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Comprehensive Guide to Hangovers

Drinking alcohol may come with a well-known consequence called a hangover, likely we’ve all had one. Good news is with years of research we’re quite knowledgeable about hangovers. We can recognize the symptoms, causes and we are even able to help identify effective treatments for a hangover. Continue reading our comprehensive guide to hangovers to learn everything (and probably more!) you ever wanted to know about hangovers.

This may come as a surprise to you, but a hangover is a group of unpleasant symptoms and signs that may develop after drinking too much alcohol. Hangovers appear to be the body’s way of alerting us about the dangers of drinking too much. They differ from person to person but usually involve a headache, nausea, fatigue, and dehydration.

In brief, hangovers are caused by a release of toxins from your liver and a reaction from your immune system, creating an inflammatory reaction.

Hangover Symptoms

Hungover on Couch

Hangover symptoms typically start when your blood alcohol content falls considerably and is at or near zero. A hangover may leave you struggling to focus, feeling irritable and sensitive to light — not a fantastic combination if you’re planning to get the most out of the day, not spend it in bed.

As we all know the side effects are usually in full effect the morning after a night of drinking. The side effects can vary from person to person but usually include one of the following:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Excessive thirst and cottonmouth
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Decreased sleep
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Dizziness, shakiness or a spinning room
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Rapid heartbeat

Should I call a Doctor?

In general hangovers following a night’s drinking disappear by itself.  Speak to your doctor if you are concerned that regular, excessive drinking can create serious alcohol withdrawal, or if routine hangovers affect your wellbeing, such as your own personal connections or your performance on the job.  It is important to seek help for alcohol problems if needed and is readily available.

When alcohol becomes an emergency

Some severe symptoms and signs which accompany heavy drinking may be a clear sign of alcohol poisoning — which is a life threatening emergency.  If you or a loved shows any signs of alcohol poisoning you should Call 911 or your local emergency number.

Call if someone following drinking shows signs of:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • 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 and can’t be awakened

Hangover Causes

Hangovers are due to drinking too much amount alcohol. A single alcoholic drink is enough to activate a hangover for some individuals, even though some may drink intensely and escape a hangover altogether.

We have all heard different reasons why we get hangovers. Many common symptoms are dehydration, perhaps not sufficient food and combining liquors. As a rule of thumb, the more alcohol you ingest, the more likely you are to truly have a hangover the next day.

And we have the main reason why here… These are Two distinct causes of one’s hangover.

Hangovers are caused When the human body breaks down ethanol, it generates a particular by-product called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is then discharged by the liver, which induces a number of the known Hangover signs and symptoms.

A hangover is your immune system out and generating an inflammatory reaction. Hangovers in many cases are accompanied by elevated levels of cytokines. Once cytokines become active, the defense mechanisms begin firing, and that may lead to inflammation.

There are Various factors which can contribute to a hangover.  For instance:

Drinking alcohol increases stomach acid production, which in return may cause nausea, stomach pain or vomiting.

  • Drinking alcohol causes the human body to make more urine.  Subsequently, urinating can result in dehydration signaled by lightheartedness, dizziness, and hunger.
  • Drinking alcohol activates an inflammatory reaction in the immune system.  Your immune system can trigger brokers that create symptoms, like an inability to concentrate, memory issues, diminished appetite and lack of interest.
  • Drinking alcohol may cause your blood glucose to fall.  In case your blood sugar drops too low, you might experience mood swings, weakness, shakiness, tiredness, and seizures.
  • Drinking alcohol can make you tired. Alcohol also prevents deeper stages of sleep and frequently causes waking in the middle of the night. Poor sleep will make you exhausted and groggy.

Natural Hangover Remedies

Natural hangover remedies have been used for centuries for fighting hangovers. Today a handful have been well studied and show to be quite effective in this common battle.

NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)

NAC is a type of amino acid, which in studies shows may help with hangover prevention and preventing liver damage. By boosting Glutathione production you are helping the body break down Acetaldehyde.

Hovenia Dulcis (DHM)

Hovenia Dulcis (Japanese Raisin Tree) has been used for over 1,000 years in many countries such as Japan, China, and Korea as herbal medicine to prevent and fight hangovers. Research shows that when Hovenia Dulcis (DHM) is taken before drinking, it helps to reduce high levels of alcohol.  

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a natural ani-inflamitory and contains properties to help fight harmful free-radicals related to the consumption of alcohol. These properties show to be effective in the down of alcohol.

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly pear extract can decrease inflammation in the liver due to a night of boozing headaches, nausea, and symptoms. The extract contains Pectin and Fiber that has many health benefits to offset the effects of alcohol inflammation mitigating nausea and headache.

Turmeric Root

Turmeric is one of the best superfoods. Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric. Curcumin helps to detoxify the liver, cleaning up acid residue. It is also quite effective in preventing nausea and other stomach issues caused by alcohol consumption. Turmeric is a effective addition to your alcohol remedy.

Red Ginseng Root

Red ginseng has been used as a hangover cure for ages in tea. It helps your body metabolize alcohol helps to soothe an upset stomach and some of the symptoms of a hangover!

Fewer Regrets

Shameless plug, we know. Fewer Regrets is a very effective, tied and true combination of the above ingredients. We assembled the perfect combination to help you prevent and decrease the possibilities of a hangover. We stand by the Fewer Regrets proprietary formula and feel it can hold up to the wildest of nights.

Hangover Treatments

Medication and Pain Relievers

This is little proof that over the counter drugs can help your hangover. The being said OTC drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other anti-inflammatories, are good at relieving aches and pains.

Antacids for the Stomach

A good antacid will help by neutralizing the increased level of stomach acid. They can also help with heartburn and indigestion which can be caused by a night out drinking.

Drinking plenty of water

Though previously mentioned, water is your friend. You can never have to much water, right? By drinking plenty of fluids and staying well hydrated you can help decrease your hangover symptoms.

Eating a Fatty Breakfast

Frying yourself a breakfast with eggs, bacon and toast might just be what you need.

Hangover Prevention

Though sometimes difficult preventing a hangover is possible. Here are a handful of things you could do to help with the prevention of hangovers.

Decreasing alcohol intake

The simplest way to reduce hangover symptoms is to lower your alcohol consumption. The severity and prevalence of hangover symptoms grow in accordance with the amount of alcohol you consume. For most people, the way is to drink in moderation.

Try to stay well hydrated

Drinking alcohol may result in dehydration in a few ways.  Alcohol has a diuretic effect. This implies that the production of urine increases, resulting in a loss of electrolytes and fluids which are required for normal functioning.  Excessive amounts of alcohol may lead to vomiting, resulting in an even further loss of electrolytes and fluids.

Drink clear alcohols, avoiding drinks with Congeners.

A Congeners is a chemical by-product which with different alcoholic drinks contain varying amounts. Rum, vodka, and gin are all quite low in Congeners, with vodka containing almost no congeners. Though Tequila, whiskey, and cognac are relatively high in congeners, bourbon whiskey contains the highest amount.

Eat a hearty meal

One well-known prevention technique is to eat a hearty meal. The reason being is that eating well helps to regulate your blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar levels are not the cause of a hangover, but drinking does lower your blood sugar levels. Eating carbohydrates will increase your blood sugar level and in return can help prevent that hangover.

Don’t smoke and drink

Drinking and smoking may seem to go well together. However, the combination of alcohol and smoke can affect your sleep, increasing the effect of a hangover.

What does your boss think about your Hangover and its effects on the workplace? Here are the 15 things your boss wishes you knew about hangovers.

References

Mayo Clinic

Stanford

Harvard

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