A hangover is a group of unpleasant signs and symptoms that can develop after drinking too much alcohol. As if feeling awful weren't bad enough, frequent hangovers are also associated with poor performance and conflict at work.
As a general rule, the more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to have a hangover the next day. But there's no magic formula to tell you how much you can safely drink and still avoid a hangover. However unpleasant, most hangovers go away on their own, though they can last up to 24 hours. If you choose to drink alcohol, doing so responsibly can help you avoid future hangovers.
Alcoholic beverages contain ingredients called congeners, which give you many types of alcoholic beverages their flavor and can contribute to hangovers. Congeners are found in larger amounts in dark liquors, such as brandy and bourbon, than in clear liquors, such as vodka and gin. Congeners are more likely to produce a hangover or increase the severity of a hangover. But drinking too much alcohol of any color can still make you feel bad the next morning.
Hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol. A single alcohol drink is enough to trigger a hangover for some people, while others may drink heavily and escape a hangover entirely. Various factors may contribute to a hangover. For example :
- Alcohol causes your body to produce more urine. In turn, urinating more than usual can lead to dehydration - often indicated by thirst, dizziness and lightheadedness.
- Alcohol triggers an inflammtory response from your immune system. Your immune system may trigger certain agents that commonly produce physical symptoms, such as an inability to concentrate, memory problems, decreased appetite and loss of interest in usual activities.
- Alcohol irriates the lining of your stomach. Alcohol, increases the production of stomach acid and delays stomach emptying. Any of these factors can cause abdominal pain, nausea or vomitting.
- Alcohol can cause your blood sugar to fail. If your blood sugar dips too low, you mau experience fatigue, weakness, shakiness, mood disturbances and even seizures.
- Alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand, which can lead to headaches and fail in blood pressure if severe enough.
- Alcohol can make you sleepy, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of night. This may leave you groggy and tired.
Hangover symptoms typically begin when your blood alcohol content drops significantly and is at or near zero. They're usually in full effect the morning after a night of heavy drinking. Depending on what and how much you drank, you may notice :
- Fatigue and weakness
- Excessive thirst and dry mouth
- Headaches and muscle aches
- Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
- Poor or decreased sleep
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Dizziness ability to concentrate
- Mood disturbances, such as depression, axiety and irritability
- Rapid heartbeat
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
Hangovers after a single night's drinking go away on their own. Talk with your doctor if you're concerned tht frequent, heavy drinking may lead to serious alcohol withdrawal, or when regular hangovers affect your quality of life, including your personal relationships or your performance at work.
WHEN IT'S AN EMERGENCY
More-severe signs and symptoms that accompany heavy drinking may indicate alcohol poisoning - a life-threatening emergency. Call an Ambulance or your local emergency number if a person who has been drinking shows signs of :
- Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
- Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
- Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
- Low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Difficulty remaining conscious
- Passing out (unconsciousness) and can't be awakened
A person who is unconscious or can't be awakened is at risk of dying. If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning - even if you don't see the classic signs and symptoms - seek immediate medical care.
Anyone who drinks alcohol can experience a hangover, but some people are more susceptible to hangovers than others are. A genetic variation that affects the way alcohol is metabolized may make some people flush, sweat or become ill after drinking even a small amount of alcohol. Factors that may make a hangover more likely or severe include :
- Drinking on an empty stomach. Having no food in your stomach speeds the body's absorption of alcohol.
- Using other drugs, such as nicotine, along with alcohol. Smoking combined with drinking appears to increase the likelihood of next-day misery.
- Not sleeping well or long enough after drinking. Some researchers believe that some hangovers symptoms are often due, at least in part, to the poor-quality and short sleep cycle that typically follows a night of drinking.
- Having a family history of alcoholism. Having close relatives with a history of alcoholism may suggest an inherited problem with the way your body processes alcohol.
- Drinking darker colored alcoholic beverages. Darker colored drinks often contain a high volume of congeners and may be more likely to produce a hangover.
The easiest method to treat symptoms of Hangover is Rehydration with High Dose Intravenous Nutrition Therapy. Rapid replenishment of fluids and nutrition with specific medication intravenously will give fast and quick symptoms relief while preventing further damage to body system.
Rehydration therapy with Intravenous nutrient consisting fluids and vitamins that rehydrate and detoxify cells, plus anti-inflammatory, anti-nursea and acid reflux meds alleviate headaches & GI distress and instantly reverses your hangover.