What happens to your body after 3 weeks of no alcohol?
Overall benefits of three weeks without alcohol
Clear skin. More energy. Improved gym performance. Reduced anxiety and improved mood.
The First Two Weeks
Most people will stop experiencing withdrawal symptoms in less than a week, in which time their body will begin to restore its normal function and quality of life can already improve considerably. Some improvements in sleep occur as early as seven days, and these gains increase in the week after.
It takes at least two weeks for the brain to return to normal after drinking. Therefore, this is when the alcohol recovery timeline begins. It is less able to suppress a desire to drink until the brain has recovered. The reason for this is that alcohol has harmed the brain's cognitive function.
Research has found that just four weeks without a drink can be enough to start lowering both blood pressure and heart rate. * Your risk of type 2 diabetes has already started to reduce (in one study insulin resistance came down by an average of 28 per cent) and your cholesterol levels should be starting to lower.
In general, you may start to experience physical benefits such as increased energy, reduced anxiety, and improved liver health. You might also notice positive changes in your personal life, such as improved relationships and more free time for hobbies.
If you stop drinking alcohol for 2 weeks, your liver should return to normal.
If you stop drinking completely, one of the first things you notice should be improved energy levels, better sleep and finding it easier to wake up in the morning. Regular drinking can affect the quality of your sleep making you feel tired and sluggish during the day.
Withdrawal symptoms can include sweating, tremors, sleep problems, rapid heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, hallucinations, anxiety, restlessness, and possibly even seizures.
By 4-8 weeks after quitting, your gut will start to level out. Your sleep-quality will improve. Though we may fall asleep faster when we drink, our brains actually increase alpha wave patterns, which cause our brains to be more active than they should be while we sleep.
Repeated blackouts, a clear sign of excessive drinking, can result in permanent damage that inhibits the brain from retaining new memories. For example, an individual may be able to recall past events with perfect clarity but not remember having the conversation a few hours later.
Will my memory improve if I stop drinking?
The addiction expert
If you stop drinking over six months to a year you will see some improvement in your memory. But if you keep drinking heavily your memory may not recover at all.
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.
When you drink, the dehydrating (or 'diuretic') effect of alcohol means your skin loses fluid and nutrients that are vital for healthy-looking skin. This can make your skin look wrinkled, dull and grey, or bloated and puffy. Dehydrated skin may also be more prone to some types of eczema.
“The simple act of taking a month off alcohol helps people drink less in the long term; by August, people are reporting one extra dry day per week,” notes Dr. de Visser. “There are also considerable immediate benefits: nine in 10 people save money, seven in 10 sleep better, and three in five lose weight,” he adds.
The liver, however, is able to replace damaged tissue with new cells. If up to 50 to 60 percent of the liver cells may be killed within three to four days in an extreme case like a Tylenol overdose, the liver will repair completely after 30 days if no complications arise.
Symptoms/outcomes you may see
Onset of withdrawal symptoms which may include hand tremors, retching, excessive sweating, restlessness and anxiety. Withdrawal symptoms continue. Alcohol cravings, reduced energy and feeling low or depressed are common.
Alcohol can show up in a blood test for up to 12 hours. Urine: Alcohol can be detected in urine for up 3 to 5 days via the ethyl glucuronide (EtG) test or 10 to 12 hours via the traditional method. Hair: Similar to other drugs, alcohol can be detected in a hair follicle drug test for up to 90 days.
You can expect improved liver function almost immediately after you stop drinking alcohol. Experts predict that most drinkers' livers can return to completely normal function after 4-8 weeks of no alcohol.