Tremens or alcoholic delirium
How much do you know about this disease? This harmless, and for some people even funny name, hides a dangerous condition. If you do not take action in time, then a fatal outcome is possible!
This disease has many names. All of them are familiar to you:
- Alcoholic psychosis;
- Alcoholic delirium;
- Delirium tremens;
Causes of occurrence
So what is alcoholic psychosis?
According to experts, there are several reasons for the development of withdrawal delirium. Most often, their combination plays a role. In the first place are disorders of brain metabolism. The neurotoxic effects of ethanol and liver damage are of great importance. Add to this an elementary deficiency of vitamins, trace elements, impaired microcirculation in all organs and systems. Traumatic brain injuries in the past, severe somatic concomitant diseases, and old age are also a risk factor for the development of this condition.
Symptoms and signs of tremens
The manifestations of this disease develop gradually. The first threatening calls – a person becomes disoriented in time and space. He is too fussy, laughs for no reason, as if in euphoria.
But if at this stage the patient does not receive treatment, then a day or two after the debut of the process, a complete picture of this symptom complex unfolds.
Patients with delirium tremens become inadequate, disoriented, and aggressive. Mental and physical arousal is observed. During this period, patients are especially vulnerable.
In connection with metabolic disorders, all chronic diseases of the body are exacerbated. Sleep and appetite are disturbed. The temperature rises, the heart rate rises, and the blood pressure rises. There is trembling in the arms and legs. The skin of such people is pale, with increased sweating. A person complains of thirst, weakness and aches throughout the body, blurred vision. After a period of excitement, apathy sets in. At this stage, a quiet voice, lethargy and stinginess in responses, a slow reaction to external irritation are characteristic.
At the final stage of the development of the pathological process, the body is depleted. All organs and systems begin to fail. This can lead to irreversible consequences and even death.
Consequences of tremens
Unfortunately, the data inexorably suggests that even in a hospital setting and with proper, timely treatment started, death can occur in up to 5% of cases.
Very often, delirium is also a triggering mechanism for the development of complications from other organs and systems, thereby aggravating the situation.
- Heart damage (alcoholic cardiomyopathy);
- Kidney – nephropathy;
- Brain (cerebral edema and neurotoxic effects of ethanol);
- Lungs (frequent pneumonia and bronchitis);
- Liver (toxic hepatitis resulting in cirrhosis).
A special place here is occupied by the defeat of the pancreas, which is most often directly related to the use of alcohol. This leads to disruption of carbohydrate metabolism. The most terrible consequence of which will be diabetes mellitus.
Changes in organs occur at the cellular level and involve all systems of the body.
Alcoholic psychosis treatment
Treatment is carried out from the first manifestations of the symptoms of the disease. Necessarily in a hospital setting!
In no case do not postpone going to the hospital and do not self-medicate. Don’t risk it. If you notice the first signs of delirium tremens (“squirrels”) in someone close to you, immediately call a doctor. Remember that such patients are dangerous not only for themselves, but also for others.
Drug therapy is carried out in a hospital, under round-the-clock supervision, often in an intensive care unit. Treatment should be comprehensive and include several components:
- Sedation (drugs that reduce anxiety; sedatives, hypnotics). Sedation not only protects the brain, but also reduces anxiety;
- In addition, therapeutic measures include a whole program aimed at restoring adequate vital functions of the body, removing toxins and metabolic products, as well as protecting the function of all organs and systems with correcting imbalances. Against the background of treatment, improvement usually occurs 3-4 days after the onset of symptoms of the disease.
Remember that there are no specific signs of delirium, except for the data obtained from the patient or his relatives about alcohol abuse a few days before the onset of the disease. Often ignorant people mistake other severe disorders for alcoholic psychosis, without bothering themselves with a closer examination and collection of information.
Even in the 21st century, despite advanced technologies and modern equipment, this topic remains relevant and is not going to give up its positions. Take care of your close people. Do not get ill.
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