Ethanol Withdrawal Home Care
Home care for alcohol withdrawal includes:
- Strict avoidance of alcohol.
- Increase your intake of fluids.
- Take vitamin B supplements.
- Balanced diet
- Reduce personal stress
- Control nausea and vomiting
- Take prescribed medications as directed:
Ethanol Withdrawal Diet
A person with alcohol withdrawal may benefit from the following diet.
Strategies for a healthy diet include:
- Limit your intake of fat to 30% of your total calories.
- 10% to 15% of your total calories should be in the form of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.
- Consume only unsaturated fats that are low in cholesterol.
- Consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day.
- Eat dietary fiber: whole grains are best.
- Avoid fad diets.
- Check with your doctor about B vitamin supplements. Some people may benefit from B vitamins.
|Energy (calories)||to maintain BMI of < 25|
|Total fats||< or = to 30% of total daily calories|
|Saturated fats||< 7% of total daily calories|
|Polyunsaturated fats||< 10% of total daily calories|
|Monounsaturated fats||< 13% of total daily calories|
|Cholesterol||< or = to 300 mg per day|
|Dietary fiber||25-30 grams per day|
|Fiber type||3:1 insoluble to soluble fiber|
|Sodium||< or = to 1,500 mg per day|
|Calcium 9-24 yrs||1,200-1,500 mg per day|
|Calcium 25-50 yrs||1,000 mg per day|
|Calcium 51-65 yrs||1,200 mg per day|
|Calcium >65 yrs||1,500 mg per day|
|Vitamin D 9-50 yrs||200 IU|
|Vitamin D 51-70 yrs||400 IU|
|Vitamin D >70 yrs||600 IU|
|Folic acid||400 micrograms (ug) per day|
|Fruits & vegetables||5-7 servings per day|
Ethanol Withdrawal Stress
Tips to manage stress in a person who is having alcohol withdrawal:
- Accept what you cannot change.
- Allow yourself to cry.
- Allow yourself to experience simple pleasures that give you joy.
- Ask for help if you need it.
- Associate with people you enjoy and who treat you well.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Do not be dominated by one thing, such as work or relationships.
- Do not feel guilty when you have to say "no" to extra duties or tasks.
- Donate some of your time in order to help others.
- Energize your body with regular exercise.
- Engage in hobbies.
- Fuel your body with healthy foods
- Have the courage to be imperfect.
- Make a list of all the stresses that cause you distress: dispose of the ones you can and reduce your exposure to the others as much as possible.
- Practice relaxation and meditation.
- Reevaluate and rearrange your priorities.
- Schedule time for fun. Laughter dissolves tension.
- Seek professional help when you are overwhelmed.
- Stay on a regular sleep schedule.
- Take a few minutes of quiet time each day.
- Take responsibility for how you feel.
- Talk with someone you trust.
- Avoid stimulants, such as:
Ethanol Withdrawal Vomiting
- Drink clear liquids only, such as water, sports drinks, fruit juice and dilute tea. Sports drinks are best. The absence of food allows the intestines to rest.
- Drink small quantities of fluids frequently. In general, two tablespoons of fluid every 5 minutes is an effective strategy.
- Avoid milk and dairy products for 3 days.
- Avoid liquids that irritate the stomach, such as citrus juice, alcohol and coffee.
- If nausea or vomiting continues despite the above, consider one of the nonprescription medicines listed below.
- Once vomiting and nausea resolves, start bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.
Nonprescription medications for vomiting include:
Ethanol Withdrawal Warning Signs
Notify your doctor if you are having alcohol withdrawal and any of the following:
- Chest pain
- False perception of something that does not exist
- Visual hallucinations: seeing things that do not exist
- Auditory hallucinations: hearing sounds or voices that do not exist
- Loss of memory
- Repeated vomiting
- Fever over 101 degrees F (38.3 C)
- Violent behavior
- Worsening anxiousness
- Worsening tremor
Continue to Ethanol Withdrawal Outlook
- Addolorato G, Balducci G, Capristo E: Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome: a randomized comparative study versus benzodiazepine. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1999 Oct; 23(10): 1596-604. 
- Castaneda R, Cushman P: Alcohol withdrawal: a review of clinical management. J Clin Psychiatry 1989 Aug; 50(8): 278-84. 
- Mayo-Smith MF, American Society of Addiction Medicine Working Group on Pharmacology: Pharmacological management of alcohol withdrawal: A meta-analysis and evidence-based practice guideline. JAMA 1997; 278: 144-151. 
- O'Connor PG, Schottenfeld RS: Patients with alcohol problems. N Engl J Med 1998 Feb 26; 338(9): 592-602. 
- Olmedo R, Hoffman RS: Withdrawal syndromes. Emerg Med Clin North Am 2000 May; 18(2): 273-88. 
- Turner RC, Lichstein PR, Peden JG Jr, et al: Alcohol withdrawal syndromes: a review of pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and treatment. J Gen Intern Med 1989 Sep-Oct; 4(5): 432-44.