I got drunk a couple days ago. Besides my hangover being horrendous (per usual), for maybe half the day my hands were slightly trembling and I couldn't get them to stop. They're doing better now, but my hands have never shaken before, and I'm worried that my drinking is starting to catch up with me. Would this be a reason to call the doctor, and if so are there any tests/checks I should ask to have done? Details inside.
posted by CottonCandyCapers to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
One of my parents is an alcoholic, and the other used to be. I am close to my 30's, and would like to keep from becoming an alcoholic myself (although perhaps I already am).
As a result, I've tried to limit how often I drink. I rarely if ever drink alone, and drink at parties maybe once a month or so. When I do drink, however, I unfortunately tend to drink to excess and have a history of binge drinking.
I've struggled with anxiety my entire life, as have my siblings and one of my parents. This is one of the main reasons I have a hard time not binging when I am out being social: It calms me down and makes me feel less nervous. I also have a hard time saying no to another drink once I get started, especially if someone is pushing me to have one. Due to this bad habit, I've had more than a few instances where I have been inebriated to the point of blacking out/ making a fool out of myself/etc., which I try my best to avoid these days. I'm wondering, however, if the cumulative effects of my binge drinking in the past are starting to catch up with me.
It seems to take less and less to get me more drunk, and with worse hangovers. When I drank 2 nights ago I only had 3 beers. Granted, they were larger, higher alcohol content beers than your typical Budweiser so it was probably equivalent to a six pack or so. But still, compared to how I used to drink I was really taking it easy that night. Plus I ate a meal during, and had plenty of water before and after my drinking. And yet still the hangover was pretty bad.
When I was younger, I had what I would consider the "usual" hangover symptoms: headache, foggy head, maybe nausea if I happened to go too far. Now the symptoms are much worse, including a prickly tingling in my shoulder/arms for a day or so (I know alcohol can upset nerves). Also, a night out can mess up my mood for days, and I get more anxious.
But the shaking hands scared me the most, as I had never had this symptom before and I understand that it could be a sign of alcohol withdrawal. The trembling wasn't severe, but it was certainly noticeable when I would, say, pick up and hold a cup. Up to this point I didn't think that I drank often enough to go through withdrawal, but from what I've read recently binge drinkers can have more serious withdrawals than everyday alcoholics as the binge-er keeps forcing his/her body to switch between cold turkey, full-blown drunk and back again.
I'm not so sure how common my problem is, which is my primary reason for asking this question. In your opinion, would these symptoms be worrying enough to call the doctor? Has anyone had symptoms like the ones I am describint? If so, what kind of tests should I ask to have done? If I learn to be able to control myself, I'd like to be able to have a drink or two from time to time in social situations; but if I have already done enough damage to my body to the point that having a few drinks can exacerbate my current symptoms, I would consider completely abstaining from alcohol as well.
Sorry for the wall of text, and looking forward to your advice.
Sidenote: I also think my body processes alcohol more inefficiently than other peoples' bodies. Case in point: I once drank the same amount as a friend during the next point, and the next morning we try out his breathalyzer. His BAC is at 0, while I was still legally drunk.