As dominant a part of our culture alcohol consumption is and as serious alcoholism can be, many people go about their lives without really examining the effects of drinking alcohol on their physical and mental health. In this article, we will examine those effects as well as what happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol.

One of the most important things in any fitness and health journey is an increased awareness of your body and how everything you do affects it. You must make every decision with complete knowledge and intention.

To help you with this, we post weekly blogs on Luxeit that cover everything related to your fitness journey from workout guides to healthy recipes.

Everything You Need to Know

Alcohol consumption can have various effects on the body, including damage to the liver, brain, heart, and immune system, as well as an increased risk of certain cancers. That's also aside from its effects on mental health, which might include depression and anxiety, especially in cases of heavy drinking.

Of course, all those issues are much more aggravated if you suffer from alcohol use disorder. This is a medical condition that describes an inability to stop drinking, even with the awareness that it's negatively impacting physical and mental health as well as having visible and tangible bad effects on social and work life.

If you suspect that you suffer from this disorder of alcohol misuse, it's important to see a professional.

When a person stops drinking alcohol, their body goes through a range of changes as it adjusts to functioning without it. There are short-term effects, labeled alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and long-term effects that last as long as you don't drink alcohol.

Both types of changes are affected by multiple factors, the most important of which is how much alcohol you usually drink and for how long you've been drinking. However, here are the changes that occur on average when you stop drinking.

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Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity and duration of alcohol withdrawal symptoms are not always predicted If you suffer from alcohol use disorder, you might experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.

We have the most common mental and physical withdrawal symptoms here for you to know what to expect. However, some individuals who were engaged in heavy drinking for long periods have experienced delirium tremens, which is a severe withdrawal syndrome that can be life-threatening and cause seizures and hallucinations.

If you decide to stop drinking and suspect this, it's crucial to see a professional doctor immediately, as any medical director would advise.

Withdrawal symptoms can start within a few hours, especially if you drink heavily and too frequently. These symptoms can last several days to a week.

Here are the most common:


A very common withdrawal symptom that happens when you stop alcohol intake is anxiety. Anxiety can manifest in feelings of uneasiness, restlessness, and nervousness.

A heightened awareness of your surroundings alongside irrational fear is also a part of anxiety.


This is both a connected symptom of anxiety and also expected in its own right. Insomnia is something you can expect to experience when withdrawing from any substance abuse.

A withdrawing person might have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep for a few days.


As you experience withdrawal symptoms, you will notice profuse sweating. This is common and not worrisome.

Sweating will especially occur at night and will naturally be associated with intense alcohol cravings.

Rapid heartbeat

Increased heart rate and palpitations normally occur when you withdraw, especially if you drink frequently and too much alcohol. The body is going through the shock and this is a symptom of it.


Shaking, particularly in the hands is commonly expected. It'll normally occur alongside sweating.

Nausea or vomiting

An upset stomach, loss of appetite, and vomiting are all parts of withdrawal. It's very similar to hangover nausea.


Feeling easily annoyed or agitated is a normal mental reaction to having stopped drinking recently.

The mental reaction isn't disconnected from the physical symptoms as well, as physical discomfort can aggravate this irritability. However, it's important to realize that those feelings will not last and things get much better.


Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or low mood are expected, especially if you have a history of mental illness and unconsciously or consciously self-mediated with alcohol.

When quitting alcohol, it's advisable to not do it cold turkey and seek medical supervision, who can guide you through the process and provide necessary assistance.

Quitting is not always easy and having professional help during the process can be the best option.

Long-Term Effects: What Happens When You Stop

As the first few days pass, you'll experience other changes that illuminate how much better things go for your body as it adjusts to functioning without alcohol.

Here are the positive effects you can expect with alcohol withdrawal.

Liver Health

Alcohol is processed by the liver, and one of the biggest effects of excessive alcohol consumption is liver damage, inflammation (alcoholic hepatitis), and scarring (cirrhosis).

When you stop drinking, your liver has a chance to heal and regenerate, improving the overall liver function and health. Your risk of developing liver disease generally goes down.

Brain Function

Alcohol affects various neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to changes in mood, cognition, and coordination.

Chronic alcohol abuse can result in neurological disorders like Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and memory problems. When you stop drinking, your brain can recover, and cognitive function and memory can improve.

Quitting alcohol also improves mental clarity, and leads to better sleep quality (both slow-wave sleep and rapid-eye movement sleep) which are both closely connected to brain function.

Heart Health

Alcohol has a complex relationship with heart health. Moderate alcohol consumption may have some cardiovascular benefits, but excessive drinking increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

When you quit drinking, your blood pressure stabilizes and your risk of cardiovascular disease goes down as your overall heart health improves.

Immune System

Alcohol weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections and diseases.

Quitting alcohol can help strengthen the immune system, improving the body's ability to fight off illnesses and infections, and any general health problems.

Cancer Risk

Alcohol consumption has been medically associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer, including liver, mouth, throat, breast, and colorectal cancers. These could be fatal cancer deaths.

Quitting alcohol reduces your exposure to these carcinogens and lowers your risk of developing cancer.

In this article, we've covered what happens to your body when you stop drinking, both the first withdrawal reactions and the long-term effects. However, the benefits we covered aren't all the benefits you can expect when you stop drinking. Social ability and family and friends relationships are also indirect benefits of being a better, healthier you.

While quitting alcohol can be challenging, it can have numerous positive effects on an individual's physical and mental well-being. At Luxeit, we care a lot about your health journey, and we are determined to help you along the way with all the information you need and encouragement.

Our fitness clothes collection is a part of this encouragement, as the saying goes, dressing how you want to be perceived is a big part of ultimately becoming that person.

Pamper yourself during our sales or treat your friends with our gift cards!

March 04, 2024 — Terrie Gal

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