drink again because I’ve proved to myself that I can stop for five days, so therefore there isn’t a problem. And I know this goes on because I … self illusion or delusion? I was a wizard at it all, so we can then know that alcohol stays in the system for 7 to 12 days. So.
After five days it’s still there and it’s massively still there. Psychologically, if we haven’t broken out of the trap, nothing has changed and even on a physiological level, it’s still there. So this is what you can expect for the first few days, and I mean maybe 12.
Remembering that it will get less, it gets less as you exponentially get more positive.
The body is used to alcohol coming in. If you imagine the control system and you imagine it being poured in, it’s like, hey guys, alcohol is coming in.
We need to be on red alert. There’s all this stuff we need to do to save this person. This Organism, it’s being poisoned. We’ve got toxins coming in. Whoa.
This happens every single time alcohol is consumed, there’s a whole barrage of activity that goes on.
So alcohol is a depressant, and what I mean by that is not that it actually causes us to be depressed, although it does that as well.
It slows everything down, it slows the brain, it slows all the cellular activity, it slows everything down.
And so because this Organism, me, you, needs to be back in balance, what happens is that the system is flooded with cortisol and adrenaline.
The neurotransmitters that we associate well, they are they, they’re stress and anxiety. So this continues to happen for some days.
After the supply chain of alcohol has stopped coming through because the body is still ready for it, you know if there’s a lion been walking past your front door every day for the last 10 years and you’re there with all your guns and red alerts and locked everything down?
Just because the lion stops walking past.
You’re not going to trust that. You’re not going to know it for a good while. You’re going to still be there on red alert, and this is what the body is doing, so the alcohol supply is stopped.
But the adrenaline response, the cortisol response, is still going to be there. The body is infinitely intelligent.
Infinitely intelligent, and we in our audacity think that we’ve got any control over what happens. It is absolute naivete. And yet, isn’t that the way we are?
So the body is ready to respond.
To save your life and to deal with the slowing down effects of alcohol.
So because things haven’t actually been slowed down in the way that it is all assumed through learning that the adrenaline in the cortisol is still going to be released and that is why there are feelings of agitation.
In the early days of cutting off the alcohol supply, that is still going to happen and so.
The way to mitigate that is that when you get this feeling, to celebrate that because it means you’re on your way, that you’re out of the trap psychologically.
And now we’re actually just shedding the skin of it all and allowing our wonderful bodies to get back into balance. And so those feelings of agitation will subside.
And so that means it can affect our sleep for the first few days.
Though is that the sleep that we’re actually getting is better because the alcohol isn’t there. And so all of that will subside as the biological trust, if it helps, we can personalise it. Think of it as trust, as that inner trust builds that we’re not going to get that barrage of toxic poison coming in.
Every night, then the whole thing relaxes and within 10 to 12 days, you know, bodies, levels are getting back to what they would be without it, and then that could cause all kinds of things to come up, but that is outside of the trap.
So if you’re going through menopause, perimenopause post menopause, all of these sorts of things, alcohol massively disrupts it all.
So be kind, eat well, drink lots of water, and celebrate the fact that all of this is part of you.
Taking the break from an absolute point of discovery, power, creativity, wisdom that is inherently the real you.
You’re giving it a chance to come through and shine, so well done.
Post your questions below, post your question for me for next week and do it ASAP please.
And then I can do some prep for you. You take care. Lots of love. You’re here for a reason.
Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
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