Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Diagnosis

Alcohol withdrawal is easy to diagnose if you have typical symptoms that occur after you stop heavy, habitual drinking. If you have a past experience of withdrawal symptoms, you are likely to have them return if you start and stop heavy drinking again. There are no specific tests that can be used to diagnose alcohol withdrawal.

If you have withdrawal symptoms from drinking, then you have consumed enough alcohol to damage other organs. It is a good idea for your doctor to examine you carefully and do blood tests, checking for alcohol-related damage to your liver, heart, the nerves in your feet, blood cell counts, and gastrointestinal tract. Your doctor will evaluate your usual diet and check for vitamin deficiencies because poor nutrition is common when someone is dependent on alcohol.

It is usually difficult for people who drink to be completely honest about how much they've been drinking. You should report your drinking history straightforwardly to your doctor so you can be treated safely for withdrawal symptoms.

Page 3 of 9     Next Page:  Alcohol Withdrawal Expected Duration
Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 3 SparkPoints
From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

You can find more great health information on the Harvard Health Publications website.