Alcohol Hangovers: Causes And Best Treatments
A celebratory night on the town with numerous drinks often becomes a rude awakening of a hangover the following morning. But have you ever stopped to wonder what causes a hangover? The symptoms of a hangover can be unpleasant, and having a general idea of how to deal with them can help you prevent and treat them.
What causes a hangover?
Mild dehydration: Alcohol increases the frequency of urination because it suppresses the release of vasopressin, a hormone in the brain that instructs the kidneys to retain fluid. Fluid loss can cause dehydration, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and thirst.
Stomach irritation: Alcohol irritates the stomach lining and stimulates more acid release, which can result in stomach pain and nausea.
Inflammation: One study links alcohol consumption to inflammatory reaction time. Chronic inflammation is a significant factor in many long-term health problems, with symptoms of inflammation including vomiting, headaches, nausea, confusion, and tremors.
Fragmented sleep: After heavy drinking, many people may fall asleep quickly, but their sleep is often fragmented, and they tend to wake up earlier than usual. The lack of quality sleep can contribute to feelings of fatigue.
Mini-withdrawal: You may think only alcoholics go through withdrawal, but a hangover is like a mini-withdrawal as your body and brain disengage from alcohol.
Hangover symptoms typically appear about 10 hours after blood alcohol levels peak but can vary depending on sex, weight, and genetic disposition. Symptoms can last for 24 hours or longer and may include:
- Lack of concentration
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Elevated blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Light or noise sensitivity
Overcoming a hangover
Our bodies need to remove the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism, rehydrate, and repair any irritation or inflammation to manage and combat a hangover. Here are a few options to ward off the nasty effects of a hangover.
Over-the-counter pain relievers: Aspirin or ibuprofen may help you manage symptoms, but use caution as they can increase the release of acid and further irritate the stomach lining.
Electrolyte-rich sports drinks: Many people reach for drinks loaded with electrolytes to relieve their hangover symptoms as these drinks restore minerals and vitamins lost due to drinking.
IV therapy: One of the best ways to overcome a hangover is through IV therapy. A hangover IV can replenish your body with necessary fluids, vitamins, and electrolytes, restoring balance to your body. No one feels like driving when they have a hangover. For a hangover IV treatment in Boston and other areas in the U.S., a registered nurse will come to your home to administer an IV drip containing a blend of ingredients to relieve your hangover symptoms.
Tips to avoid hangover symptoms:
Avoiding being hungover in the first place is better than facing the symptoms.
● Drinking one full glass of water between alcoholic drinks will help you avoid dehydration, contributing to a number of the symptoms of a hangover.
● Cease drinking long before calling it a night to allow your liver to process the alcohol before you go to bed.
● Avoid drinking on an empty stomach as it increases the risks of experiencing hangover symptoms. Eating foods high in carbohydrates before drinking will slow down the rate at which your body absorbs alcohol.
If you are experiencing a hangover, your focus, muscle coordination, and decision-making ability may be impaired. Your ability to perform essential tasks like driving or operating machinery can be negatively affected. The sooner you can deal with the symptoms, the faster you can get back to feeling your best. Having IV therapy is one of the quickest ways to ease the effects of an unwanted hangover and begin to feel better.