Delerium tremens or DT's is a complication of chronic alcohol abuse. It is varcharacterized by excessive agitation and confusion. There is an increase in the sympathetic nervous system. The process often begins after sudden deprivation of alcohol. The majority of times the symptoms are self-limited, and disappear within 72 hours. However, in a small percentage of people suffering with Delerium tremens, the symptoms worsen and may be severe enough to lead to death.
Causes of Delirium Tremens
Delerium tremens may occur following either the sudden cessation of drinking or following a prolonged drinking spree. There are alteration of electrolytes. The exact cause of the disorder, however, is not known.
Signs and Symptoms of Delirium Tremens
Initially, there is confusion, delerium, and hallucinations. People appear very agitated and are unable to sleep. There is elevation of the temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. Sweating is increased. Only rarely do seizure occur.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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