How Long For Hormones To Balance After Quitting Alcohol?

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Escaping the clutches of alcohol addiction is not a walk in the park. But once you quit, your body immediately kickstarts its detox journey. Moderate drinkers experience several health improvements – including regaining hormonal balance – within a few weeks. Severe alcohol abuse, on the other hand, can take years for hormones to gain full balance.

While no two people experience the same recovery process, quitting alcohol certainly places several mental and physical rewards every step of the way.

Your Body After Alcohol Abuse

The longer you use alcohol or any other substance, the more severe the effects your body faces.

The chemicals you consume in alcohol hitch a ride on your cell receptors, releasing colossal amounts of dopamine along the way. The result is typically a euphoric high. Your body cannot produce high levels of euphoria on its own and eventually craves more alcohol. This craving then translates into addiction.

Alcohol addiction jeopardizes your body’s chemical balance, manifesting in several health disorders. 

The short-term effects of alcohol consumption on hormones include:

  • Damage to your body’s reward system.
  • Heightened cravings for alcohol.
  • An increased possibility of depression and anxiety disorders.

The long-term effects of alcohol abuse on hormones include:

  • An increase in the production of cortisol (or the stress hormone).
  • Impairment of the immune system and metabolism.
  • Increased risks of heart disease and liver diseases like cirrhosis.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Brain shrinkage in the frontal lobe
  • The natural production of dopamine halts
  • The production of progesterone shrinks
  • Thiamine reduction increases, eventually increasing the risk of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Read more: 8 Ways To Get Through Severe Anxiety After Getting Sober.

The longer you use alcohol or any other substance, the more severe the effects your body faces.

Signs of Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalances manifest differently in men and women. Men with hormonal imbalances may face loss in body mass, hair loss, enlarged breasts, and erectile dysfunction. Women may experience hot flashes, changes in periods, vaginal dryness, and increased body hair. Here are a few signs of hormonal imbalances to watch out for:

  • Aches and pains
  • Low energy levels
  • Skin issues like acne or dry skin
  • Infertility
  • Brain fog
  • Changes in heart rhythm
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Constant headaches
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Issues regulating body temperature
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Digestive issues

Fortunately, all these changes can be reduced with the right professional help, lifestyle changes, and healthy eating habits.

Alcohol abuse can be catastrophic for your system.

Hormone Balance After Quitting Alcohol: A General Timeline

Alcohol abuse can be catastrophic for your system. It lowers the production of progesterone and boosts the levels of estrogen. When out of balance, these two hormones can negatively impact fertility and menstruation. Even moderate consumption of alcohol heightens the risk of breast cancer by 30 to 50%. Alcohol also targets testosterone levels in men. This can result in complications like depression, impaired sexual function, and more.

Once you quit drinking alcohol, you can expect to shift your body “back to normal” with small, consistent steps. This includes cleansing yourself from all alcohol-induced toxins and learning to journey through life without alcohol. Here’s a general alcohol recovery timeline:

  • 5 to 10 hours: This is when withdrawal symptoms begin to appear, especially for long-term addiction. Individuals may experience intense cravings that are difficult to resist. Withdrawal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, tremors, insomnia, fluctuating blood pressure, sweating, anxiety, and more.
  • 12 to 24 hours: This is when symptoms intensify further and alcohol cravings peak. Individuals may also experience additional symptoms, such as hallucinations.
  • 1 to 2 days: Individuals with mild symptoms often see a reduction in symptoms around day two, whereas those with stronger symptoms take some more time to recover.
  • 2 to 3 days: Individuals with severe addiction see their symptoms heighten around day three. This time is often the most challenging because this is when the symptom “delirium tremens” begins. Without the right support, this time may even cause death.
  • After 3 days: Most individuals notice withdrawal symptoms start to fade in 3 to 4 days. Those with severe addictions typically need longer to taper off their symptoms.

 How long for hormones to balance after quitting alcohol? The answer differs for different individuals. No two bodies are the same, and the time for hormones to balance can differ for everyone. In extreme cases, it can take several years to get the body back to normal.

No two bodies are the same, and the time for hormones to balance can differ for everyone.

Begin Your Journey to Recovery with Launch Centers

At Launch Centers, we are committed to helping you or your loved one succeed in recovery. Once you arrive at our addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, we run a thorough assessment based on the severity of your condition and design a tailor-made program for you. We target the root cause of the issue to put you on the fast track to recovery. With us, help is just a few taps away. Contact us now to kickstart your recovery.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

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Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

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Eric Chaghouri, MD

Psychiatrist

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Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

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