When it comes to the consumption of alcohol, the liver takes the most hit among all the organs in the body. It is a primary organ that is responsible for metabolizing alcohol, which plays a crucial role in detoxifying the body from harmful effects. While moderate alcohol intake is generally considered safe for most people, excessive or prolonged alcohol consumption can lead to serious health issues.
Detoxification usually occurs when a person stops drinking and alcohol starts leaving the body. But people still wonder how long it takes for a complete withdrawal from the system. To understand this, you need to know what the factors are that affect detoxification.
Factors Affecting Alcohol Detoxification
The ability of a liver to detoxify the body from alcohol depends on various factors, such as the amount of alcohol consumed, the time taken for drinking, and many more. Here are some of the points that affect the detoxification process:
Amount And Frequency Of Alcohol Consumption
The first and most important factor for the detoxification of alcohol is the amount and frequency of alcohol intake. Heavy drinking can overwhelm the liver’s capacity to digest the alcohol and slow down the metabolism process. Therefore, more and more frequent alcohol consumption may take a long time to detoxify the body.
The detoxification of the body from alcohol also depends on the health of the liver. During the detoxification process, the old cells die, and the generation of new cells takes place in the liver. Therefore, the healthy liver detoxifies alcohol more efficiently as compared to fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
Age And Gender
Age and gender are also important factors when it comes to detoxifying the body from alcohol. The efficiency of the liver decreases with age, and it takes a longer time to detox from alcohol. Additionally, women’s metabolism works slower than men’s due to differences in body composition and enzyme levels and typically takes longer to digest as compared to men.
Besides age and gender, genetic variation can have a great influence on the speed at which alcohol is metabolized. It can affect an individual’s tolerance and susceptibility to alcohol-related health issues.
Eating food while drinking can also affect the digestion of alcohol in the body. It may give the liver more energy to break down food and alcohol. As a result, it will take a longer time to metabolize them and detoxify the body.
How Long Does The Liver Take To Detox From Alcohol?
In general, alcohol detoxification may take a week to completely leave the body. If a person is consuming alcohol for the first time, the initial detox process takes place faster. However, this process continues to become longer as the individual frequently starts drinking a heavy amount. During alcohol withdrawal, the person may face various changes in the body.
- The early stage of withdrawal symptoms begins after 8 to 10 hours of the first drink, where a person will experience illness and hangover.
- The second phase starts between 24 and 72 hours, during which an individual will face fatigue.
- After 2 to 4 days after the last drink, the person may feel irritated, and the craving for alcohol also increases.
- And at last, an individual will face some side effects within 5 days to 1 week and can go through psychological problems.
However, it may take even more time if a person is engaged in heavy or chronic drinking. It may slow down the metabolic process of the liver by accumulating toxins.
How Do You Know Your Liver Is Detoxing?
When an individual who has been regularly consuming alcohol suddenly stops or significantly reduces their intake, they may face a range of symptoms. Here are some of the common signs of alcohol detox, which can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening.
- Anxiety and depression
- Nausea And vomiting
- Increased Heart Beat
- High blood pressure
- Delirium Tremens (DTs)
So, it is crucial to understand that alcohol withdrawal can be unpredictable, and symptoms can worsen rapidly. Therefore, it is recommended to seek medical advice and supervision to anyone attempting to quit alcohol.