How Alcohol Damages & Reshapes Your Brain

If you’ve ever wondered what’s really going on in the brain when a person’s had too much to drink, here’s a brief primer. Some of the effects, like slurred speech and loss of balance, can be very obvious. I wasn’t drinking, but I was so wrecked from all the changes in my internal world that I often came home and retreated to my couch and would remain there until I went to sleep.

It’s also important to note that if an individual experiences brain fog after quitting drinking, it’s possible that they may experience other withdrawal symptoms as well. These can include anxiety, depression, irritability, and sleep disturbances. Brain fog is a common experience for many people who have recently quit drinking alcohol. It can manifest in various ways and impact daily life significantly. This article will explore the connection between alcohol and brain fog from drinking.

Drink plenty of fluids

Additionally, our staff provides family counseling, relapse prevention, life skills, and grief and trauma counseling. The impact of alcohol on the brains of young people is particularly serious. Behavioral and cognitive problems including learning difficulties, memory issues, and decreased IQ can develop because of alcohol use. Alcoholism also causes other harmful metabolic changes that can create mental impairments. Once the fog clears, you should see your situation in a new light, and this is the moment when you will discover just how good it feels to be sober.

Do brain cells regenerate after alcohol?

Alcohol does kill brain cells. Some of those cells can be regenerated over time. In the meantime, the existing nerve cells branch out to compensate for the lost functions. This damage may be permanent.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can do to treat brain fog naturally and alcohol addiction safely, and enhance your brain function, such as the ways we listed above. This is because alcohol withdrawal brain fog can be dangerous and even life-threatening. We highly recommend that you quit drinking to preserve your mental health.

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Today, she educates and empowers others to assess their relationship with alcohol. Gill is the owner of the Sober Powered Media Podcast Network, which is the first network of top sober podcasts. Elevated acetate levels in the brain lead to inflammation, further exacerbating brain fog. When we stop drinking, we deprive our brain of a major energy source it had become accustomed to. This explains the exhaustion we may feel when we first quit drinking.

brain fog after quitting drinking

That’s why it’s so important to do what you can to stay healthy and make sure your body is making enough of it and using it efficiently. Read on to find out how exactly alcohol changes your dopamine levels, and what you can do to focus on healthier rewards and ultimately become more mindful of your drinking. According to research, when cirrhosis of the liver is treated, some of the brain damage it might cause begins to reverse. Thiamine deficiency in alcoholics can be quickly reversed with supplemental doses, but frequent shortages can cause irreversible damage. Alcoholism is linked to an increased risk of brain damage, as well as other injuries, including head wounds and sleep apnea.

Higher Risk of Addiction

These symptoms can make completing everyday tasks or engaging in social situations challenging. These challenges can cause further feelings of frustration and isolation. For resources related to AUD, including how to get support, please visit the NIH website. We’ve also partnered with Moderation Management, a non-profit dedicated to reducing the harm caused by the misuse of alcohol.

  • When she quit drinking in 2019, she dedicated herself to learning about alcohol’s influence on the brain and how it can cause addiction.
  • After the first few days of recovery, you will start to notice that the brain fog seems to lessen.
  • Some of these medicines include antidepressants or anti-anxiety pills which reduce alcohol cravings by altering the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the body.
  • As noted above, nutritional deficits can affect your cognition, so eating a variety of whole foods, especially nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, will help fill some of those gaps.
  • Playing an instrument, for example, uses the whole brain and requires a lot of focus and coordination.

The brain is so good at adjusting to changes regarding what you put into your body that it figures out how to function during times when you are drinking heavily. Once you take away the chemical reactions that alcohol causes, your brain has to refigure out how to work normally again. Brain fog during the initial stages of withdrawal is often just your brain trying to figure out alcohol brain fog how it used to function before it was flooded with alcohol on a regular basis. A healthy withdrawal program can help you detoxify your body and brain from the harmful effects of alcohol, and generally start your addiction treatment journey. So, if you’re struggling with alcohol brain fog or any type of cognitive impairment, make sure to spend some time in nature every day.

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However, if you’re struggling with brain fog or other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, it’s important to seek professional help. Whether or not a person engages in drinking should be a decision they make on their own, or with the help of a doctor or mental health professional. In the most extreme cases, drinking too much alcohol too fast can cause a loss of consciousness.

brain fog after quitting drinking

There are many reasons people struggle to give up excessive drinking, but the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are among the most intimidating. That number jumped to four or five years for those who had 18 drinks or more per week. The researchers observed that alcohol consumption was linked to various types of cardiovascular problems, including stroke—a potentially fatal blockage of blood flow to the brain. Drinking to avoid feeling bad leads to higher and higher levels of consumption, which can cause greater damage to the brain and the rest of the body. Alcohol kills cells and damages cellular networks in the brain, for example, and it’s not entirely clear to what extent they can grow back.

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„But there are certainly limits,” said Pagano, „and we often see improvement only after months of complete abstinence and giving the brain time to heal.” Within fourteen days, the brain starts to repair itself and retain some of the volume lost from drinking. It’s largely a result of terrible nutrition, which is also common among heavy drinkers. As noted above, nutritional deficits can affect your cognition, so eating a variety of whole foods, especially nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, will help fill some of those gaps.

Comorbidity is a repeated theme within addiction treatment, considering the symptoms of mental health are influenced by substance use and vice versa. Your head seems to be in the cloud after binge drinking with your siblings. This morning you’ve lost your phone, keys, and charger all within an hour. Getting rid of brain fog after drinking alcohol can help you focus on recovery. It is important to remember that your body is going through a lot when you first stop drinking alcohol.