Hangover Symptoms

It’s no secret that the hangover struggle is real. Symptoms range from mild to moderate, and in some cases, severe. How your body will be impacted the next day after a night of fun and liquors will depend on many factors. Although everyone is affected differently, many key factors play a role into the level and types of symptoms you may experience, such as: how much liquor you consumed and what types of liquor you consumed. Typically, the consumption of harder alcohol will call for a harder hangover.

Hangovers cause a wide array bodily symptoms of which we all dread. These symptoms include:

  • pounding headaches and dehydration,
  • malaise,
  • dehydration,
  • dizziness,
  • fatigue,
  • lightheadedness,
  • loss of appetite,
  • thirst,
  • vertigo,
  • sweating,
  • nausea, vomiting, indigestion or upset stomach, diarrhea,
  • muscle pain and
  • frequent urination.

There are many explanations, hypothesis and scientific studies that exist to help explain how and why the consumption of alcohol causes such unpleasant symptoms.
According to the Mayo clinic: Alcohol has a diuretic affect and causes your body to produce more urine which can usually lead to dehydration. Dehydration is usually responsible for thirst, dizziness and lightheadedness symptoms. Another hypothesis to the contribution to the occurrence of headaches during a hangover is that alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand.

The use of alcohol also triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system. According to an article posted on IFLscience.com, that highlights why hangovers occur in the first place (2.), alcohol triggers inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines that further delays emptying of the stomach contents. It also causes us to produce more gastric acid while increasing the levels of pancreatic and intestinal secretions. Both of these can lead to that terrible stomach turning, nausea and indigestion with which we are all too familiar. (2.)

If you are wanting to know why there’s extreme fatigue, weakness and mood disturbances post party, the mayo clinic adds that alcohol has a special way of lowering the blood sugar. If it dips too low, not only can it cause all of the symptoms listed, but can even lead to seizures. It’s also important to note that while alcohol can make you sleepy, it will certainly disturb your quality of sleep, causing more fatigue the next morning.

“The science of hangovers” published by the guardian.com, highlights that despite everything we have already covered, the biggest culprit for hangover symptoms are ingredients found in alcohol called congeners. These specific ingredients are what give alcoholic beverages their flavor. Some beverages have higher amounts than others. Congeners are biological compounds that can be made during the alcohol fermentation process or can be added during production. The article further states that beverages with fewer congeners and higher pure ethanol contents, like vodka and gin, have been shown to induce fewer hangover symptoms than drinks with higher levels, like whisky and red wine.

Hangovers are never fun, but the more we understand the symptoms and the science behind those symptoms of a hangover, the more we can begin to hack the unpleasant morning after a fun night out, resulting in lesser to no recovery time at all.

Sources:
1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hangovers/basics/causes/con-20025464

2. http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/why-do-we-get-hangovers/

3. https://www.theguardian.com/science/sifting-the-evidence/2013/dec/19/the-science-of-hangovers

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