Apart from the alcohol withdrawal symptoms listed above, some patients develop severe withdrawal symptoms. Delirium tremens is one of the worst withdrawal syndromes and happens in patients who engage in very heavy drinking very frequently. Fortunately, it is only 3-5% of patients who develop the following symptoms:
As mentioned above, one of the effects of alcohol on the brain is an inhibitory one. After a while, alcohol replaces the normal inhibitory signals in the brain to the point that receptors are no longer responsive to normal brain chemistry. When alcohol is taken out of the system, a lack of inhibitory response causes a burst of excitatory potential. Seizures are precisely that: an excitatory impulse that grows larger and larger as it keeps feeding off itself.