Alcohol withdrawal and seizures - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Alcohol withdrawal and seizures


Hi there,

I've struggled with an eating disorder and become addicted to alcohol at the same time. During periods of withdrawal, I struggle with seizures. Have never had these in my life and not sure if it's the alcohol, the eating disorder, laxatives, binge, purge or all of it. I've been with way for 23 years and never experienced seizures before. Please advise if poss, thanks so much

9 Replies

If you are experiencing seizures from withdrawal then I believe you need to get to a&e. It is not to be taken lightly.

idly in reply to Kath5050

I have gone to a and e each time, they always release me with a clean bill of health.

Kath5050 in reply to idly

Sorry. I thought your post read above as that you’d never had seizures before with withdrawal? What is it exactly you want advice for?

idly in reply to Kath5050

They couldn't work out what it as for, the only abnormal thing is a gamma gt reading of 151

AndrewT in reply to idly

I'm really an 'Outsider', to this Forum. I have Kidney 'problems', I had a Transplant in July 2013, so no little about Liver Failure. I DO know however, that alcohol is HIGHLY addictive. Once addicted, which if you Drink often- and Heavily- you will become then Withdrawal Symptoms are, in fact, highly likely. As with all Drugs, you can become addicted, even if you ARE in 'Good Health'. To me this, may very well, 'Fit With' your Symptoms. However, what do I know.....


Whether it's alcohol withdrawal or part of the purges/laxatives you mentioned you should go to A&E or at least call 111 for advice. Electrolyte imbalance is also a very common cause of seizures (deranged sodium or glucose levels) Others may have more advice ...please keep us posted; there are many good people here but sometimes delaying proper medical help is a mistake - however challenging the process. Cx


I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I would think that you should continue with a small amount of alcohol for the time being.

You really need to be in an urgent detox program where you can be monitored by healthcare professionals. Trying to go cold turkey may well cause your body to go into shock at any time. This can be a most dangerous time as you could choke while having convulsions or a seizure.

This is your wake up call, please don't ignore what your bodies trying to tell you. Call 111, be honest and tell them your symptoms.

I agree with Richard.

Sudden Alcohol Withdrawal can be very dangerous indeed. I know as I've been there.

As we all know, alcohol is a depressant, that doesn't mean it makes you depressed*, but that it depresses your system and the way your body functions.

Basically, when you drink, your system goes hyper, trying to counteract the biological effects of the alcohol.

Over time, with extended alcohol abuse, your body gets used to working like this, it doesn't like it, but it gets used to it.

When you suddenly withdraw the alcohol, your body continues working in this hyper state - which is what causes all the nasty symptoms of sobering up, including seizures.

Like Richard said, if you can, controlled amounts of alcohol for the time being - just enough to keep the symptoms at bay, but I really think you should be pushing for a supervised medical detox, either in hospital, or at a residential rehab centre. You can also have a supervised home detox.

With a supervised detox you'll have experienced Dr's and nurses supporting you, monitoring your symptoms, and providing medications you may need to ease withdrawal symptoms.

I had a medical detox last Dec whilst in hospital with alcoholic hepatitis. And really I've never looked back, nor craved a drink since.

Like yourself, I'd been admitted to hospital previously, when I had a seizure trying to go cold Turkey, I think it was day 3 into not drinking. And like yourself I was sent home with no further support.

Hope this helps a bit


(* I'm aware that alcohol can make us 'feel' depressed too)

I would get an urgent appointment with your gp tomorrow and be completely honest with him/her about everything and I mean everything and ask for help. Good luck. Deb

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