What is a Hangover?

A hangover can be best described as the effect of too much alcohol or drug consumption. Many people can associate with a hangover mainly because it is normally experienced the morning after a long and pleasurable night of drinking. There are two types of hangovers. The first type, which is the most common, is systematic. This means the hangover simply affects the internal body systems. The second type of hangover is a drug related condition that causes adverse reactions, intoxication, and possibly an overdose. Although a hangover can be caused by alcohol, it can also be caused by other types of drugs.

The length of a hangover usually depends on the person. Most hangovers will only last during the morning, while some will last for a full 24 hours. The length of the hangover depends on how many drinks were consumed the night before, the body type of the person experiencing the hangover, and the genetic predisposition of the person experiencing the hangover. Another factor can be the type of drink that was consumed and the food that was consumed.
Natural Hangover Cures
There are not a lot of alternative words to the hangover condition. However, other countries use certain phrases, such as œkac by the Polish, œbabbelas in South Africa, œkater in Germany, and œcrudo in Mexico. While these terms will not be common in America, you may call a hangover the œIrish Flu or even œthe high cost of low living. In fact, many terms that people use when they have the hangover.

While some of these terms can be quite tasteless, like the term œTechnicolor yawn, some terms can be quite interesting, like the term œdawn damage. No matter what you call it, the hangover is something that many people have experienced. Many people will continue to experience it, simply because alcohol consumption has become a part of today’s society.

Symptoms Of a Hangover

The main reason why a hangover is so disliked is that there are many symptoms. A hangover can completely ruin your day, especially if you have important things to take care of. Symptoms of a Hangover include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Photophobia, or the dislike of light
  • Irritability
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Indigestion
  • Thirst
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shakiness

The symptoms of a hangover can vary from person to person. In addition, the seriousness of your hangover depends entirely on the amount of alcohol that you consumed and the steps that you took to prevent the hangover from happening. A hangover can cause many problems. As a result of the headache, you may become extremely irritable. This could ruin your relationship with others, especially if you consume alcohol on a regular basis.

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Hangovers can affect your entire life, especially if you have to go to work the next day. This is because a hangover can affect your ability to function in every day life. It also affects your ability to make decisions and concentrate. Since your body is dealing with so many things at once, you may not be able to function properly. Although it may not seem like at the time of your alcohol consumption, your body will be in havoc the next morning.

Not Sleeping Enough

It is dealing with your dehydration, your upset stomach, and other problems. On top of that, if you have not had enough sleep, your body is not able to cope with your hangover. Because of this, many people often choose to drink the night before they have to do anything important. It has to be planned out. When it is planned out the body can be given a day to cope with the hangover. Of course, this can be stopped if you know how to pace yourself and limit that amount of alcohol that you consume. There is a difference between having fun and drinking to excess.

If you or someone you know is experiencing the following symptoms, you may need to call a doctor:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing or irregular breathing
  • Blue tinted skin or pale skin
  • Hypothermia or cold skin
  • Unconsciousness

This could be a sign of alcohol poisoning. This is a result of too much alcohol in the system. While the hangover is a mild condition, alcohol poisoning can become extremely lethal.

What Alcohol Does To Your Body

Previously in this article, the symptoms of a hangover was mentioned and described. You may be wondering about how the alcohol causes these symptoms. Alcohol does many things to your body, which in turn causes the next morning’s symptoms. If you were to know what alcohol does, you may be able to take preventative measures.

Many people know that alcohol produces more urine, or causes you to urinate more often. This is a result of your body trying to clean out your system. Since you are using the bathroom often, the alcohol is causing your body to suffer from dehydration. Alcohol also causes an inflammatory response from your immune system. Because of this, certain agents can be triggered that can keep you from focusing on certain tasks. This can also affect your overall mood.

Alcohol can irritate the lining of your stomach. It increases the production of stomach acid in your body. This keeps your stomach from fully emptying itself. This may cause abdominal pain, nausea, and of course, vomiting.

Falling Blood Sugar

Your blood sugar can fall because of drinking too much alcohol. This could cause you to feel tired, weak, and upset. Things can annoy you easily and you may be shaking uncontrollably.

Alcohol increases your blood flow. As a result, your blood vessels may expand, causing extreme headaches on your part. Additionally, although alcohol makes you sleepy, it decreases the quality of your sleep. Since you need sleep in order to recharge your body, this could affect you significantly.

Causes of a Hangover

The most common cause of a hangover is alcohol. It can be caused by drinking too much alcohol. For some people, one drink is enough to cause a hangover. Your intoxication level depends on the size of your body. For example, if you do not weigh much, you have a higher chance of being more affected by one drink. Studies have shown that women are likely to have a hangover after three or five alcoholic beverages. Men are likely to have a hangover after five or six beverages. This is because men have more water in their body than women, and their body can soak up the alcohol easier.

Of course, these numbers can change if there are other factors that help or hurt your position.

Risk Factors

Nearly anyone can have a hangover. However, there are certain factors that can change how sever your hangover is. One common risk factor is the type of alcohol that you drink. For example, it is common knowledge that white liquor has less of a chance of causing a hangover than brown liquor. Examples of brown liquor include bourbon, scotch, tequila, brandy, or and red wine. A common example of white liquor is vodka. Even though vodka is less likely to cause a hangover, it can still cause a hangover if too much of it is consumed.

You may be wondering why brown liquor is more likely to cause a hangover. In brown liquor, there is a high level of congeners in brown liquor. This can contribute to hangovers. Congeners are used to change the coloring and the flavor of alcohol.

What you do before you begin drinking also affects your chances of receiving a headache. For example, if you were to drink on an empty stomach, you are more likely to get a hangover the next morning. You are also more likely to become intoxicated more quickly. This is because there is no food in your body to soak up some of the alcohol that you are consuming.
Treating Hangovers
If you use other drugs while you are drinking, your chances of a hangover are increased. The drug that you use could be illegal, but even nicotine can increase your chances of a hangover. In addition, if you do not get enough sleep after you have become intoxicated, you will probably have a hangover. This is because your body needs rest after having gone through so much.

If you have a family history of alcoholism, you may be genetically predisposed to hangovers after consuming alcohol. Your body could absorb alcohol differently than others. Consequently, if you regularly consume alcohol, your body may build up a tolerance. This could keep you from having many hangovers.

Prevention Tips

Many people probably try to find the secret to not getting the hangover. However, there is no real cure to a hangover. There are certain things that you can do that may reduce the pain. The true key is to not over indulge in alcohol consumption. If you follow the following steps, you could possibly prevent a hangover.

  • Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. In fact, if you were to eat food with fat in them, you are more likely to soak up the alcohol. Pizza is a good example of this.
  • While you are drinking, pace yourself. It is important that you do not drink too much. Do not drink everything at once, either. A good idea is to drink maybe once alcoholic drink each hour.
  • While you are doing this, you might want to sip on water in between drinks. This can keep your body hydrated and balance the fight between alcohol and water.
  • Consistency is what may keep you from a horrible hangover in the morning. For example, if you are drinking brown liquor, do not switch to white liquor. Try drinking only one type of liquor, and do not change brands. If you stay consistent, you reduce your risk.
  • As mentioned before, if you want to avoid a hangover, you should watch out for your limit. If you know that you have had too much, you may want to stop drinking. If you are intoxicated and you know that you are starting to lose yourself, this is a sign of having too much to drink.

Tests and Diagnosis Considerations

If you may think that you have a hangover, you might want to take into consideration anything else that may affect your body. For example, other medical conditions may cause the same symptoms. This may include meningitis, which causes photophobia.

Medications can cause symptoms that are mistaken for hangovers as well. These medications include chloral hydrate and Dormel. If you are taking medication, make sure that you are not experiencing any serious side effects. Additionally, if you were exposed to chemicals or a type of toxin, this may be the cause of your symptoms.

Treatment Options

When you have a hangover, there is no doubt that you are in extreme pain. There are certain things that can help with this, however.

Since you are dehydrated as a result of the alcohol, you could try drinking water or fruit juice. Whatever you do, avoid drinking alcohol when you wake up in the morning. There is a myth that drinking alcohol the morning after will cure your hangover. This is not true. It will postpone the hangover, but this is all it does. Remember that alcohol caused the problem in the first place, and more alcohol will make it worse.

Since alcohol is prone to lowering your blood sugar, you might want to try eating a snack. Toast and crackers can raise your blood sugar level. Additionally, you might want to eat foods that can replace the salt and potassium in your body. This may include bananas and the crackers that can raise your blood sugar level. Eating eggs can also help remove the alcohol toxin from your body, since it contains cysteine. Cysteine breaks down the acetaldehyde in your body.


Another easy way to treat your hangover is to simply take painkillers. This can ease your headache and other symptoms. However, if you take painkillers after you have finished drinking, this will not do anything. It could cause possible liver damage, but it cannot prevent a hangover. This is because the painkillers will likely wear off by the time you wake up in the morning. Additionally, by digesting painkillers you are giving your liver something else to digest while it is still trying to handle the alcohol. Pain relievers can be a bad idea if you have consumed too much alcohol. Aspirin has the potential to irritate your stomach, while Tylenol can cause liver damage.

Many people just take painkillers and go back to sleep when they wake up. This is truly a smart thing to do. If you were to eat food, drink water, take painkillers, and go back to sleep, you are essentially trying to give your body everything that it is missing. Proper sleep can heal your body more than anything else can. If your stomach is upset, you may want to take antacids as well.

Take it Easy

If you are suffering from a hangover, your best chance is to take it easy for the rest of day. You need to give your body time to recuperate. Make sure you drink plenty of water in order to keep your body hydrated. Do not drink soda or coffee. Despite contrary belief, coffee can actually dehydrate your body further. Although it gives you the extra energy that you may need, caffeine can actually make your hangover worse.

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